Title: Establishing rules to design a minicell-based manufacturing system for mass customisation

Authors: Smitha Thuramalla, Fazleena Badurdeen

Addresses: Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Security, CO 80911, USA. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA

Abstract: Mass Customisation (MC) is the production of individually customised offerings at low cost and short lead times. Successful MC requires a complete shift in the paradigm from the design-make-sell philosophy used in traditional manufacturing to one that is based on design-sell-make. Flexibility in the manufacturing system is therefore essential to receive orders from customers and fabricate and assemble products as necessary. A minicell-based manufacturing system, which is a modular, networked configuration, is one approach to achieve this flexibility. Due to the various methods available to design the modular minicell configuration, establishing good designs is a complex and time-consuming process. This paper focuses on establishing design rules that can help identify good minicell configurations, to achieve different performance criteria, without having to explore the entire solution space.

Keywords: mass customisation; minicells; manufacturing systems; flow time; design rules; cell design; modular cells; networking; manufacturing flexibility; flexible manufacturing; cell configuration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJASM.2008.019601

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management, 2008 Vol.3 No.1/2, pp.93 - 111

Published online: 17 Jul 2008 *

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