Decision-making process in manufacturing technology planning for small scale productions
Today's world of business is challenged by global markets that are becoming increasingly competitive due to globalization. Especially, small scale manufacturers have to rely on state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies to deal with today's ever-changing business environment and customer requirements. With the help of the right manufacturing technology portfolio high degrees of automation and cost efficiency can be realized without sacrificing the manufacturing system's flexibility. We developed a systematic decision-making process in manufacturing technology planning and selection of proper machinery for small scale manufacturing companies. This process takes a six step decision-making approach, which relies on a workpiece categorization to develop abstract manufacturing concepts which are then preselected, concretized and finally assessed. The outcome of the presented approach is a portfolio matrix which opposes the final manufacturing systems' degree of utility to their respective costs.