Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE credits
Volvo Trucks Australia strives to the goal to reach World Class by year 2000. To reach this goal the project Wacol - World Class is initialised. As a part of the project, this thesis can be seen as one step in the direction to reach world class in the areas of lead-time and efficiency. To be able to meet these objectives improvements must be made in several areas.
The purpose of this thesis-work has been to ex e the existing materials handling system from goods receival to delivery to the line and give recommendations for a more time efficient material handling system.
This thesis-work is limited to consider material that is part of the final product and does not consider the effects of forecasting, purchasing and inventory management on the material handling system.
The subject of materials handling and materials flow systems are broad and complex. There are several factors that both affects and is affected by the materials handling activities in the materials flow. This and also the fact that Volvo is in the middle of a revolutionary period makes it hard to make any concrete suggestions for improvements.
The analysis of the materia1 handling system is based on mapping of the flow, interviews with involved personnel and own observations.
To improve the material handling system of today and long-term the following recommendations are made: Planning the work in the store, means stop doing short term solving of disturbances in the stores and start doing systematic planning of the activities such as receiving and unpacking. Other recommendations will also stabilize the flow and make planning easier.
One of these is the second recommendation, even arrival of goods, that means better combination between the arrival times of Swedish sea- and air-height and the local suppliers. An extension off this recommendation is to move the day for material required and create a time table for the material flow. In combination with allocating the resources as people in a smarter way and improving the communication between different parts as receiving and unpacking. The third and very important recommendation is about the shortages. The shortages today leads to disturbances in the whole system. This is a problem that strikes both horizontally and vertically in the plant. It is urgent and important to create a crossfunctional group that addresses the problems immediately and gets resources for it.
To give the pickers a better chance to do their job Volvo Wacol have to create fixed locations for their material and in the future gain possibilities from installation of Bar Coding (BC) and Radio Frequency (RF) and create possibilities for floating locations and faster handling, quality and accessibility of information. Therefore BC and RF is the fifth recommendation.
The sixth is improvement in the picking routines increase the waiting times. The seventh is about deliveries to the line and the eight about improving the today existing kanban system for small parts.
The ninth and uttermost important recommendation is about start using and improving the measurement system to create possibilities for discover problem areas and controlling the activities that is done to improve them.