Type dienstverband:
Internship and graduation project
Uren per week:
Fulltime – 40

Internship | Simulating high-mix low-volume manufacturing systems

About this position

In modern manufacturing, where customization and flexibility have become very important, High-Mix Low-Volume (HMLV) systems have emerged as a strategic approach to meet diverse customer demands efficiently. Unlike traditional mass production systems that prioritize large quantities of identical products, HMLV systems specialize in producing a wide variety of goods (high-mix) in smaller quantities (low-volume). Think for example about custom hoodies at your student association, your own business cards, or custom photo albums printed on demand.

What will be your role?

As HMLV systems’ characteristics are different from traditional mass production systems’, dedicated methods are needed to reason about these systems. In this assignment, we want to work out a method to model and analyze the performance of HMLV systems using simulation tooling. The method should be lightweight, such that it can easily be adopted by HMLV companies that are typically SMEs.

The assignment involves the following activities:

  1. Explore how to model typical concepts of HMLV systems in simulation tooling. These typical elements include: factory layout; modeling the occupied and available space material and transportation of material, jobs, orders, rush jobs (jobs that have a high priority), resources; machines, human operators, AGVs, transportation belts, consumables (e.g., energy, ink or staples), process flow, and resource failures and maintenance.
  2. Define KPIs for HMLV systems. Focusing on performance analysis of HMLV with OEE-like properties, considering latency, throughput, availability, and quality. But also, on analyzing buffers (no buffer underflow/overflow), and how much buffer space is available between machines.
  3. Analyze and visualize measured KPIs. Show the performance of the HMLV system. For example, using a dashboard, a Gantt chart showing how jobs are scheduled, and where are the bottlenecks versus where there is slack in the system.
  4. Perform a what-if analysis or design-space exploration. Some examples of analysis aspects include changes in available resources, changes in priorities and due dates of orders, acceptance of a rush order, variations in the job mix, and reduction in setup times.

In the assignment, we would like to explore at least two use cases from different application domains. Possible use cases include a print shop, order fulfillment with a mix of business-to-business and business-to-customer orders, a sheet metal shop, customized medicine, PCB prototype manufacturing, and custom front panel manufacturing.

The assignment will (partially) be carried out at the facilities of TNO’s ESI department, which is located at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

What we expect from you

The following outcomes are expected at the end of the assignment:

  1. An overview of modeling concepts and KPIs to specify HMLV systems and characterize their performance.
  2. An assessment of simulation tooling. What support do the tools provide to model the concepts and the KPIs, and can custom-defined KPIs be analyzed with the tools. Next to that also findings on user-friendliness, the learning curve, and required skills play an important role.
  3. Models for the selected use cases, illustrating how the models can be used for performance analysis and what-if analysis.
  4. A method how to model and analyze a new HMLV system on a selected set of variation points or analysis questions.

The findings will be described in a graduation report and final presentation, complemented by the models of the use cases.

You are a Bachelor or Master student in Computer Science, Mathematics, Operations Management, Econometrics, or Logistics looking for an assignment of 3-9 months. You have affinity with modeling and simulation. Moreover, you would like your graduation assignment to show the benefits of scientific system development methods in a high-tech organization.

What you'll get in return

You want an internship opportunity on the precursor of your career; an internship gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Furthermore, we provide:

  • A highly professional, innovative internship environment, within a team of top experts.
  • A suitable internship allowance (615 euro for wo- and hbo-students, mbo-students, for a full-time internship).
  • Possibility of eight hours of free leave per internship month (for a full-time internship).
  • A free membership of Jong TNO, where you can meet other TNO professionals and join several activities, such as sports activities, (work-related) courses or the yearly ski-trip.
  • Use of a laptop.
  • An allowance for travel expenses in case you don’t receive an OV-card.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Important to be aware of before applying:

  • Before the start of the internship, the internship agreement from TNO needs to be signed. For students at a college or university based in the Netherlands, TNO uses the UNL-template (supplemented with a number of specific agreements from TNO). For students of foreign and MBO educational institutions, the TNO internship agreement applies. TNO does not sign any other internship agreements.
  • Before the start of the internship, the educational institution will need to confirm in writing that:
    • you are enrolled at the educational institution during the internship, and;
    • the internship takes place as part of the programme of the study.
  • The confirmation of educational institution takes place by signing the UNL template or forms prepared by TNO.
  • Interns at TNO must be in possession of a Dutch residential address at the start of the internship. Performance of internship activities from abroad is not possible.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.