Simulation and Comparative Evaluation of Flexible Automotive Assembly Layouts

TitleSimulation and Comparative Evaluation of Flexible Automotive Assembly Layouts
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKelessoglou, M. Theologos
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
DegreeM. Eng.
AbstractEquipment malfunction, logistics errors, and other disturbances in automobile factories can be very costly for manufacturers, as they often result in assembly line downtime until the problem is resolved. In this thesis, we examine a new concept for a Flexible Assembly Layout, enabled by new mobile robot technology, that aims to decrease the cost of such errors by removing the affected car from the line while the error is being fixed. In order to compare it to the layout commonly used today, we develop Discrete Event Simulations, based on data from real factories, for both. The simulations contain fast heuristic schedulers that adjust their generated schedules in real time in response to errors. Our comparison shows that, for a representative factory with representative error frequencies, the Flexible Layout is able to produce cars in 29.4% less time than the Conventional Layout, thanks to its robustness to errors.