Title: Impact of manufacturing flexibility and pallets on buffer delay in flexible manufacturing systems

Authors: Ajay Singholi

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006, India

Abstract: In the current competitive scenario, it is essential to consider a manufacturing system which supports increased flexibility and automation. Flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is one such alternative to meet the product variety condition and demand uncertainty. In this paper, Taguchi experimental design framework is used to evaluate the effect of varying levels of manufacturing flexibility (routing and machine) and number of pallets on the delay at buffers in an FMS. The effects of other factors such as scheduling rules (sequencing and dispatching) are also investigated. Results of simulation study indicate that number of pallets and routing flexibility are the two most important factors affecting the average delay at buffers (ADB); however, there is an optimal combination of factors which minimises the delay at buffers under the given set of operating conditions.

Keywords: manufacturing flexibility; FMS; flexible manufacturing systems; Taguchi methods; experimental design; sequencing rules; buffer delay; simulation; pallet numbers; routing flexibility.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEME.2015.072546

International Journal of Engineering Management and Economics, 2015 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.308 - 330

Received: 08 Oct 2013
Accepted: 14 Apr 2014

Published online: 19 Oct 2015 *

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