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Requirements and solutions for modular plant architectures and elaboration of a factory configuration toolkit

The Harman/Becker GmbH is mainly a manufacturer of infotainment systems for the automobile industry. Infotainment systems are e.g. car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, navigation-systems a.s.o.

The company has production sites in Germany, South Africa, United Kingdom, France and Hungary. The first step of this project was to analyse the strategy and the objectives for the modularisation. The decision was made to analyse a cc/cd-radio (1DIN Chassis size) that is produced in Germany and South Africa and at a second scenario when a new radio generation (double DIN size chassis) has to be produced on the production line of the predecessor cc/cd-radio. We collected the change drivers (volume, single or double sided placement, chassis height,) and influences (market, company, customer, product, production,) and linked it to the production elements (automatic placement, hand mounting, testing, final assembly).

Then we defined the requirements for modularisation, what are production platforms (not influenced elements) and what are modules (influenced elements). All was done in the Production Structure Matrix. The next was to describe a standardized factory module. The single working steps and machines were analysed in detail and linked to the production layout. Details are investment, cycle time, availability, capacity, physical properties, interfaces,).

The configuration process for the modular line concept for our production was the Harman/Becker Reference Architecture. This Reference Architecture and Module Concept enables Harman/Becker to find out the necessary modifications when a new product is introduced to be produced and also to make a quick change over to the new product.

In order to get a clear overview of the most important change drivers and their influences on certain sceneries after a variation, a sensitivity analysis was carried out at the Harman/Becker Modular Line Concept. The inputs were the change drivers and attributes from the Production Structure Matrix. The result was the priorisation of change driver sensitivity and the increase of robustness of the Production Systems. The three highest change drivers (number of different components, quantity of components, and double sided placement) have also the most influence of the cost intensive equipments (placing machines).

All work before was necessary to develop a Configuration Toolkit (D-Con). The results of all steps before were over taken as inputs for a data base. Process Phases from the predefined and selected Change Driver Classes and according Production Elements can be adapted to the requirements of the project. Then you can time the process and generate a time schedule in form of a Microsoft Project file. In MS Project you can edit the process phases and/or the production elements by using all functionality MS Project offers.

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