CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio

Changeable Manufacturing

  • Hoda A. ElMaraghyEmail author
  • Hans-Peter Wiendahl
Reference work entry



Changeable manufacturing is defined as the ability of a manufacturing system to economically accomplish early and foresighted adjustments of the factory’s structures and processes on all levels in response to change impulses. It is closely related to “flexible” and “reconfigurable” manufacturing which apply to the manufacturing equipment and systems on the shop floor respectively – the difference being the level, degree, and scope of change.

Theory and Application


In the past, a steady production volume increase is observed after releasing a new product and followed by long stable production phases and finally a slow ramp down. Nowadays, production volume climbs much faster to the first peak then drops; it reaches a second peak after promotion activities and often a product face lift in subsequent releases.

Furthermore, the product life cycle was usually within the range of the life...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intelligent Manufacturing Systems CenterUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.Canada Research Chair in Manufacturing Systems, Intelligent Manufacturing Systems CentreUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  3. 3.Institut für Fabrikanlagen und LogistikUniversity of HannoverHannoverGermany