Production sequence optimization (simulation) 

Case description 

Injection pens for insulin are an important product in Novo’s portfolio. Today, they are assembled in high volumes on specialized automated production lines, but Novo investigates the utilization of more generic production stations with common robot arms to allow for covering the automated assembly of more product variants on the same production equipment. Planning such automated production sequences has many aspects, e.g. layout of robots, distribution of assembly steps across several robots, etc.  

Example of a layout 1 

Example of a layout 2


Develop a simulation that can support the planning and optimization of automated production sequences with robot arms.  

To get the team started, consider the following: 

  • Which are the relevant design parameters (e.g. number of robots)?
  • Which are the relevant performance indicators (e.g. cycle time, costs)?  

Keywords: Discrete event simulation, kinematic simulation, cycle time 

Tools, methods and materials 

The challenge can be addressed with many different tools, ranging from spreadsheet calculations to kinematic robot simulators. Regarding the methods, discrete event simulation is the typical type of simulation one would apply in industry for this type of problem. The selection of tools and methods is left to the team. (Christian) 

From Novo, the team will receive 3D CAD data of an injection pen mock-up, assembly instructions and physical product samples as input materials for the challenge. In addition, Novo will be available to discuss details of the challenge along the way. 


Milad Jami


Milad Jami


Head of PS Robotics Innovation Lab
Robotics & Operational Technology