Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
In a world of fierce competition that is the reality for heavy truck manufacturers, it is important to optimize every step of production to the greatest extent. The Swedish truck manufacturer SCANIA early adopted such ideas and has put great efforts to implement a concept called lean production. As a part of the company’s strive for continuous improvement, all parts of the value adding chain shall be as efficient as possible. Previously this work has been focused inside the SCANIA organization but as demands on production volume and profit margin increases, focus turns outside the factory premises. A bodywork is fitted as a last step in the completion of many trucks. This is done by external companies called bodybuilders, outside the control of the factory. In this thesis, the bodybuilder induced waste is addressed from a global perspective.
The report is entirely based on interviews with people inside SCANIA, SCANIA’s Swedish business unit, bodybuilders in both Sweden and Poland and a Swedish employer’s organization. Through these interviews, the difficulties surrounding the subject have been mapped from different perspectives. As a complement to the interviews, a program that calculates the annual waste related to shortened chassis frames has been developed.
The main waste inducing problem areas found in this thesis is:
- Poor communication between seller and bodybuilder before specifying and ordering the chassis.
- Poor communication between factory and bodybuilder regarding existing chassis preparations.
- A high degree of customer involvement in the bodybuilder process on the Swedish market.
- High price sensitivity on the Polish market makes chassis specified without preparations more attractive.
- Highly diverse customer demands on the Swedish market.
- Insufficient ordering tools to meet the customer demands of individually customized vehicles.
- Discrepancies between the global focus at factory and the local nature of the market on which the sellers exist.
The costs related to shortened chassis frames alone is estimated to cost SCANIA 5 000 000 SEK annually in terms of reduced chassis frame waste and decreased costs for bound investments when chassis are standing at bodybuilders. In order to go from today’s annual production of 70 000 vehicles to the long-term goal of 150 000 vehicles/year, it will be crucial to reduce waste throughout the whole production chain. This will require better prepared vehicles from factory, better ordering software for the sellers and less rigid customer behaviour on certain markets. The increased communication between seller, bodybuilder and factory will be necessary and could be implemented through cooperation between selected bodybuilders and sellers in a preferred program.
2011. , 111 p.