Production Logistics 4.0 - A Conceptual Multiple Case Study Exploring Industry 4.0 in Different Production Environments
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This project report is the result of a master project conducted within the master s degree program Mechanical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). It was conducted as case studies of four companies by scientific research. The case companies are Norwegian production companies, where the common thread is their strategy to remain production in Norway and their goal of improving their production logistics performance. The case companies are thruster system producer Brunvoll, shipbuilding company Kleven, furniture producer Ekornes, and Pipelife, producer of plastic pipes. The industrial production sector is now moving towards the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0. Originating from the German strategic initiative Industrie 4.0, it is now on the agenda in several European countries and in the US and Asia. It is built around emerging technologies, especially the Internet of Things (IoT), which are expected to lead to a paradigm shift in industrial production. To remain competitive for Norwegian manufacturers, the concept of Industry 4.0 should be explored to be able to exploit the specific benefits it can offer in terms of new solutions for production and logistics in industrial supply chains. How production logistics and production planning and control (PPC) should be organised depends on the production environment of the company, and the level of repetitiveness of production. Based on this and the case companies goals of improved production logistics the aim of this study is to investigate how Industry 4.0 can improve production logistics in production environments characterised by varying levels of repetitiveness. To reach the project aim the following research goal was formulated: To integrate Industry 4.0 with production logistics to form Production Logistics 4.0.To reach the research goal the following research questions were developed:1) What is Industry 4.0 and what are the key elements of the Industry 4.0 concept that are relevant for production logistics?2) What are key characteristics features of production environments of varying level of repetitiveness and what are these characteristics implications for Industry 4.0?3) What are the case companies interpretations of Industry 4.0 and how can it improve production logistics for each company?4) Are there general guidelines or roadmap routes, including obstacles, for how Industry 4.0 can improve logistics? To be able to answer the research questions the research methodology consisted of a literature study, case studies of the companies, and a survey. The literature study was aimed at investigating the concepts of Industry 4.0, production logistics, and production environments. The case studies were conducted as a mapping and analysis of the case companies, based on a framework for mapping the characteristic features of a production environment. For investigating the case companies interpretations and opinions on Industry 4.0 a survey was developed and presented and conducted in a workshop where representatives for all the case companies were represented. The survey was answered in focus groups. The literature study of Industry 4.0 made it possible to synthesize and describe the characteristics of the Industry 4.0 concept, and the key elements relevant for production logistics to give a theoretical contribution. The relation between Industry 4.0 and production logistics has been visualised in a figure. Four key elements for Production Logistics 4.0 were identified: Automated Identification (Auto ID) and Real-Time Control Real-Time Collection and Analysis of Data Integration and Utilization of IT systems Automation and New Production Technology The applicability of these elements for the case companies was investigated in the case studies. The analysis of the results from the case study identified that specific approaches to Industry 4.0 are needed for each company, and that a general roadmap or set of guidelines do not apply. When approaching Industry 4.0 the characteristics of the production environment of the company must be considered. Accordingly, company specific suggestions were developed. Moreover, the study indicates that the production environment characteristics facility layout, material flow complexity, product variety, and Bill of Materials and product structure complexity has implications for the applicability of the Production Logistics 4.0 elements. However, for all the case companies, Auto ID was identified as a suggested solution for improving production logistics. Auto ID is at the core of Industry 4.0, as it is an enabler of the Internet of Things. Moreover, although the sample analysed only contains four companies, the results from the mapping and survey indicate that there is a relation between the levels of repetitiveness of production, the position of the customer order decoupling point and the companies perceived Industry 4.0 applicability. The low level of detail the study has been approached with limits the research conducted in this project. Further work can thus be aimed at more detailed explorations of each of the case companies, as well as more detailed investigations of the specific possibilities of the components of Industry 4.0. Additionally, similar studies can be conducted for other companies.