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Order-driven flexibility management in make-to-order companies with flexible shops

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2009
Süer, Bekir İlker
In this study, an operational (short term) flexibility management approach is proposed for make-to-order companies with flexible shops. Order Review and Release (ORR) techniques and typical Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) decisions are combined in this method. The proposed method prepares a shop environment by allocating process and routing flexibility types at different levels to the shop in each production cycle. Variety, volume, and criticality of the part types in the pool and the anticipated orders constitute the main inputs for flexibility allocation. A flexibility management policy is introduced and determination of the proper policy is realized with the integrated utilization of mathematical programming and simulation modeling. An experimental study is performed to investigate the effects of proposed method on a hypothetical flexible shop. Results show that with an appropriate policy, periodical and online flexibility management can be an effective tool to cope with uncertainty in demand if combined with ORR techniques.