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Analysis of the propeller shaft program at Volvo Construction Equipment

Volvo Construction Equipment’s driveline development department initiated this project work. It was calculated for two students working for 20 week period of time, which equals 30 hp each. The reason for Volvo CE to start the cooperation was the large number of variance of companion flanges and propeller shafts generating additional work for several departments within Volvo.

The problem statement consisted of questions, which should result in information about the number of variants and combinations of propeller shafts and companion flanges used; the reason for the quantity of variants and what factors are affecting the choice of propeller shafts and companion flanges. They should also give answers to how article reduction can be implemented and what recommendations can be given to Volvo for the future.

Using a Gantt chart as a planning tool helped the working process to progress in a structured way. Different methods of data collection were done to secure the problem understanding. Tools such as a literature review, function diagrams, and interviews were used to complete the data collection.

Co-workers from the purchasing department and the part number reduction team were interviewed. Besides the in-house contact an opportunity was given to interview the suppliers during visits at their factories.

Computer software was used as a resource of confirming information and mapping currently used components. The mapping process resulted in interesting findings, which were further researched.

Together with the information from the interviews, reasons for the variety of used components were clarified. To deepen the problem understanding a more detailed variation mapping was made, showing what driveline components were generating most variants of companion flanges.

The findings made and the recommendations received from the suppliers were unitized in a best case scenario. The questions from the problem statement were analyzed and answered. The recommendations given regarding to Volvo Construction Equipment’s propeller shaft program included guidelines for modularization.

The success of modularization is based on among other factors, on particular documentation, continuous communication and close cooperation with the suppliers. This report can be defined as the first step towards a modularized propeller shaft program for Volvo CE’s haulers and wheel loaders.
Source: Mälardalen University
Author: Suonperä, Nadja | Henrich, Annika

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