Computational methods for planning and developing flexible manufacturing systems


Purpose: To develop a decision framework for the planning and development of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS).

Design/methodology/approach: A systematic weighted property index approach for FMS development decisions is developed to evaluate various design options. This methodology converts design property values of differing orders of magnitude into a unitless system where an overall evaluation of the options can be made.

Findings: Major design choices related to the implementation of an educational FMS are identified, and considerations affecting each choice are discussed. A methodology for the selection of the appropriate FMS is then developed and demonstrated. Practical implications - Provides a useful framework for evaluating various options in FMS development and selecting an appropriate system for a given environment and situation.

Originality/value: Identifies the major design choices related to the implementation of an educational FMS, provides practical examples taken from the development of FMSs at Southwest Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Rolla, and presents a systematic methodology for FMS design decision making.


Technology and Construction Management

Document Type





Control applications, Decision making, Flexible manufacturing systems, Value analysis

Publication Date


Journal Title

Engineering Computations (Swansea, Wales)