A Review on Manufacturing Flexibility

  • Walter Terkaj
  • Tullio Tolio
  • Anna Valente


The topic of manufacturing flexibility has been addressed by many scientific contributions in the past years, thus highlighting the relevance of the problem both at industrial and academic level. Internal and external issues need to be faced at the same time when designing a manufacturing system and its flexibility; indeed, products and processes are easily and frequently changed by market and manufacturing strategies, while production systems must cope with relevant inertia which slow down their changes. Therefore, a fundamental issue consists of filling the modeling gap between a production problem and the manufacturing system best suited to face it. Current literature provides a huge research on the analysis of flexibility, as a solution to cope with uncertainty in the market and to support the manufacturing strategy. However, the link between the need of flexibility and the design of manufacturing systems is still weak. This need includes a deeper understanding of the nature of flexibility and, in turn, a clear definition of the dimensions of flexibility. This chapter reviews the state of the art of the literature on manufacturing flexibility by proposing also a conceptual framework for its formalization.


Focused flexibility manufacturing systems (FFMSs) Flexibility review Ontology on flexibility 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Terkaj
    • 1
  • Tullio Tolio
  • Anna Valente
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Meccanica, Politecnico di MilanoItaly

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