Design of a scalable assembly system for product variety
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a design approach based on the investigation of the sensitivity of assembly systems to volume fluctuations as part of the selection process of alternative design solutions for scalable assembly systems on the basis of a real industrial case study. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual approach for the (re-)design of a scalable assembly system is developed on the basis of an industrial case research using axiomatic design (AD) for the top level structuring of the framework incorporating useful methods and insights obtained from a thorough literature review and from previous research work. Findings – The findings of this research are limited due to the focused nature of a case study based research. However, the obtained results encourage assuming its transferability to similar problems. Originality/value – Significant research has been done in the design of assembly systems for high product variety, but the review of literature in this field still identifies many opportunities for future research. This paper responds to the clearly identified research need of a methodological guidance regarding the design of scalable assembly systems and offers a practically proven help to improve the efficiency of the design process and the quality of the design results.