Title: Reconfiguration as a responsive tool for the agile-centric global manufacturing complexity domain

Authors: Michael Flowers, Kai Cheng

Addresses: Flowers School of Technology and Management, Tuebinger Strasse 30, 72127 Kusterdingen, Germany. ' Department of Advanced Manufacturing and Enterprise Engineering, School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK

Abstract: The lack of in-depth understanding and measurement of manufacturing complexity continues to be problematic for multinational manufacturing organisations. The dynamics of constantly changing customer requirements, a causative agent of manufacturing complexity, challenge existing manufacturing systems to adapt and respond to the changing functional requirements time-cost-effectively. In this paper, we present a theoretical model as an entropic measure of complexity applicable to manufacturing operations and an investigation of the feasibility of adapting a hydraulic cam to a conventional system for optimal machining of high strength steel in the category of automotive grades. In order to establish a conclusive economic index for reconfiguration of conventional systems as a competitive advantage for the agile-centric global manufacturing environment, the surface topography of sheared edges of machined parts and piercing force were analysed using Zygo New View 200 scanning white light interferometer and MATLAB respectively.

Keywords: global manufacturing; agile manufacturing; reconfiguration; conventional manufacturing; complexity; entropic measurement; functional requirements; hydraulic cams; internet manufacturing; high strength steel; reconfigurable manufacturing; surface topography; sheared edges; machined parts; piercing force.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMS.2011.039210

International Journal of Internet Manufacturing and Services, 2011 Vol.3 No.1, pp.1 - 15

Published online: 26 Mar 2011 *

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