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  • 1.
    Andersson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Easier to trust managers than management?: The case of improvement work in healthcare2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previously, improvement work in healthcare has mainly been medically related and driven by medical research, but NPM implies that management-initiated improvement work targeting organizing, productivity, efficiency, work flow etc. has become more and more common. Management-initiated improvement work has a high failure rate, and in general it seems difficult to motivate co-workers to actively participate. In all processes of organizational change, trust in the initiator of a change project is an important prerequisite to enable change take place. In this article, our purpose is to investigate how trust in management influences management-initiated improvement work. In a qualitative study we investigate improvement work at three Swedish hospitals. Our theoretical framework is based on a view of management as being both the people who manage and the system of management. This distinction is important since we can trust people and we can have confidence in a system, but these processes are different. Consequently, it is possible to trust individual managers, but as long as we do not trust management as a system, management-initiated improvement work will face considerable problems.  To analyze trust we use a model that identifies three important antecedents for one person (the trustor) to consider another person (the trustee) as trustworthy: ability, benevolence and integrity. Using social system theory, we extend this model to on the one hand describe trust in specific persons (specific managers), and on the other hand describe confidence in a system (management in general, which the system-specific managers are parts of). The results indicate that there in general is a lack of trust between healthcare personnel and healthcare management.

     

    We were able to find certain managers who were found trustworthy by the personnel, but despite these trust-relations the personnel did still not have confidence in management as a system. To the contrary, these managers were perceived as exceptions, and did not change the perception of management in general. The consequences for management-initiated improvement work were that most personnel at best were ignorant to it, and at worst resisted it openly. However, there were examples when trusted enthusiastic managers succeeded in initiating improvement work, but then the continuation and success was directly connected to this person, and if s/he left, the improvement work stopped. Furthermore, some work groups seemed to very clearly separate “real” improvement work, which they initiated themselves, from “phony” improvement work initiated by management, which only stole time from more important tasks.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Industriellt baserade modeller för kvalitetsutveckling2013In: Att utveckla vården: Erfarenheter av kvalitet, verksamhetsutveckling och förbättringsarbete / [ed] Nomie Eriksson, Kajsa-Mia Holgers, Tomas Müllern, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2013, 1, p. 73-84Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Andersson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Organisering av förbättringsarbete inom vården med inspiration från industrin2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    I denna artikel fokuserar vi på användandet av industriellt baserade produktionssynsätt (IBP) inom vården i avsikt att arbeta systematiskt med förbättringsarbete. Tidigare forskning har visat att det är svårt att få nya arbetsmetoder att få genomslag i den dagliga praktiken. I denna artikel fokuserar vi på om det går att se indirekta effekter såsom hur förbättringsarbetet organiseras beroende på vilka IBP olika sjukhus väljer att arbeta med. Undersökning är genomförd genom fallstudier på tre sjukhus som har valt att arbeta med tre olika metoder: six sigma, processorientering och mikrosystem.

    Studien visar att de olika logikerna bakom de olika metoderna ger fundamentalt olika sätt att organisera förbättringsarbetet vid de tre sjukhusen. Six sigma-sjukhuset valde ett centraliserat förbättringsarbete i hög grad drivet av experter på förbättringsmetoder, processsjukhuset

    hade en expertavdelning som var mer av bollplank och utbildare för verksamhetens förbättringsarbete och mikrosystem-sjukhuset valde ett decentraliserat förbättringsarbete där förbättringsarbetet var både lokalt initierat och drivet.

