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 In Focus

Information Management within Production

Published 2001-01-04

In 2005 Astrid von Euler-Chelpin, Department of Production Engineering, KTH, spent four months at the Department of Precision Machinery, University of Tokyo on a STINT Thunberg scholarship.

The research visit at University of Tokyo has been a great opportunity to acquire new influences and feedback to my PhD project.

Nowadays the field of Production Engineering is not only about production, but also about management of information about production. It is not enough to know how to manufacture a product - we also need to represent and manage this knowledge for future use. To take control of one’s information and knowledge within a company is essential in order to decrease costs and remain competitive.

Due to shorter lifecycles of products, the lifetime of manufacturing equipment is longer than the lifetime of the products they produce. This means that the manufacturing equipment must be reused for new products. For this reason, it is necessary to know the capability and behaviour of the equipment in order to know if they are capable of producing the next product or if machine investments are necessary. A machine specification tells us the expected capability, but the reality may look different depending on how the machine is used.

Technology now allows us to gather a lot of runtime information during the operation of manufacturing systems, but the challenge is how to manage this information and use it as feedback. Information management is an all-encompassing problem for any area - not just manufacturing. It is a constant struggle of how to represent knowledge specifically but at the same time make representations generic to make them reusable for future situations.

The focus of the research project can be summarized into the question: How can data from the runtime environment be used in order to learn about the real capability and behaviour of manufacturing resources and how can we apply this knowledge to future situations?

A research visit to Japan is particularly interesting because of the world-famous manufacturing philosophy “Toyota Production System”. On behalf of this research visit, I have acquired many new ideas and thoughts, and it has been valuable to meet new people and experience different environments. There was also an interesting visit to the Yamazaki Mazak Corporation and its factory in Nagoya, where they demonstrated their own tool for capturing machine characteristics during runtime.

The research visit has also strengthened the long tradition of research exchange and collaboration between the two departments.

Astrid von Euler-Chelpin
PhD student, KTH
Thunberg scholarship holder

Senast uppdaterad: 06-10-25 11:21

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