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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

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

2085

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

Keywords

Open Access
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

Keywords

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…

2631

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

Keywords

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Rajeev Kaula

A conceptual framework for structuring a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) environment called an open automation architecture (OAA) is proposed. The framework is based…

847

Abstract

A conceptual framework for structuring a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) environment called an open automation architecture (OAA) is proposed. The framework is based on the open‐systems approach to information system development. OAA proposes partitioning of the manufacturing environment into autonomous manufacturing entities called logical manufacturing shops, that communicate and cooperate during the manufacturing of products. The partitioning in OAA is not based on the traditional structuring of machines on the shop floor. Each logical manufacturing shop is structured to provide for data and process integration within its processing domain, supported by a stable grouping of machines on the shop floor. The framework is illustrated with a manufacturing case and a discussion of information system support in the form of expert systems.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2010

César Camisón and Ana Villar López

The purpose of this paper is to test the mediating role of three types of innovation (product, process, and organizational) in the relationship between manufacturing

4202

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the mediating role of three types of innovation (product, process, and organizational) in the relationship between manufacturing flexibility and performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the resource‐based view, the paper examines the indirect effects of manufacturing flexibility on organizational performance considering product, process, and organizational innovation as mediating variables. A sample of 159 Spanish firms is taken to test the proposed theoretical model through structural equations modeling using the partial least squares approach.

Findings

The effect on organizational performance of adopting a flexible productive system is mediated by incorporating product, process, and organizational innovation. This paper calls for caution in defending flexible manufacturing systems as universally efficient solutions, and argues that their productivity is linked to the complementary introduction of organizational and technological innovations.

Practical implications

Firms that pursue manufacturing flexibility should develop innovation capabilities to obtain an improvement in organizational performance. Therefore, managers should bear in mind that the mere fact of adopting a flexible manufacturing system will not guarantee improvements in firm performance. If manufacturing flexibility is to help improve company performance, managers should use this flexibility to generate organizational capabilities based on product, process, and organizational innovations, since these are capabilities that can create competitive advantages.

Originality/value

Operations management literature has not reached a consensus about the effect of manufacturing flexibility on organizational performance. This paper helps both academics and managers to gain a better understanding of this question by considering the mediating effect of three types of innovation (product, process, and organizational) in this relationship.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 February 2020

Katherine M. Madson, Bryan Franz, Keith R. Molenaar and Gül Okudan Kremer

This article addresses the lack of formal design guidance that supports flexibility within the architectural and engineered systems of manufacturing facilities through the…

Abstract

Purpose

This article addresses the lack of formal design guidance that supports flexibility within the architectural and engineered systems of manufacturing facilities through the development of a taxonomy and associated terminology.

Design/methodology/approach

This research performed a comparative analysis of 15 manufacturing facilities located both within the United States (73 percent of cases) and internationally (27 percent of cases). These case studies provided details on how and where flexibility was incorporated into the design of a manufacturing facility. Specific consideration was given to the primary design features that enabled a decoupling of the facility from the manufacturing process. These design features were then clustered to identify main design strategies that enable flexibility.

Findings

By grouping the design features together and creating a common vocabulary, three coherent design approaches for flexible facilities were identified, each having a different potential for responding to short-term and long-term changes. These include general purpose, scalable, and dedicated facilities.

Research limitations/implications

By delineating three high-level strategies for early flexible facility design, this research synthesizes a conceptual understanding of flexibility with practical and implementable designs. This synthesis provides an incremental advance to a complex challenge for researchers. It also provides decision support to design teams by aiding in project definition, when flexibility is desirable. This research is primarily limited by the number of cases reviewed. With more cases, additional facility design strategies may be identified.

Practical implications

The findings in this research allow for a basic understanding of how a flexible facility can be designed with only limited or vague information about the product and manufacturing processes contained within. The development of terminology associated with each facility design strategy provides standardization for the discussion and implementation of flexibility early in the design process. In doing so, flexible designs become easier to create and more efficient to implement.

Originality/value

This research provides the first synthesized approach for considering flexible facility design strategies within the manufacturing sector.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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

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

Keywords

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