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This study describes and analyzes the ways in which mobile production systems are integrated with the industrial value system in general, and what markets it creates.
The demands for efficiency in industrial manufacturing processes extend beyond traditional factory walls. The production of raw materials and energy must increase at the same time as their extraction becomes increasingly difficult. Resources must be sought at remote places, at large land of sea depths and with new methods. The goal is to use the raw materials more efficiently and accurately and to increase resource utilization through higher recycling rates. Efficiency increases if different standalone systems in the supply chain are linked together to work together. Nevertheless, the critical production sections that handle raw materials and recycling have been difficult to fully integrate until recently.
The most important unit in a mobile production system is the field machine, which on land can be wheel or belt-based machines or alternatively built as mobile rigs. At sea, the equivalent is vessels, barges or semi-mobile platforms of various kinds. The field machine is the unit that preforms direct work to harvest, drill, catch, tear, prepare and recycle etc. Since the machines have been completely dependent on the operator’s ability and perhaps arm strength, automation development over the past thirty years have brought functionality that facilitates and and gives the driver better control and support for the tasks. Gradually, the view of the machines as work tools are changed to important parts of an integrated production system.
The next step in the development has already begun – now the machines are connected to the environment and to the outside world. They become hubs in distributed mobile production systems. This means new perspectives and opportunities to improve productivity and quality. The decision-making basis becomes better when the information comes from different sources that also share data from each other. Operationally, cycle times can be reduces, error decisions are minimized and the quality improved.
This development will increase productivity in the forest, mining, agricultural and construction industries. It also creates a growth market for systems, applications and services for work machines and to connect them. From both perspectives, this development can be important growth areas for Swedish industry.