Title: Measurement of needed reconfiguration level for manufacturing firms

Authors: Ibrahim H. Garbie, Hamid R. Parsaei, Herman R. Leep

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Helwan University, P.O. Box 11792, Helwan, Cairo, Egypt. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-4190, USA. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Louisville, J.B. Speed Building, Room 310, Louisville, KY 40292, USA

Abstract: Nowadays, manufacturing firms face a very highly turbulent market in which they must be capable of responding rapidly to market changes while fully exploiting resources. A reconfigurable manufacturing firm is one that can change the arrangement of the system|s components. Components could be machines, materials handling equipment and similar items. Although most reconfiguration strategies for responding to changes in the manufacturing environment involve sequential stages of modelling, restructuring, simulation and reprogramming of the manufacturing system, they do not depend on the agility level of the current state of manufacturing firms. The objective of this paper is to measure the level of reconfiguration over time based on the current Agility Level (AL) and manufacturing firms| design (production system size, plant layout and materials handling systems). In order to achieve this objective, a measurement of the needed reconfiguration level will be presented based on these issues using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). The proposed approach will be demonstrated with an illustrated example.

Keywords: agile manufacturing systems; agility measurement; performance evaluation; reconfigurable manufacturing; production system size; plant layout; materials handling systems; analytical hierarchy process; AHP.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2008.019600

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2008 Vol.3 No.1/2, pp.78 - 92

Published online: 17 Jul 2008 *

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