There is a remaining need from both academia and practitioners, to gain further knowledge about the decision making process for automation of low volume production. This paper includes insights of drivers for automation, the development of a guide for low volume production and the outcome of using the guide. The research in this study is based on both empirical data and theoretical considerations. The empirical data was collected in five case studies and a questionnaire. This paper is part of a research project with the main objective to develop knowledge about how flexible automation may contribute to improvements in efficiency, ergonomics, quality and production economics in different industries with low volume production. One of the results in the project was a comprehensive guide, developed, refined and improved in an iterative collaborative process, where tools and parts of the guide were tested and verified by five manufacturing case companies. The paper describes briefly the development process of the guide and content. The requirements of the guide derived from literature, case companies, questionnaire as well as industrial experts. The resulting guide can be used in several ways, depending on the requirements of the application. The guide includes guiding principles, a decision model for the analysis of the company, choice of automation and facts about automation. In the end of the project, four companies had invested or decided to invest in different types of automation.
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