Production Disturbance Management - The role of technology and managerial approaches in creating resilient production systems

Abstract: We live in a time that makes it clear the need of creating resilient production systems. To do so, it is necessary to efficiently and effectively manage production disturbances. Nevertheless, manufacturing companies have a very hard time thriving in this context. Mainly due to production disturbances, half their manufacturing capacity goes unused. To overcome this problem it is necessary the investigation of strategies which may lead to better performance in production disturbance management. The purpose of this work is to enable the development of resilient production systems by improving production disturbance management. There are three focus areas: 1) current challenges among manufacturing companies, 2) supporting technologies and 3) supporting managerial approaches. A qualitative methodology was chosen to investigate these areas, based on case studies and literature reviews. Concerning the current challenges, the results indicate that manufacturing companies still take a reactive approach to production disturbances and their overall use of technology is low. Additionally, when technology is introduced, there is normally resistance from employees due to feeling of over-supervision, unclear value, feeling of inadequacy, concerns about job and power loss and work overload. When prioritising root cause analysis, challenges also arise regarding the criteria used, perspectives considered and time spent. Regarding technology, the results indicate that Industry 4.0 technology may contribute to better performance in managing production disturbances in the various stages. The use of technology has the potential to transform production disturbance management into a fast, precise, and collaborative process. As to the managerial approaches, the stakeholders and factors impacted by production disturbances are identified in the results of this work. These should be considered when setting the priorities for analysing root causes. Also highlighted are suitable managerial practices for dealing with resistance regarding training, communication and participation. This work adds to theory as well as practice. No previous work has used a holistic perspective to identify suitable technologies and managerial approaches in this field. Therefore, this work contributes further to theory within this area. Regarding practice, the findings of this work contribute some direction on improving the management of disturbances and overcoming current challenges in manufacturing companies. This is necessary knowledge towards creating resilient production systems.

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