A framework for the performance-based design of flexible manufacturing cells
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A conceptual framework for the design and performance evaluation of flexible manufacturing cells (FMCS) based on the strategic objectives of firms was developed. Four different types of manufacturing task profiles were identified based on the primary manufacturing task, product characteristics, and manufacturing system characteristics of a strategic business unit (SBU). Performance measures were discussed for each of the manufacturing task profiles, and the task profiles of firms likely to implement FMCs were identified.
A methodology, based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), introduced by Saaty, was developed to prioritize the manufacturing objectives of an FMC. The implications of each of the manufacturing objectives for an FMC were hypothesized and related performance measures identified. An interactivecomputer-based model, based on the theory of closed network-ofâ queues, was then developed to aid in the preliminary design and evaluation on an FMC.
Field work was cariied out to determine the practical applicability of the conceptual framework. Visits to a company in the Southeastem United States were made and an analysis of the FMC being developed in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, at Virginia Tech was conducted.
The framework developed in this research was used to determine the manufacturing task profile of the company, identify key performance measures, and exercise the AHP methodology for one cell. Operational measures were then calculated for the FMC, using the computer-based model.
- Masters Theses