With the increasing use of automatic and NC machine tools the adoption of flexible, multi‐skilled operators has also increased. However, the variety of machining capacity and manpower skills frequently identifiable in industrial studies presents a problem which has no general analytical solution. This work carried out in collaboration with a leading manufacturing company examines the capabilities of various combinations of setters, operators and setter/operators in the context of given machine capacity and product mix constraints. A description of the problem situation is followed by an account of the model's development, subsequent application and validation against actual performance. In addition to providing a useful analysis of the general characteristics of the groups considered, specific information relating to the likely effects of changes in manpower parameters was provided to assist management in the review of its manufacturing system design. Generally, this work demonstrates that although there are a number of attendant difficulties, a practical approach to computer modelling is becoming increasingly relevant as shop‐floor sophistication increases.
Sassani, F. and Rathmill, K. (1980), "An Evaluation of the Effects of Skill Variety and Labour Mobility in the Operation of Industrial Man/Machine Groups Using a Simulation Model", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 27-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb054658Download as .RIS
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