flexible manufacturing system

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flexible manufacturing system (FMS)

a means of PRODUCTION which makes extensive use of programmed AUTOMATION and COMPUTERS to achieve rapid production of small batches of components or products, whilst maintaining flexibility in manufacturing a wide range of these items. In FMS systems computer-controlled machines can be quickly switched from the production of one component or product to another by reprogramming the machines. Such reprogramming also facilitates the smooth running of the production system by allowing a component or product to be processed on several different machines, thus avoiding production bottlenecks or delays caused by machine breakdowns.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson

flexible manufacturing system (FMS)

a means of PRODUCTION that makes extensive use of ‘programmed’ AUTOMATION and COMPUTERS to achieve rapid production of small batches of components or products while maintaining flexibility in manufacturing a wide range of these items.

Flexible manufacturing systems enable small batches of a product to be produced at the same unit cost as would be achievable with large-scale production, thus diminishing the cost advantages associated with ECONOMIES OF SCALE and lowering the MINIMUM EFFICIENT SCALE. This enables small firms to compete in cost terms with large firms and may lead to a lowering of SELLER CONCENTRATION. See BARRIERS TO ENTRY.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Reconfiguration of the system is easy to be achieved, in order for both, to maximize flexible manufacturing line productivity and as well continue extend the products portfolio.
Dori Kozak, Seegrid Marketing Manager explained in the company blog, “At times, I have seen flexible manufacturing as interchangeable with lean manufacturing.
This patent, awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded, relates to the company's modular, flexible manufacturing facilities.
Cypress said that the company's decision to exit Fab 2 is consistent with its flexible manufacturing initiative, which combines capacity from foundries with output from Cypress' internal fabs.
The flexible manufacturing system installed at BAE Systems (Preston, U.K.) is based on a high-speed five-axis MC from Dorries Scharmann Technologie (Monchengladbach, Germany) and a Metris (Leuven, Belgium) LK coordinate measuring machine and uses 20 Fastems machine and storage pallets.
It features work cells for individual products, which promote a flexible manufacturing environment.
A prototype flexible manufacturing cell for the production of wooden furniture components was developed at North Carolina State University and demonstrated to the American Furniture Manufacturers Assn.
These components can be easily integrated into flexible manufacturing production lines with simple clip-on mounting style and quick connection using an M12 connector.
ISPE said the launch was partly in response to a request from the FDA for ISPE to "play a role in their plan to be a catalyst for change to enable fully flexible manufacturing concepts, within regulation, using the best engineering and scientific principles available, improving business and taking risk into consideration."
Under the agreement, Fuji Electronics will be able to carry FPGA and PLD products in its lineup, bolstering its sales capabilities for users in industries such as digital consumer electronics, office equipment, and industrial equipment for flexible manufacturing.
FORD says it is now reaping the benefits of a three-year, pounds 890 million investment in flexible manufacturing facilities at its two UK-based engine plants.

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