In general, there is major potential for production improvements at Swedish industrial companies. Making production flows more efficient is an important and difficult challenge, and it is complicated by high complexity and demands for continuous changes. Production simulation and value flow analysis are two good methods that together increase understanding of problems and opportunities.
Value flow analysis (VFA)
Swerea has used value flow analysis (VFA) for many years to evaluate and improve flows in collaboration with the company's staff. The method is easy and quick and creates engagement, provides overview and shows problems in the flow from supplier to customer. Specific problems can be selected for closer examination, such as in production processes, design, quality or materials.
Production simulation is necessary in larger production flows
When evaluating larger and more complex production flows, VFA is not sufficient. Methods and tools for production simulation are then suitable for gaining an understanding of how disturbances, variations and changes affect bottlenecks, lead time and capacity, for example. Providing a good simulation analysis requires solid knowledge of tools and ways of working, as well as good input data. Swerea has worked with production flow simulation for many years, primarily with regard to information management, ways of working and relationship with other methods.
Swerea believe VFA to be an essential first step when simulating flows. Moreover, we see data collection as an important separate step to gain understanding of production. We would also like to stress that simulation not only supports analysis and decisions. Simulation is also valuable as a learning tool in showing dynamic effects, for example.