Strategic Framework for Manual Assembly System Design
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Manual assembly is necessary for production of many products today, as products are becoming more complex and customer specific. Manual assembly systems are important for competitiveness and are therefore a strategic issue. Previous literature has looked at specific problems, such as line balancing, although a strategic perspective is required to effectively fulfil market requirements. Before designing a manual assembly system, it is important to consider the different impact factors to find the ideal manual assembly system configuration. This study discusses the different impact factors and decisions in strategic manual assembly system design. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework to assist in strategic design of manual assembly systems. Testing the framework in a case company shows that by designing the manual assembly system according to the identified impact factors, significant reductions of throughput time and non-value adding time in manual assembly can be achieved.