What is Flexible Manufacturing?
Since the 1970s, flexible manufacturing systems have helped companies to create products quickly and more efficiently. It is designed to react and adapt to changes, unexpected issues, or problems with the production process. Today, Flexible manufacturing systems still work to improve the production process and offer two types of flexibility: machine and routing flexibility.
Machine flexibility refers to how much a system can change to create new product types. It also describes how a system can change the order of operations on a specific part. Routing flexibility is the ability of a system to use many machines to perform the same operations on one part. It also refers to how much a system can adapt to changes in volume, capacity, or capability.
The overall goal of flexible manufacturing is to increase a company’s manufacturing efficiency. However, there are both disadvantages and advantages to consider.
Disadvantages of Flexible Manufacturing
Implementing flexible manufacturing in the production process can be complicated. It requires extensive planning, which can involve creating detailed designs and schedules. They require highly skilled employees to operate the machinery, and salaries for these workers can be expensive. Plus, a different set of skilled workers is needed for maintenance and repairs because of the complexity of the systems. Although the disadvantages of flexible manufacturing systems can make some companies wary, it’s important to understand that the benefits will likely outweigh the drawbacks in the long run.
Advantages of Flexible Manufacturing
At first, flexible manufacturing systems may add costs to your company. However, they’ll help you save money in the future. They reduce the costs of operation because of their ability to adapt to changes helps to prevent defective products, as well as wasted time and resources.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of flexible manufacturing systems is the increase in efficiency. They work to keep everything running smoothly in most situations. If something within the process changes, they can quickly adapt and keep production flowing to reduce delays and bottlenecks. This ability helps to create faster production times, resulting in increased customer service and satisfaction.
Flexible manufacturing systems may have a few disadvantages but not enough to negate their benefits. Though costly at first, flexible manufacturing systems will help businesses to create better products, become more efficient, and increase revenue as time goes on.
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