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Multi-dimensional flexibility-complexity trade-off modeling in manufacturing systems: Structural equation modeling approach

Nasser Javid (Department of Industrial Engineering, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran)
Kaveh Khalili-Damghani (Department of Industrial Engineering, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran)
Ahmad Makui (Department of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran)
Farshid Abdi (Department of Industrial Engineering, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 9 November 2018

Issue publication date: 23 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a multi-dimensional model on the basis of the key factors of the flexibility and the complexity through structural equation modeling (SEM). Dimensions of the flexibilities and complexity, including 16 main factors and 34 sub-factors, are investigated. The sampling of the research is accomplished using both academic and industrial experts.

Design/methodology/approach

A huge electronic questionnaire analysis, including 1,250 samples from which 1,036 were returned, was accomplished in various universities and manufacturing companies throughout the USA, Europe and Asia. Partial least square-SEM (PLS-SEM) is used to test the hypotheses through confirmatory factor analysis.

Findings

The results reveal insightful information about the impacts of different dimensions of flexibility on each other and also the effect of the flexibility on the complexity. Finally, system of linear mathematical equations for flexibility-complexity trade-off is proposed. This can be applied to realize the trade-off among dimensions of flexibility and complexity.

Originality/value

Flexible manufacturing systems are formed to meet the needs of the customers. Such systems try to produce products in appropriate quality at the right time and at the specified quantity. These, in turn, require flexibility and will cause complexity. Although flexibility and complexity are both important, there is no comprehensive framework in which the multi-dimensional relationships of the manufacturing flexibility and complexity, as well as their dimensions, are demonstrated.

Keywords

Citation

Javid, N., Khalili-Damghani, K., Makui, A. and Abdi, F. (2019), "Multi-dimensional flexibility-complexity trade-off modeling in manufacturing systems: Structural equation modeling approach", Kybernetes, Vol. 48 No. 8, pp. 1757-1781. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-05-2018-0259

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited