Creating Continuous Flow and Internal Transport Optimization at IKEA Distribution Center, Älmhult Master thesis work 30 Credits, D-level
Product and Process Development, Concurrent Engineering Master Thesis Programme Innovation and Product Design
Wenfeng Miao Linwang Li
Report code: Commissioned by: Tutor (company): Tutor (university): Examiner: DC Älmhult, IKEA Mattias Johannesson Lars Lord Sabah Audo
The objective of this project is to improve productivity and efficiency for the inbound material handling operations in the warehouse of DC Älmhult. After three weeks pre-study in place of the distribution center, the authors have observed several problems existing in the current production, among which three types of wastes are found and analyzed by using VSM that are pick and drop, operator waiting time and inefficient transport. Two typical cases chosen from the inbound production are analyzed to reflect the current process and address problems. Fish-bone tool is used to identify wastes and roots. To eliminate or reduce the wastes, recommendations and solutions are developed by creating continuous flow combining with internal transport optimization. Future-state VSMs are drawn based on the suggested changes in line with continuous flow. Different productions models are simulated by elaborately developed excel sheets. A „distance table‟ is developed by using Microsoft Excel to help the loading or unloading leaders with the gate steering function so as to minimize internal transport distance. A new layout of the conveyor system is also suggested to lower the idle transport rate. (Keywords: IKEA DC Älmhult, Warehouse, VSM, Waste, Continuous Flow, Internal Transport)
It would not have been possible to write this master thesis without the help and support of the kind people around us, to only some of whom it is possible to give particular mention here. Above all, we would like to extend our immense thanks to our thesis supervisor Mr. Lars Lord for his great help, support and patience on us. During the whole thesis project period, Mr. Lord, with his enriched working experience and wealth of knowledge, provided us with invaluable advice and guidance on both an academic and personal level. His wise suggestions and advices assured us on the right track doing this project and his encouragement and inspiration to us motivated us to perform the work with much more confidence. We would also like to express our tremendous gratitude to Mr. Mattias Johannesson, our project tutor, for giving us the honorable and golden opportunity of doing our thesis work at DC Älmhult, IKEA as well as his time and efforts on this project. During our visits there, Mr. Johannesson arranged our interviews with people from different functions and departments, which helped us quite a lot in understanding the general information flow, material flow as well as strategies that adopted by DC Älmhult. We are very grateful that the people we interviewed showed great patience and interests on this project. The valuable information and suggestions from Mr. Johannesson and his colleagues made an indispensable contribution towards the completion of this thesis project. Thus, our heartfelt thanks also belong to all the staff we met in DC Älmhult. We certainly would like to show our gratefulness to our respectable and beloved teacher Mr. Sabah Audo, who is also the thesis examiner. We are thankful to get valuable information and guidance from him on writing the thesis, we also felt so lucky to take the many interesting and practical lectures delivered by him. Our special thanks to dear Professor Mats Jackson for helping us on the project and thesis writing. Last, but by no means least, we would like to thank our families for their endless and selfless support and encouragement on us.
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