Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/7004
Marel is at the forefront of global development and production of sophisticated equipment for processing of fish, meat and chicken. One piece of the equipment manufactured at Marel is a PCB, or a printed circuit board that is used in electronics to build electronic devices such as ship scales. In 2009 an investigation was conducted on the PCB assembly process at Marel with the aim of exploring the possibility of outsourcing the production. That investigation concluded that the cost of the assembly process at Marel was too high and the main reason was the inventory cost for the assembly process. It was decided to conduct a research on the component stock with the aim of trying to identify the reasons for this high cost. This constituted the background of this report. The purpose of this masters thesis is to identify the reasons for the high inventory cost of the component stock for the PCB assembly at Marel and make recommendations that could reduce the cost in the future.
Concepts of lean methodology and inventory control methods have been used and the empirical data for this thesis come from interviews, field research and data collection from a resource planning software during visits to Marel over a five-month period.
The PCB assembly process at Marel has evolved and changed since the production started. Workstations used to be scattered and components used to travel unnecessarily long distances back and forth the assembly hall when they were being assembled. Three years ago a U-cell layout was created where workstations are lined up in order of production steps according to the part they produce in an attempt to achieve flow of products and reduce throughput time. The component stock has never been reorganized according to the layout modifications. The component location, component arrangement and the component order process has remained unchanged while drastic changes have taken place on the assembly layout.
This research concluded that by using lean concepts when analyzing the current inventory amount, the cost of the component stock can be reduced significantly. The research also concluded that by using lean concepts the arrangement and location of the component stock can be modified in a way that results in a standardized and simplified manner of working with the components and controlling the inventory. Finally, the research concluded that by using lean concepts combined with inventory control methods, the average on-hand inventory level can be reduced considerably.