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  • 1.
    Gerth, Robert
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering.
    En företagsmodell för modernt industriellt byggande2008Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    Industrial housing is the strategy of the future for efficient housing. The strategy exploits the principles and work methods of production systems and is applied to the construction industry. Traditionally the construction sector considers production of one-of-a-kind products as de facto solutions. However, this strategy requires new paradigms, supporting methodologies and business models. The purpose of this thesis is to present and describe a business model that supports the strategy, which meet the project oriented market’s one-of-a-kind demands with customized multi-story houses.

    Industrial manufacturing of customized houses can be accomplished by industrial strategies, such as Mass Customization. The prerequisites are that the organizational properties, mentioned in the list below, have to be integrated and adjusted to the elementary principles of industrial production and Mass Customization.

    Fundamental philosophy of the Company

    Organizational Structure and Management

    Market and Business Process

    Product ModelProduction System

    Information and Communication Systems

    In this thesis an industrial approach was used to identify the fundamental characteristics in industrial manufacturing and Mass Customization, and its influence of the organizational properties for industrial housing. The foundations of industrial production are a standardized product structure, standardized processes, manual and machine operations, process oriented production, and controlled material flow. Mass Customization is a strategy to achieve customized but industrial produced products with the same efficiency as mass production. It is based on standardized product models, which can be configured and flexible production systems, in which process and resources can be reconfigured in a systematic way.

    On the basis of this a normative business model (The MC-House) was developed, empirical tested and validated through case studies. The truck manufacture, Scania CV AB, and the industrial housing entrepreneur, NCC Komponent AB, were investigated by interviews and company archives. The result showed that on organizational property level the business model was generic and valid for industrial manufacturing of discrete configured products. In what extent individual products could be configured and produced with a certain performance, require different designs within the organizational properties. The more individual configuration that could be managed, the more complex the executive management gets. To achieve an effective business the complexity has to be met by definition, systemizing, and integration on the corresponding organizational hierarchic level as the configuration is managed.

    When considered the fundamental characteristics of construction, buildings has to be assembled there it will be used, the result also showed that the production system for industrial housing should be divided in two. One stationary manufacturing system, the factory, and one mobile assemble system at the construction site. Another condition that has to be considered is that the generic product model should be able to meet the local requirements.

    Further the study indicated that the a industrial housing company is different from a traditional construction company, regarding the organizational structure, the market management, production approach, product model handling, business and project processes. Within an industrial housing company the activity is process oriented around the continuous production process. This mean that a house or a project cannot be considered as strictly unique, rather just another order which is made of standardized components, produced in the same process and with same recourses as previous and future other orders. In fact an industrial housing company has more in common with organizations of industrial manufacturing than with classical construction entrepreneurs organized for project oriented and hand craft production.

  • 2.
    Gerth, Robert
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering, Production Systems.
    The Role of Production Topology in Information Based Structuring of Organizations: The design of craft-based and industrialized construction firms2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Industrialization of construction is a business strategy to significantly improve competitiveness. However, the organization structure of the construction firms needs to support the new production system. The knowledge on why and how this business development can be accomplished is scarce, both within academia and in business practice. This research seeks to fill this knowledge gap.

    The purpose of organization structure and the production system have is to coordinate the firm’s processes and control the work performing resources. Information is one of the most fundamental dimensions for steering and controlling the work. The different information types are determined by the firm’s product customization strategy and the production system flexibility. Further, diverse information types are managed in different extent by the organizational steering mechanisms. Consequently, firms with dissimilar customization strategy or production flexibility should organizationally be designed differently in order to be efficient.

    The developed model identifies four generic production topologies: “engineer-to-order” (ETO), “manufacture-to-order” (MTO), “assembly-to-order” (ATO), and “make-standard-products” (MSP). The differences between the topologies can be related to the location of the “customer-order-decoupling-point” (CODP) in the product realization process; and to what extent the upstream and downstream processes continuously use stored information or process information to accomplish the work of each product order. The model predicts which organization structure mechanisms that should be used for which processes for each production topology. It is the specific configuration of the mechanisms that gives each production topology their organizational capability. The model has been validated by case studies in four organizations, each representing one of the four generic production topologies. Three cases considered housing and one studied truck manufacturing.

    It has been shown that the conventional housing firms have an ETO-production topology, while industrialized housing firms belonging to one of the others, i.e. MTO, ATO or MSP. The reason is that ETO-firms rely on crafts-based production to manage the work, while the other topologies base their steering mechanisms on industrial principles. These two types of production are fundamentally different, which also explain the need for different organization structures. The research complements previous knowledge and significantly increases the ability to predict, analyze and explain an organization’s design and behavior. The model can be used in practice to guide business development work and performance improvement programs.

  • 3.
    Gerth, Robert
    et al.
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering, Production Systems.
    Boqvist, Albert
    Lund University.
    Bjelkemyr, Marcus
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering, Production Systems.
    Lindberg, Bengt
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering, Production Systems.
    Design for construction: Utilizing production experiences in development2013In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 31, 135-150 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The design process has a significant impact on the performance and profitability of a housing project. Therefore, decisions made during the design process should take into consideration knowledge and experience from other processes in previously accomplished projects, specifically from the production phase. How to capture and use production experience in housing has not gained enough interest, possibly leading to sub-optimal improvements during the construction process. This motivates research on how onsite production experience from similar previous projects can be captured and used to improve constructability without risking customer values. Based on the concept of constructability, ’design for manufacturing and assembly’ and the theory of waste, the method ’design for construction’ (DFC) has been developed. The four-step model complements the conventional construction process, and consists of the following steps: (1) specify customer values and similar previous projects; (2) identify onsite waste and cost drivers in previous projects; (3) develop criteria to evaluate constructability; and (4) evaluate constructability of the design. The DFC method is exemplified and tested through a case study, in which it was shown that the method facilitated identification of all problems that were considered in the investigated project. The method also highlighted other project obstacles that potentially could have been solved to improve constructability.

  • 4.
    Jensen, Patrik
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Smiding, Erik
    Tyrens AB.
    Gerth, Robert
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Production Engineering, Production Systems.
    Applying products in product platforms in the AEC firm2014In: / [ed] Dr. R. Raymond Issa, 2014, 1-8 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A 5 step method for developing configurable “products in product” platforms to be used in an engineer-to-order (ETO) design process is proposed. The idea is based on the transformation of typical product architectures into modular design platforms where standard and variant modules are identified and developed. The platform modules can then be configured and combined with traditional design methods to meet the project specific requirements in the design process. Based on 1193 project designs, several configurable “products in product” were identified and developed in a real case study using the proposed method.

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