Flexibility of materials preparation processes in production systems
Paper in proceedings, 2015
In assembly operations, expanding numbers of component variants drive the introduction of materials preparation processes. These need to be flexible to enable production flexibility. In this study, flexibility in terms of product, mix, volume, and delivery are explored for materials preparation processes in order to identify how process design variables and contextual factors influence the flexibility of materials preparation. This is addressed through a multiple case study of five materials preparation processes. The analysis reveals design variables and contextual factors which influences flexibility, confirming and extending literature on the relation between context, design and materials preparation flexibility.