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Development and evaluation of a knowledge-based decision-making approach for designing changeable manufacturing systems

: Francalanza, Emmanuel; Borg, Jonathan C.; Constantinescu, Carmen


CIRP Journal of Manufacturing Science and Technology 16 (2017), S.81-101
ISSN: 1755-5817
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Due to highly competitive markets, constantly shifting consumer requirements, and technological advances, product families are continuously evolving over time. This product evolution leads to new part variants being added to the existing part mix. When at a future time the manufacturing system is not capable, as is or in a reconFigured state, to manufacture the evolved part variants, then this has negative consequences on business performance. This phenomena is being termed as disruptive product evolution.Due to complex interdependencies, incomplete information and uncertainty in manufacturing requirements this phenomena leads to a wicked problem. In order to tame such a wicked problem, this paper contributes and evaluates a knowledge-based decision-making approach that supports manufacturing system designers in exploring the interplay between business strategy, evolving product range and manufacturing systems. A prototype digital factory tool based on this approach has been developed and evaluated.