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Reference Activity Model-based Factory Design and Operations Evaluation Framework

Reference Activity Model-based Factory Design and Operations Evaluation Framework
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Factory design and operations are a complex project involving multiple stakeholders, software systems, control levels, overlapping activities and pieces of information. Without a clear process, executing such projects can take longer time than it should be and are prone to errors. Also, a running factory tends to consists of islands of optimizations due to individual improvement activities with limited scope yet impacting other areas. To address the complexity of factory design and operations, a holistic approach for describing the activities in factory design and operations and their relationships is needed. First, we developed a reference activity model that shows dependencies between activities and control levels along with the pieces of information and software functions each activity relies on. This availability of reference activity model increases the alignment of factory design and operations with manufacturer’s strategy. Second, we developed a measurement model for characterizing activities in factory design and operations. Using the set of measurement instruments along with the questionnaire, current activities in factory design and operations can be formally captured. These two models, the reference activity model and the measurement model constitute the knowledgebase proposed in this research. Third, we developed an evaluation method that uses this knowledgebase to enable manufacturers to develop a customized improvement plan. The work is demonstrated with an industrial case study. In addition, the validity of the work is investigated with a series of hypothesis on relationship between the evaluation result and the performance of factory. The resulting was promising that the hypothesis testing results were supported.
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