Title: Product family formation based on multiple product similarities for a reconfigurable manufacturing system

Authors: Masood Ashraf; Faisal Hasan

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

Abstract: The design of a reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) revolves around product family which can cater all the variety within a product family and can be subsequently reconfigured to accommodate future products belonging to distinct product families. Keeping in view the high degree of customisation in the product design, it is being required to have modular structure of products to accommodate such customisation. Similarity measures for such modular products have not been considered in the past. The present paper proposed a novel technique for the product family formation in RMS based on multiple product similarities associated with modular products comprising of several parts. These similarities include modularity, reusability and commonality. Modularity is the degree to which a product is composed of autonomous modules; reusability is the ability to use the identical resources in dissimilar configurations without any change while the commonality is the property which is mainly concerned with the grouping of the products. A descriptive mathematical model for the calculation of similarities is presented demonstrated with the help of a numerical example and the similarity values obtained are depicted in the form of a dendrogram and are discussed in the light of some previous related works on the topic.

Keywords: production systems; reconfigurable manufacturing systems; RMS; product family formation; product similarities; PFF; product families; product design; modular structure; customisation; similarity measures; modular products; modularity; reusability; commonality; mathematical modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMOM.2015.075800

International Journal of Modelling in Operations Management, 2015 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.247 - 265

Received: 15 Dec 2015
Accepted: 03 Feb 2016

Published online: 05 Apr 2016 *

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