Market needs put demands on flexible assembly systems

Dec 07, 2017 | Student Research/Cooperation

New technological advances, the short life cycle of products, and increasing demands for variation in the range of products are all characteristic of today’s rapidly changing market. This implies that the need of flexibility within the manufacturing industry is increasing. Narges Asadi is researching on what is characteristic of flexibility in assembly systems used by the manufacturing industry, and how product design can facilitate flexibility.

- If companies get more flexible assembly systems and manufacture different products on the same production line, they will be able to make fewer investments. This can also affect the variation in the range of products and the speed of delivery. My research can be applied to assembly systems in small-scale manufacturing and of complex products, says Narges Asadi. 


Narges Asadi has several years’ experience of different areas within the manufacturing industry and is soon due to present her thesis Flexibility in Assembly Systems using Product Design. Narges is working at Volvo Construction Equipment and has conducted her research in the Innofacture Research School at MDH.  


Narges’ research has resulted in a model and a framework which in simple terms describes what it means to be flexible in assembly systems and how flexibility can be achieved through product design. She has identified three requirements: a common assembly process, similar assembly interfaces and common parts. If these requirements are fulfilled they can decrease the perceived complexity and support different dimensions of flexibility in the assembly system.  


- I think it’s fascinating how manufacturing and product design can be separated in big organisations, despite their being in principle quite similar and are working towards the same goals. But with my model, assembly personnel and product designers can now together create flexible assembly systems, says Narges Asadi.