Design of flexible transfer lines: A case-based reconfiguration cost assessment


Shortening product life cycles leads competing companies to continually release new products or modifying the existing ones; this is one of the major issues in production systems design. According to the changes in product features, production systems need to be properly configured or reconfigured to efficiently tackle new production requirements. A configuration approach for multi-product flexible transfer lines is presented which aims at minimizing the equipment cost. The approach is applied to a manufacturing case in the automotive sector. The robustness of the solution is tested against changes that affect the products to highlight reconfiguration costs and the penalty associated to the lack of a pro-active configuration approach. © 2013 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Journal of Manufacturing Systems