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According to Askin and Standridge, “the purpose of manufacturing, at least idealistically, is to enrich society through the production of functionally desirable, aesthetically pleasing, environmentally safe, economically affordable, highly reliable, top-quality products” [AS93]. A less pointed and more pragmatic description of manufacturing purposes is to satisfy customer’s demand (function, reliability, quality of products) while considering management’s objectives (minimum of costs). In this context, the organization of manufacturing systems has become an increasingly important factor, stimulated by impressive productivity gains that have been observed in the japanese industry in the 80s. The boost of efficiency especially became apparent in the automobile industry which experienced a “second revolution” as has been demonstrated in the famous study of the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP) of Womack et al. [WJR92]. Due to this study and other research initiated by this work, the opinion eventually has gained acceptance that competitive advantages of firms can be considerably influenced by innovations in the organization of manufacturing systems [Laz90, AD94].