Inderscience Publishers

A study on manufacturing flexibilities using entity-relationship models

Flexibility is emerging as a major requirement in modern manufacturing and its popularity has recently increased dramatically. Various pioneering researchers have extensively reviewed the literature on manufacturing flexibilities. To capture the complexities from the flexibilities and to fit them into a unique model, an attempt has been made in this paper to use an entity-relationship (E-R) model. The current research also gives an idea of how the developed individual E-R models can be used to evaluate the flexibility options in a manufacturing system. As an illustration, E-R models for machine and routing flexibilities have been developed. Also, an algorithm has been proposed to combine and derive flexibility paths from the E-R models of machine and routing flexibilities. Industrial case data is used to illustrate its capability. Future work would be to study the response of the selected flexibility alternatives to changes in underlying decision situations under operational risk environment.

Keywords: entity-relationship models, machine flexibility, manufacturing flexibility, routing flexibility, flexible manufacturing, risk management, agile manufacturing

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