  • 4.
    Andersson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    System trust in healthcare: A prerequisite for improvement work?2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Andersson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Trust in management-initiated improvement work2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Andersson, Thomas
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    From Northern Europe to Russia and Asia, and Vice Versa: Traffic Flow Analysis – Current Situation and Development trends2006In: ICIL 2006: International Conference on Industrial Logistics Kaunas Lithuania 26 – 29 June 2006, 2006, p. 96-107Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future.
    Müllern, Tomas
    Jönköping International Business School.
    Andersson, Thomas
    University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future.
    Gadolin, Christian
    University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future.
    Tengblad, Stefan
    University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future.
    Involvement Drivers: A Study of Nurses and Physicians in Improvement Work2016In: Quality Management in Health Care, ISSN 1063-8628, E-ISSN 1550-5154, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 85-91Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports on the involvement of nurses and physicians in improvement work, with a special focus on the drivers. The purpose was to describe how the nurse and physician groups understand involvement drivers for improvement work and to explain the differences in how they understand involvement. The study was conducted at 2 Swedish hospitals, and a total of 20 nurses and 10 physicians were interviewed. The theoretical framework, developed by an interpretative approach, identifies and describes a number of involvement drivers. On clustering the drivers into larger involvement factors, the study shows clear differences and profiles in terms of the 2 groups' perception and understanding of the involvement—drivers. Each group's profile was then analyzed on the basis of concept of professional culture.

  • 8.
    Eriksson, Nomie
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Business. University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, Enterprises for the Future. University of Skövde, School of Business.
    Fiery Spirits in the context of institutional entrepreneurship in Swedish healthcare2015In: Journal of Health Organisation & Management, ISSN 1477-7266, E-ISSN 1758-7247, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 515-531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Clinical governance and leadership concepts can lead to more or less successfulimplementations of new clinical practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine how Fiery Spirits, asinstitutional entrepreneurs can, working in a team, implement sustained change in hospital clinicalpractice.Design/methodology/approach – This paper describes two case studies, conducted at two Swedishhospitals over a period of two years, in which changes in clinical practice were implemented. In bothcases, key-actors, termed Fiery Spirits, played critical roles in these changes. The authors use aqualitative approach and take an intra-organizational perspective with semi-structured in-depthinterviews and document analysis.Findings – The new clinical practices were successfully implemented with a considerable influenceof the Fiery Spirits who played a pivotal role in the change efforts. The Fiery Spirits persuasively,based on their structural and normative legitimacy and the adoption of learning processes, advocated,and supported change.Practical implications – Fiery Spirits, given flexibility and opportunity, can be powerful forcesfor change outside the trajectory of management-inspired and management-directed change.Team members, when inspired and encouraged by Fiery Spirits, are less resistant to change and morewilling to test new clinical practices.Originality/value – The paper complements literature on how the Fiery Spirit concept aligns withconcepts of clinical governance and leadership and how change can be achieved. Additionally, thefindings show the effects of legitimacy and learning processes on change in clinical practice.

  • 9.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Teaching ERP in logistics curriculum: a case experience from Sweden2010In: International Journal of Business Information Systems, ISSN 1746-0972, E-ISSN 1746-0980, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 295-314Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of ERP systems in business is commonplace and often a requirement for rapid and efficient operations. The presence of ERP in higher education can be seen as a prerequisite for students to achieve necessary skills and knowledge, but how can the education be achieved in a better way? In this research, the use of ERP systems as a part of two courses of the logistics curriculum in higher education at a Swedish University are presented and analysed. The traditional approach of teaching logistics, where computer sessions are incorporated in ordinary courses, is being compared to a new intensive and flexible course format dedicated entirely to ERP education with a stronger focus on problem-oriented learning. The results show that both approaches offer opportunities, the traditional approach allows students to receive both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, while the intensive approach provides them with significant practical knowledge and skills. This research results leaves us arguing that the best combination is to utilise both approaches to establish the needed basis for curriculum.

  • 10.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Information Fusion in Maintenance Planning2007In: Proceedings of the Swedish Production Symposium,, 2007, p. 7 s.-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract: Industrial production service organisations, companies maintaining production machines and whole processes as well as factories, are in great demand of productivity and profitavility improvement. Usually performance in these organisations arises from high utilization of personnel, superior engineering knowledge and purchasing expertise/power. However, small and medium sized

    maintenance service providers mostly differate themselves with two first mentioned items. In this paper we will propose information fusion cockpit to be used in the SME maintenance organisation to enhance problem solving, demand visibility and resource need estimates – hopefully this will enhance the performance of a case organisation. As a key input variable to manage large amount of different customers we identify incoming calls to trigger information collection from vast number of different databases – the integration of this incoming “demand” is the first step to be taken in the use of more advanced systems. We also speculate in this paper, how agent based artificial intelligence could be used in order to take full benefit from more advanced system.

