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 ?
The collaboration enhances their joint vision for the future of flexible production with advanced automation and wireless communication
The scalable, flexible production monitoring system is compatible with most ERP software.
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A range of products will also make their IBC debut including GV Stratus, a flexible production solution that can be accessed from anywhere on any device with simple editing on a web client,the release stated.
In keeping with the BMW Group's principle of the highly flexible production system, the new facility will manufacture conventionally as well as electrically powered vehicles, all on a single production line.
This development also paves the way for the third major robotics trend: collaboration between humans and robots without protective barriers offers new approaches to new flexible production processes.
The production techniques and flexible production systems developed at these plants have helped Mazda to grow its business.
A highly-automated production building was established in Poland that has already made flexible production on a single line possible.
Rapid changeover and cleanability for flexible production.
We can do this by collaborating with a professional and flexible production partner like PET-Verpackungen, who completely shares our view of quality."
It will have a flexible production line that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate the assembly of multiple product lines.
"The new development will provide us with a very efficient and flexible production facility which will further support our long-term growth plan."

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