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 first stage in the design of any flexible manufacturing system is the manufacturing task analysis (Askin & Standrige, 1993).
Discrete event systems [1] are classic dynamic systems, which widely exist in communication, manufacturing, traffic, and computer network fields, such as e-business systems, online game server systems, embedded systems, flexible manufacturing systems, and traffic management systems [2].
Recently, a fuzzy logic approach has been widely applied to the scheduling problems for both conventional and flexible manufacturing systems (Subramaniam et al., 2000, Vidyarthi and Tiwari, 2001, Domingos and Politano, 2003, Bilkay et al., 2004, Canbolat and Gundogar, 2004, Kumar et al., 2004, Srinoi et al., 2006, Restrepo and Balakrishnan, 2008, Srinoi et al., 2008, Mahdavi et al., 2009).
A unified framework for the selection of a Flexible Manufacturing System, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol.
The one-million [ft.sup.2] facility in Oxnard, CA, owned by Haas Automation, Inc., makes extensive use of automated lights-out manufacturing, employing flexible manufacturing systems to streamline production capabilities and control cost.
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.
The design of a flexible manufacturing system is a complex, multi-discipline task.
The multi-task cell comprises five identical machines linked in a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) handling all material, tools and information management.
Using a special Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) process, Ritek can quickly respond to customers' demands in the shortest time possible.
At the same time, the company announced an investment programme worth about 700 million, primarily devoted to a new flexible manufacturing system designed to produce three new models.
A flexible manufacturing system that will allow Subaru of Indiana Automotive to build four different body styles at one time is bringing $83 million in new equipment this year to the Lafayette plant employing 2,600.

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