  • 11.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Johansson, Ronnie
    University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Humanities and Informatics.
    Agent-Based Simulation Fusion for Improved Decision Making for Service Operations2009In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Information Fusion, IEEE , 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We use agent-based modeling and simulation to fuse data from multiple sources to estimate the state of some system properties. This implies that the real system of interest is modeled and simulated using agent principles. Using Monte-Carlo simulation, we estimate the values of some decision-relevant numerical properties, such as utilization of resources and service levels, as a decision support for a Maintenance Service Provider. Our initial results indicate that this kind of fusion of information sources can improve the understanding of the problem domain (e.g. to what degree some critical properties influence service operations) and also generate a basis for decision-making.

  • 12.
    Hilletofth, Per
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Lättilä, Lauri
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Agent-based decision support for maintenance service provider2010In: International Journal of Services Sciences, ISSN 1753-1446, Vol. 3, no 2/3, p. 194-215Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Operations performed by a maintenance service provider (MSP) can include the entire maintenance function or select activities; these need to be well-balanced in terms of utilisation rate of own resources, maintenance cost incurred and the uptime of the customers’ production systems. MSPs face challenges due to the task of planning several non-associated plants and with a frequent lack of reliable information. In this research work, an agent-based decision support system of service-related maintenance has been developed. Research shows that this approach can improve the understanding of the problem domain and also generate a basis for decision-making and structural changes.

  • 13.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    et al.
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Ujvari, SandorUniversity of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    International Journal of Services Sciences: Special Issue: Innovative Information Technology in the Service Sector2010Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    et al.
    University of Skövde. Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Szekely, Bulcsu
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Deregulation of Railroads and future development scenarios in Europe2007In: World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research (WRITR), ISSN 1749-4729, E-ISSN 1749-4737, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 146-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A decade ago, the European Union decided that railways should be privatised and deregulated (effective from 2007 onwards). Due to the recent enlargements of the EU and the risk of failures in the decision-making process, it is important to examine early adopters of deregulation policies. We analyse literature and use second-hand quantitative material to thoroughly review this process concerning three different countries (USA, UK and Sweden). In all three cases, the deregulation process has brought positive performance improvements in the long-term perspective, but in the short to medium term, there are a number of problems and warning examples, especially arising from UK case.

  • 15.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    et al.
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Prikaatintie 9, FIN-45100 Kouvola, Finland.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Torkkeli, Marko
    Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Prikaatintie 9, FIN-45100 Kouvola, Finland.
    Lorentz, Harri
    Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, FIN-20500 Turku, Finland.
    Andersson, Thomas
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    From Northern Europe to Russia and Asia, and vice versa: traffic flow analysis – current situation and development trends2010In: International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, ISSN 1742-7967, E-ISSN 1742-7975, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 205-217Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Jäger, Kerstin
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilletofth, Per
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    From standard 3PL provider to service developer: a case study from the Swedish furniture industry2009In: World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research (WRITR), ISSN 1749-4729, E-ISSN 1749-4737, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 376-390Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The strong competition between companies has resulted in an increased outsourcing of activities that are not considered core activities. This has created an emerging business opportunity in logistics, attracting several new actors and companies to enter the market and fill the demand for new services. These actors represent several types of providers who are often called Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the environment of a 3PL provider that also develops services. The focus is particularly on how the provider has evolved and identifying the key issues on how to be successful in the 3PL industry. The primary research strategy is a descriptive embedded single case study. The findings reveal that the case company has evolved from being a standard 3PL provider to a service developer, since it, in addition to traditional services, nowadays also provides more value-added services. These services involve a set of more standardised activities that can be combined according to each customer's wishes and requirements. The findings also reveal that the main requirements to be a successful service developer are a clear customer understanding and focus, value-added and customised services and reliable deliveries (both in terms of time and a low percentage of damaged goods), as well as the utilisation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

