Material flow and its influence on the assemply line

  • Ondřej Sýkora University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
  • Drahoš Vaněček University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
Keywords: Material flow, Lean manufacturing, Layout, Flexibility, Mobile workplaces


Material flow decides how to organize the production – and vice versa – organization decision of the production concerns first of all the technique of material flow. For this reason also all efforts of improvement, including lean production, must respect the material flow. The authors analyse three different views on material flow from the view of its area circuit and then they analyse in detail the situation on a manifold module assembly line at Bosch Company in the years 2004 and 2009 regarding principles of lean production. Previously, only one type (in two versions) has been produced on the monitored assembly line, whereas currently, 3 production types are being produced in several versions on this line. The main change on the assembly line was the layout change into “U-shaped” line. New workplaces were designed as mobile and easily interchangeable according to the currently produced type. The assembly line can cope with different number of workers. Based on production requirements it is possible to produce with the assistance of two up to six workers. The assembly line has the better parameters, in particular, with regard to in-process stores, floor space, produced types, changeover time and number of workers.