Space-saving assembly of XXL products thanks to dynamic layouts

Figure 1: Large-scale products like aircraft have high area requirements already during the assembly phase. (Photo: alhim - Fotalia.com)

IPH | Whether aircraft, ships or construction machines: The assembly of so-called XXL products requires a lot of space. Researchers at IPH are currently developing a method which enables companies to find an ideal layout. By this means, they can save space and increase their productivity.

The assembly of large-scale products is usually organized based on the job-site principle. In order to have sufficient space for every assembly step, companies reserve a defined area in the factory that corresponds to the maximum expansion of the product (see Figure 2). However, the real area requirement varies with the progress of assembly: On the one hand, the product itself increases gradually, on the other hand, storage and machine areas are constantly needed.

Intelligent, dynamic layouts would save a lot of space: Companies would only have to reserve as much space for every product as needed at the very moment. In practice, planning is very difficult, since there is a large variety of optional layouts.

Presently, researchers at the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) are developing a method which enables automated layout of assembly objects at a minimum of space. A programme depicts the facility layout in a grid pattern (see Figure 3). A mathematical optimization model calculates where and when to place which product in the facility. 

by Michael Zenker

Image gallery for this article

  • Figure 1: Large-scale products like aircraft have high area requirements already during the assembly phase. (Photo: alhim - Fotalia.com)
  • Figure 2: The area requirement of XXL products increases with the progress of assembly. (Graphic: Michael Zenker, IPH)
  • Figure 3: Factory layout and products are depicted by a programme in grid patterns (Graphic: Michael Zenker, IPH)
This website uses cookies to provide you with the best possible functionality. You agree to the use of cookies by using our website without changing your preferences. (Data Protection)