  • 17.
    Jäger, Kerstin
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    The future of third party logistics: Key issues for a logistics Integrator and their customers2006In: PLANs forsknings- och tillämpningskonferens, 2006, Högskolan Väst , 2006, p. 205 ff-Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 18.
    Jäger, Kerstin
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    The Future of Third-Party Logistics: Key Issues for a Logistics Integrator2006In: Contemporary Research Issues in International Railway Logistics, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2006, p. 67-87Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Logistics has increasingly been recognized as a vital part of an organization’s competitive resources. With an increased outsourcing of the logistics function, due to increasing competition and high customer expectations on service-level, there is a need for more professional and well-equipped logistics services. This need is emphasized by the tendency that competition increasingly takes place between supply-chains more than between companies. There is a development of actors, known as third-party logistics providers or logistics integrators, who can take the role as integrator for several companies in a supply chain. This article focuses on the driving forces of these actors and how they can stay competitive by providing customers specific logistics solutions. A case study is presented of a Logistics Integrator and three of its customers with a varying degree of integrated collaboration in the logistic chain, and some key issues are presented from the provider’s and the customer’s perspective.

  • 19.
    Jäger, Kerstin
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola Research Unit, Kouvola, Finland.
    Operating as a third-party logistics integrator without any distribution operations ownership2007In: International Journal of Services and Standards, ISSN 1740-8849, E-ISSN 1740-8857, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 154-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers have usually developed themselves through transportation ownership (mainly road or sea), and/or warehousing/freight forwarding capability. However, among these actual operations, there exists a number of other routes, e.g. by offering administrative/indirect work of sales, purchasing, business control and inventory management. With increased service level expectations among OEMs, there is a clear need for these kinds of well-defined and performed non-tangible logistical services. In this paper three case studies are presented, which show that a 3PL integrator could arise from this new service context, and could operate all logistical issues, even without any distribution operations ownership.

  • 20.
    Karvosenoja, K
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    De Vin, Leo
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    A wireless platform for short range communication within multi-agent manufacturing environments2003In: Proceedings of the 20th International Manufacturing Conference, 2003, p. 634-641Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Saranen, Juha
    et al.
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Modelling Stochastic Elements in Transportation System Simulation: Evidence from Four Projects2008In: Fourth International Railway Logistics Seminar: Co-operation among Transportation Modes in Northern Europe, Lappeenranta University of Technology , 2008, p. 53-78Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     

    Discrete event system simulation is often seen as a genuine tool to investigate the performance of transportation systems. The complexity of real-world systems often prevents us from accurately describing these by a mathematical model that can be evaluated analytically, thus, simulation is often the only realistic alternative. Another advantage of the simulation is the ability to include statistical analysis for different simulation scenarios.

    In this paper we discuss the main problems concerning the modelling of transportation systems. Well-known approaches of incorporating uncertainty into models include trace driven simulations and sampling directly from gathered data (this latter could also be presented by a fitting statistical distribution). Another aspect to be taken into account is the economics of simulation modelling; a more detailed model requires additional building time, and proper treatment of stochastic models requires statistical analysis, which again usually implies several simulation runs. From this outset the following question arises: Should stochastic behaviour be included in transportation simulation models in the first place at all?

    We present real case examples including evaluation of a railway transportation concept, capacity analysis of an automatic guided vehicle system, CBA of a railway network investment and evaluation of different multipurpose railway wagons, where stochastic behaviour is dealt with in different ways. Based on the cases we make an initial attempt to formulate framework for deciding how to include stochastic behaviour in the simulation model. We stress that the metrics used to evaluate system performance should be included in the framework. For further research topics we suggest formulating explicit guidelines to deal with stochastics to increase the efficiency of model building.

