A stochastic programming approach to support the machine tool builder in designing Focused Flexibility Manufacturing Systems (FFMSs)
by Walter Terkaj, Tullio Tolio, Anna Valente
International Journal of Manufacturing Research (IJMR), Vol. 5, No. 2, 2010

Abstract: Manufacturing system design is a critical phase for machine tool builders as it is necessary to provide profitable system solutions which cope with the requirements of the potential customers, while finding the best trade-off between the maximising profit and the probability to win orders. These objectives are often in conflict and the scarce presence of methodologies and tools which support the design process leads the machine tool builder to base the solution on qualitative criteria mainly learnt from past experience. This paper presents a system design approach which aims at selecting the optimal set of resources characterising the system with the appropriate degree of flexibility to address the present production problem and its forecasted changes. Production systems that embed these features are defined by the authors as Focused Flexibility Manufacturing Systems (FFMSs). The presented design approach has been tested on an industrial case study. The results suggest to machine tool builders the opportunity of developing new machine types that can increase the profitability of the designed manufacturing systems. [Received 2 July 2008; Revised 24 June 2009; Accepted 1 September 2009]

Online publication date: Mon, 15-Feb-2010

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