Analysing the effect of flexibility on manufacturing systems performance

Adil Baykasoğlu (Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Gaziantep, Gaziantep, Turkey)
Lale Özbakır (Department of Industrial Engineering, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 8 February 2008



In today's very competitive, dynamic and unpredictable manufacturing environments it is critical to improve manufacturing performance in order to be able to compete. Responsiveness and agility become important characteristics of manufacturing systems and organizations. Manufacturing systems must be designed optimally by taking into account responsiveness and agility related measures in order to improve effectiveness and performance. One of the important enablers of performance improvement is flexibility. It is a known fact that flexibility has a positive effect on the manufacturing system performance if it is properly utilized by the control system (usually scheduling). However, the relationship between flexibility and manufacturing system performance through scheduling is not entirely explored in the previous literature. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of process plan and machine flexibilities on the scheduling performance of manufacturing job‐shops.


Effects of process plan and machine flexibilities on the scheduling performance of manufacturing job‐shops are analyzed at different flexibility levels by using the grammar‐based flexible job shop scheduling system that is developed by Baykasoğlu et al.. Three different flexibility levels are defined for process plans and machines. Four different problem sizes are evaluated according to “makespan” “machine load balance” and “mean waiting times of jobs”. Performance differences among “process plan” and “machine flexibility” levels are determined and statistically analyzed through Taguchi experimental design methodology.


It is found out after detailed analysis that the effect of machine flexibility on job shop performance is higher than the process plan flexibility. It is also figured out that after a certain level of machine flexibility, the speed of scheduling performance improvement decreases considerably.


The paper presents the interaction between flexibility and scheduling performance of manufacturing job‐shops. The findings should be taken into account while designing scheduling systems for job shops that have flexible processing capabilities.



Baykasoğlu, A. and Özbakır, L. (2008), "Analysing the effect of flexibility on manufacturing systems performance", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 172-193.

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