Manufacturing flexibility and Materials Supply Systems
Paper in proceeding, 2012
Many manufacturing companies experience periods of business turbulence, as for example during the global financial crisis in 2008. In other cases, disturbances in the demand and supply networks occur. To be able to cope with both these types of situations, flexibility is important and there are many sub systems affecting the flexibility in companies. This paper focuses manufacturing flexibility, and how the designs of the materials supply system impacts flexibility. The specific objective of the paper is to determine the relations between the design of the materials supply system and its flexibility.
An analysis model was deducted from theory, in which relevant types of flexibility was chosen and operationalized, together with principal dimensions of design alternatives of the materials supply system. A multiple case study methodology was applied, in order to compare the impact of the design on flexibility. Thus, this paper provides insights into the important and contemporary problem of achieving manufacturing flexibility, specifically within the materials supply system linked to manual assembly. Further, the paper shows that the design of the materials supply system does have important implications on all of the flexibility aspects included.