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Appropriate automation for flexible manufacturing

: Warnecke, H.-J.; Martin, T.; Ulich, E.


Automatica 26 (1990), No.3, pp.611-616
ISSN: 0005-1098
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Automatisierung; CIM; Fertigungsprozeß; flexible manufacturing system; flexibles Fertigungssystem; man-machine system; manufacturing process; participation; production control; Qualitätsprüfung; skill; Social effect of automation; work organization

Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) have met with great interest in research and practice in recent years. It is symptomatic of the present way of thinking of manufacturing planners that the term FMS already implies fully automated manufacturing. In actual practice, however, a less highly automated, but highly flexible, type of manufacturing is economically more reasonable in most cases, as is discussed in this paper. First, the striking alterations in manufacturing technology in a changing world are described. Next, alternative development approaches on the basis of a nuber of case studies, also in various countries, are reported. Finally, an attempt is made to indicate the methodology to be employed in order to arrive at a manufacturing process (more or less automated) optimally matched to a specific manufacturing task.