Reconfigurable Manufacturing Equipment


Increasing market competitiveness, frequent product upgrades, and changes in product demand have been the catalyst for the development of cost-effective manufacturing systems that can respond quickly to changes. Traditional Dedicated Manufacturing Systems (DMSs) are designed for a small range of production requirements and, while their performance is inherently robust, DMSs do not provide the required responsiveness. Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMSs) are designed for a broad range of production requirements. However, while these systems are inherently responsive, FMSs are often more complex than required and, thus, their performance is not as robust as DMSs and they are not costeffective for many applications (Mehrabi et al. 2000). The challenge of developing cost-effective, responsive manufacturing systems has driven the development of a new paradigm in manufacturing: the Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS) (Bollinger et al. 1998; Koren et al. 1999; Mehrabi et al. 2000; Mehrabi et al. 2002). These systems are designed such that they posses customized flexibility, that is, they are designed for specific ranges of production requirements and can be cost-effectively converted when production requirements change. Thus, these systems are economical and robust since they are customized to the production requirements, their resources are minimized, and flexibility in their design allows for cost-effective conversion when new production requirements arise.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Book - Chapter

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© 2006 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006