Improving efficiency of material flows in an automotive assembly plant: A case study

Evanthia Thanou*, Aristides Matopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the in-plant logistics processes in automotive manufacturing and specifically, the material flows between the storage facility, the production lines, and the internal returns area. The aim is to improve the efficiency of the plant by looking at the current material flows of the case study company. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected through interviews and personal observations and was analysed. Using discrete event-based simulation, the current material flows were investigated. Our analysis showed that in plant's internal returns area efficiency gains are possible by reducing traffic congestion. A solution with minor changes in the layout was proposed and tested which showed an increase in the capacity of the system and a reduction in delays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-967
Number of pages9
JournalCirp Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2021


  • Assembly plant
  • Automotive
  • Internal returns area
  • Material flows
  • Simulation


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