This paper provides investigative insights into the impact of routeing flexibility, machine flexibility, and product-mix flexibility on the performance of a manufacturing plant. The study employs simulation modelling as the primary tool. The facility modelled is an automobile engine assembly plant consisting of a FMS (flexible manufacturing systems), job shop, and assembly line. A variety of experiments, with the FMS exhibiting one or more of the above three flexibilities at different levels, were simulated on the model. In each experiment the manufacturing performance as given by flow time and work-in-process inventory was tracked. The experiments focused first on the FMS itself, and then on the entire plant. Measures for the three flexibilities are introduced. The simulation results are analysed in detail. The results indicate significant performance benefits in context of the FMS, but little in context of the overall plant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering