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Flexible Manufacturing Systems
· A flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is a form of flexible
automation in which several machines are linked together by a
material ­ handling system, with all aspects of the system
controlled by a central computer
· FMS are manufacturing systems that have been set up that
allow a company some degree of flexibility to enable it to
react to, and then instigate changes fairly rapidly to the
manufacturing process (these changes could be predictable
· It is different from an automated production line because of
its ability to process more than one product style
simultaneously…read more

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Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Continued
· A FMS brings together new manufacturing technologies like:
CNC, robotics, automated material handling etc. to form an
integrated system
· Linked to CAD systems and material handling systems (they
control part and material controls
· The flexibility has 2 main categories:
1. Machine flexibility ­ system's ability to change and produce new
product types and then the ability to change order of operations executed
on a part.
2. Routing flexibility ­ ability to use multiple machines and ability to
absorb changes such as capacity and capability.…read more

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Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Continued
· FMS have powerful computing capacities that give them the
ability not only to control and coordinate the individual
equipment items and facilities, but also to perform production
planning and routing of materials through the system
· FMS vary in their complexity and size. Some are designed to
be very flexible and to produce a wide variety of parts in very
small batches. Others have the ability to produce a single
complete product in a large batch from a sequence of many
individual operations known as a flexible transfer line…read more

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Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Continued
Advantages
- High flexibility in managing - Setting up the system
manufacturing resources requires a great deal of
- Better productivity planning
- Quicker machinery set ­ up times - Very high set up cost
- Lower labour costs due to
automation
Disadvantages
- Reduced downtime on machinery
- Production and productivity
increased
- Shorter lead times for new
products…read more

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