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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Raj Aggarwal, J. Edward and Louise E. Mellen

Justifying new manufacturing technology is usually very difficult since the most important benefits are often strategic and difficult to quantify. Traditional capital…

Abstract

Justifying new manufacturing technology is usually very difficult since the most important benefits are often strategic and difficult to quantify. Traditional capital budgeting procedures that rely on return measures based on direct cost savings and incremental future cash flows do not normally capture the strategic benefits of higher quality, faster responses to wider ranges of customer needs, and the options for future growth made available by flexible manufacturing technology. Adding to these limitations is the difficulty of using traditional cost accounting systems to generate the information necessary for justifying new manufacturing investments. This paper reviews these problems and recommends procedures useful for assessing investments in flexible manufacturing technology.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 17 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1995

John K L Ho and Paul G Ranky

Examines research work aimed at exploring and developing a new,object‐oriented system design and operation concept, and new systemsoftware and hardware design concepts…

Abstract

Examines research work aimed at exploring and developing a new, object‐oriented system design and operation concept, and new system software and hardware design concepts which could be used to design and build an open, flexible and reconfigurable material handling system in a Computer Integrated Manufacturing [CIM] environment that could cope with changes imposed by the market on today’s manufacturing industries. Looks at the design of a reconfigurable and flexible conveyor system and outlines the benefits of using a 3‐D CIM reference model when developing CIM hardware and software control. Concludes that the proposed new conveyor system helps resolves the need for an assembly system which can achieve rapid and flexible responses to meet the challenge set by changing customer requirements.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Djordje Popovic and Carin Rösiö

The purpose of the study was to investigate the alignment between current product and manufacturing systems and how it could be achieved.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to investigate the alignment between current product and manufacturing systems and how it could be achieved.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Case study research method was chosen for the collection and analysis of empirical data. The data was of qualitative nature and was collected using research techniques such as observations through video recordings of processes, documents and open and semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The variation of outer side sub-element of the exterior wall element was found to not be aligned with its corresponding assembly. A hybrid assembly of outer side sub-elements characterised by flexibility and reconfigurability can be developed.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study is limited to the exterior wall element and corresponding manufacturing system.

Practical Implications

The presented approach was formulated with the aim to be used both for the analysis of existing products and manufacturing systems as well as for the design of new manufacturing systems.

Originality/Value

So far, this is the first study in the context of timber house building where the alignment between product and manufacturing systems was investigated by considering product variety and flexibility of manufacturing systems.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Narges Asadi, Mats Jackson and Anders Fundin

The recent shift towards accommodating flexibility in manufacturing companies and the complexity resulting from product variety highlight the significance of flexible

Abstract

Purpose

The recent shift towards accommodating flexibility in manufacturing companies and the complexity resulting from product variety highlight the significance of flexible assembly systems and designing products for them. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design from the assembly system’s standpoint.

Design/methodology/approach

To fulfil the purpose of the paper, a literature review and a case study were performed. The case study was conducted with an interactive research approach in a global market leader company within the heavy vehicle manufacturing industry.

Findings

The findings indicate that common assembly sequence, similar assembly interfaces, and common parts are the main requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design which reduce complexity and facilitate various flexibility dimensions. Accordingly, a model is proposed to broaden the understanding of these requirements from the assembly system’s standpoint.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to the overlapping research area of flexible assembly systems and product design.

Practical implications

The proposed model is largely based on practical data and clarifies the role of product design in facilitating flexibility in an assembly system. It can be used by assembly managers, assembly engineers, and product designers.

Originality/value

The key originality of this paper compared to the previous studies lies in presenting a novel assembly-oriented design model. The model enhances understanding of a flexible assembly system’s requirements for product design with regard to reducing complexity and managing variation in a flexible assembly system. These requirements can be applied to product design across various product families within a company’s product portfolio.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Therese A. Joiner, X. Sarah Yang Spencer and Suzanne Salmon

Against a background of a customization imperative embraced by manufacturing firms in industrialised nations and the concomitant call for more balanced performance…

Abstract

Purpose

Against a background of a customization imperative embraced by manufacturing firms in industrialised nations and the concomitant call for more balanced performance measurement systems (PMS), this study seeks to examine the mediating role of both non‐financial and financial performance measures in the relationship between a firm's strategic orientation of flexible manufacturing and organisational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A path‐analytical model is adopted using questionnaire data from 84 Australian manufacturing firms.

Findings

The results indicate that, first, firms emphasising a flexible manufacturing strategy utilise non‐financial as well as financial performance measures; second, these performance measures are associated with higher organisational performance; and third, there is a positive association between a firm's strategic emphasis on flexible manufacturing and organisation performance via non‐financial and financial performance measures.

Practical implications

While there is agreement on the beneficial role of non‐financial performance measures in supporting strategic priorities associated with customization strategies, equivocal research results have emerged on the role of financial performance measures in this context. The study underscores the importance of both non‐financial and financial performance measures in this context.