     

  • 22.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Deregulation of Railroads and Future Development Scenarios in Europe: A Literature Analysis of the Privatization Process taken place in US, UK and Sweden2006In: NOFAM 2006: 18th annual NOFAM conference Logistics in the new valley, Norwegian School of Management, 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 23.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society. University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre.
    Proceedings of the Plan Research Conference2010Conference proceedings (editor) (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Advanced manufacturing simulation: Minor system details can be major issues in the real world2006In: Industrial management + data systems, ISSN 0263-5577, E-ISSN 1758-5783, Vol. 106, no 8, p. 1166-1186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – This paper aims to highlight the complex nature of automated guided vehicle (AGV) simulation model building, and especially how system modelling details affect the end results. This is an important issue in all of the transportation simulation systems, since they are service-based by their nature, and additional inefficiencies create unanticipated performance downgrading.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a simulation approach, and simulated systems are based on a real-life case study and on well accepted hypothetical simulation example.

    Findings – Simulation system boundaries are often neglected in the model building, and especially interface to inbound (and possibly outbound) material flow should be considered carefully; based on these research results, AGV investments are seen in an entirely different light, as system boundary is enlarged to contain more realistically interacting elements. Similar system boundary issues were found from the case study: interface with overhead gantry did not provide near optimal performance. The case study also revealed that high speed of AGVs is not necessarily worth additional investment; constraints exist in safety, acceleration and ability to turn in corners.

    Research limitations/implications – The findings are based on the simulation work and, to see the real implications, real-life implementations on policy level are needed.

    Practical implications – Results of this research provide more insights for manufacturing unit investments, and especially in the scope of automated transportation system use. Also changes in manufacturing flow management issues, after investing in, for example, AGV systems, are different from in less-automated manufacturing units.

    Originality/value – This research work provides more insights to simulation research work, especially from the perspective of transportation systems. Also implications arising from case study are unique as being compared to previous research in the field.

  • 25.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    et al.
    University of Skövde, The Virtual Systems Research Centre. University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-Pekka
    Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Semi-autonomous vehicles with routing flexibility: functionality and application areas2009In: International Journal of Services and Operations Management, ISSN 1744-2370, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 444-462Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) systems are standard automated items in production and warehousing today. However, studies have rarely examined a more advanced form of AGVs called Semi-Autonomous Vehicles (SAVs), which have a higher sophistication of task completion and routing flexibility. This research presents SAVs in an industrial development case study. Using simulation, the route-keeping ability of SAVs with two types of guidance techniques is being studied. The results show that dual-navigation SAVs can provide the needed flexibility for routing. Using wire guidance and dead reckoning, both very well-established techniques, the SAVs' performance is, within certain limits, quite comparable to the AGVs with more advanced and expensive navigation techniques.

  • 26.
    Ujvari, Sandor
    et al.
    University of Skövde, School of Technology and Society.
    Hilmola, Olli-pekka
    Kouvola Research Unit, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Kouvola, Finland.
    Simulation of Automatic Guided Vehicle systems in manufacturing environment: Case: Volvo's Crankshaft Unit in Skovde2008In: International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management (IJMTM), ISSN 1368-2148, E-ISSN 1741-5195, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 45-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Competing in global markets creates pressure for manufacturers to rigidly use automation, and advanced manufacturing techniques to improve manufacturing plant productivity. Among productivity, manufacturers are also interested about other performance dimensions, namely time, flexibility and quality. With the wise use of automation, we could directly improve all of the other indicators, and indirectly quality. In this paper it is shown, how implementation and use of Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs) could benefit from the use of manufacturing simulation. AGVs have been available for practical use since the 1970s, but still in the investment and use processes it is rarely seen justified to a high detail, what eventually determines the number of vehicles used in the system. Our paper is able to show with two simulation cases (a hypothetical example and a real case study) that the number of AGVs is very sensitive with respect to production system output. Furthermore, some assumptions that are often made can overly simplify the problem (e.g. no recharging of batteries and constant speed). Therefore, in this paper, we propose that more research should be addressed to the AGV system simulation, and in practice tools for decisions makers should be developed further. Our research also shows that empty travelling and low utilisation is a norm in current AGV systems in order to assure production system functionality, and there is a need and potential for performance improvement here, as well.

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