Production Capacity: Its Bases, Functions and Measurement

  • Salah E. Elmaghraby
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 151)


The concept of capacity in humans and processes is nebulous and is often confused with other notions such as performance, output, throughput, etc. As a consequence, the measurement of ‘capacity’, which is often taken as ‘well known’, has remained uncharted ground. Knowledge of a plant’s capacity is required for the whole gamut of activities that are related to the field of production planning and control, from plant location and sizing to the daily scheduling of operations. This chapter proposes four kinds of ‘capacity’; they are nominal, operational, planned, and realized capacities. It also contends that in the majority of cases one cannot measure capacity, any one of the four types, by a crisp number, but that its proper identification requires distribution of values and a probability statement attached to these values. This view necessitates a different type of analysis (of existing processes) and synthesis (of proposed ones) that is different in methodology as well as conclusions.


Setup Time Production Facility Operational Capacity Industry Average Nominal Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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