The current work outlines an innovative production system design and management approach based on the concept of dematerialisation whose major purpose is to reduce the amount of material, energy and degrees of flexibilities of machine tools and systems to the minimum requirements based on the user needs. The successful introduction of this new generation of Dematerialised Machines and Systems relies on a structured design framework. It starts from an accurate identification of the business models driving the company strategy and the identification of specific markets where the dematerialisation principle is a winning leverage to compete. Based on the analysis of production demand and the reference market context, the framework presents a set of methodologies related to the pallet configuration and process planning, the machine tool configuration and the system configuration, all nested together. The benefits of the Dematerialisation framework will be investigated with regard to a set of benchmarks coming from the industrial practice. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.