Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-1998

Degree Name

Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering - (M.S.)


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das

Second Advisor

Carl Wolf

Third Advisor

Layek Abdel-Malek


Flexibility in manufacturing systems can broaden the horizons for a company. But the means for achieving it are far more critical. This trend is created by the increase in competitiveness, growth of technology along with demand variations, more customization, and short product life cycles. But "Flexible Manufacturing Systems" to most of the manufacturers sounds like a synonym for automation.

A real Flexible Manufacturing System is designed when every unit of the company is synchronized in such a way to respond in a harmony to any changes that come against it. Fine-tuning of each and every part of the company is essential to make the company profitably sustainable to any internal or external changes.

This research aims at realizing real flexibility in the company. It aims at bringing out the bottlenecks, the issues that a company owns and tries to solve them in a feasible way so as to make the company more and more self-reliant, countering all the external and internal changes that occur during its time. A process of conducting Flexibility audit is described in thesis, which is a powerful tool when, used methodically with the FM design process (Figure 3.1), The data gathered from audit is analyzed to identify factors contributing to inflexibility and to resolve them in a feasible innovative way. This philosophy when applied continuously over a period of time can build immunity against the "change shock" or the "adjustment time".

Included in

Manufacturing Commons



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