Originality/value

The paper reinstates the value of financial performance measures for firms pursuing customization type strategies and adds to one's knowledge of PMSs by exploring the intervening role of such systems in linking flexible manufacturing strategy to organisation performance.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 58 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1987

S.H. Lim

Flexible manufacturing systems are being implemented at a rapidly increasing rate. A study of management issues arising from the implementation of flexible manufacturing

Abstract

Flexible manufacturing systems are being implemented at a rapidly increasing rate. A study of management issues arising from the implementation of flexible manufacturing systems was undertaken between June 1985 and March 1986. This article is based on the study of twelve systems in the UK and is primarily concerned with flexibility and its achievement. The survey showed that management objectives were inconsistent and incongruent. Such inconsistencies and incongruencies have influenced the flexibility of systems. Emergent rather than deliberate strategies for flexible manufacturing system development have been observed. A flexibility audit in conjunction with the setting of long‐term and shorter‐term company objectives is recommended for future applications.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 7 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1987

Nigel Slack

Many of the new pressures from today's manufacturing environment are turning manufacturing managers' attention to the virtues of developing a flexible manufacturing

Abstract

Many of the new pressures from today's manufacturing environment are turning manufacturing managers' attention to the virtues of developing a flexible manufacturing function. Flexibility, however, has different meanings for different managers and several perfectly legitimate alternative paths exist towards flexible manufacturing. How managers in ten companies view manufacturing flexibility in terms of how they see the contribution of manufacturing flexibility to overall company performance; what types of flexibility they regard as important; and what their desired degree of flexibility is. The results of the investigations in these ten companies are summarised in the form of ten empirical “observations”. Based on these “observations” a check‐list of prescriptions is presented and a hierarchical framework developed into which the various issues raised by the “observations” can be incorporated.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Malcolm E. Hill

There are some 30 Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) currently being installed and assimilated in Britain. A pilot study involving Anderson‐Strathclyde plc, a precision…

Abstract

There are some 30 Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) currently being installed and assimilated in Britain. A pilot study involving Anderson‐Strathclyde plc, a precision engineering company, Cessna Fluid Power Limited, Cummins Engines Limited, and Lucas Electrical Limited shows that these companies expected to achieve a variety of economic advantages, based on savings in direct production cost as a consequence of improved machine design, reduced lead times, and production of “sets” of related components; all these factors being due to the introduction of FMS. Also anticipated were marketing advantages, arising out of improved production and improved adaptability to market fluctuation. In each company investment in FMS was seen to be a crucial factor in marketing strategy. It will be important in future to monitor government policy on financial assistance for FMS, as this will relate directly to a company's FMS investment decisions.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1989

Sushil Rajput and David Bennett

Flexible Assembly Systems (FASs) are normally associated with theautomatic, or robotic, assembly of products, supported by automatedmaterial handling systems. However…

Abstract

Flexible Assembly Systems (FASs) are normally associated with the automatic, or robotic, assembly of products, supported by automated material handling systems. However, manual assembly operations are still prevalent within many industries, where the complexity and variety of products prohibit the development of suitable automated assembly equipment. This article presents a generic model for incorporating flexibility into the design and control of assembly operations concerned with high variety/low volume manufacture, drawing on the principles for Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) and Just‐in‐Time (JIT) delivery. It is based on work being undertaken in an electronics company where the assembly operations have been overhauled and restructured in response to a need for greater flexibility, shorter cycle times and reduced inventory levels. The principles employed are in themselves not original. However, the way they have been combined and tailored has created a total manufacturing control system which represents a new concept for responding to demands placed on market driven firms operating in an uncertain environment.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 9 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Roongrat Pisuchpen

In the real world many companies combine the operations of manufacturing, assembly and disassembly. Thus, the integration of just‐in‐time FMS, FAS, and flexible

Abstract

Purpose

In the real world many companies combine the operations of manufacturing, assembly and disassembly. Thus, the integration of just‐in‐time FMS, FAS, and flexible disassembly system (DAS) models poses an interesting problem. The purpose of this paper is to provide major emphasis on a new simulation model for design and performance evaluation of a flexible assembly and disassembly system with dual Kanban under a stochastic system. This paper also primarily investigates the effect of varying the number of kanban cards, mean inter‐arrival time of demand and locations of the bottlenecks on the performance integration of JIT flexible manufacturing, assembly and disassembly systems.

Design/methodology/approach

Simulation is carried out in ARENA and data is analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). This paper investigates the effect of varying number of kanban cards, mean inter‐arrival time of demand, and locations of the bottlenecks on the performance integration of JIT flexible manufacturing, assembly and disassembly systems. The performance measures that are simultaneously considered are the fill rate, work in process, and mean cycle time. This paper emphasizes that understanding the interactions between the variables and their effects on system performance is of utmost importance for managers in improving performance processes.

Findings

In manufacturing practice, there are many industrial units that represent the mixture of the referred three models. This paper presents a new simulation model for design and performance evaluation of a flexible assembly and disassembly system with dual kanban. The simulation results are statistically compared with MANOVA. MANOVA is used to perform the test with multiple objective functions, e.g. with the average production cycle time, percentage average fill rate, and work‐in‐process. The conclusion to be drawn is that minimized WIP can be obtained by higher percentage average fill rate, lower WIP, small average part cycles times, and increasing in kanban cards while simultaneously retaining full customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

The researcher presents the newly developed kanban system into the production system of JIT flexible manufacturing, assembly and disassembly system with simulation technique. Furthermore, by assigning time factors to the models, several performance measures can be easily computed. Then, the researcher tests the effect of the number of kanban card on integration of JIT flexible manufacturing, assembly and disassembly systems using a simulation approach, the simulation model is developed using the ARENA simulation package. The results are applied to a small case study. For a single product under the integration of JIT flexible manufacturing, assembly and disassembly systems, as the number of kanban cards increase, the fill rate along with work in process and the mean cycle time increases as well.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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