Product Design (Modern Manufacturing Systems)

Overview of Modern Manufacturing Systems


Quick Response Manufacturing

- Allows manufacturers to make to order

- They only manufacture what they can sell

- So no expensive storage costs of finished cars

- No risk of not being able to sell the cars

- Can respond to a sudden change in demand

- QRM systems reduce waiting times

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Electronic Point of Sale – EPOS

- This uses laser scanned bar code at the point of sale

- The scanned product is then registered with distributors, suppliers, warehouses etc.

- They can then order stock from manufacturers

- EPOS allows products to be manufactured Just In Time – JIT

- Bar codes are also used to trace the product during manufacture

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Just in Time – JIT

- Customers get products at the right time

- No stockpile of raw materials or components

- No expensive storage costs

- So customer orders “pull” the production

- It also allows variations to take place on assembly lines

- Supplies must be at the right place at the right time

- Suppliers may be fined if schedules are not met 

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- Stock levels are managed using computers

- Boxes of components are bar coded to identify part identity & quantity

- A kanban (card) in the box has the same informaotin

- As the parts are used up the kanbans are collected

- The kanbans are scanned & using Electronic Data Interchange – EDI parts can be re-ordered from suppliers automatically

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Flexible Manufacturing Systems

In constant, mass markets – making toothpaste tubes/aerosol cans – manufacturers will dedicate automated equipment to making one product.

- In other markets items are made in smaller batches, equipment needs to be flexible

The following can be made to be flexible –

Press formers                CNC lathes

CNC punches              CNC milling machines

CNC laser cutters         Robot arms

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Press Formers

- It is possible to change the dies on press machines so different products can be made

- More than one model car can be made on the same assembly line

- At Jaguar the X-type Jaguar and the X-type saloon can be made on the same line


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CNC Punches

- These can be programmed to punch a variety of holes of different sizes, shapes and patterns on sheet metal.

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CNC Laser Cutters & Flame Cutters

- Laser cutters & flame cutters can be programmed to cut out a wide variety of holes, slots & profile shapes.


- As different model JCB’s are made new programs are quickly down loaded to enable manufacture.

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CNC Lathes & Milling Machines

- Lathes & Milling machines can be used to produce accurate one off or batch products

- Lathes are used to cut/shape round bars & cut screw threads

- Millers are used to cut slots, grooves, pockets, drill holes & cut profiles

- Re-programming such machines has been made relatively easy

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Robot Arms

Robot arms can be programmed to do - 

- The same job repeatedly on one product

- The same job repeatedly on different products

- Entirely different jobs

Robot arms can have different tools to do

- Spot welding

- Applying adhesives

- Lifting components

- Spray painting

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Robot Arms FMS Cells

- Robot FMS cells can be organised into cells

- A host computer controls sequencing

- Jobs take different times so parts are held in a buffer store

- Several different programs can run simultaneously

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