The effects of scheduling flexibility on the performance of a flexible manufacturing system

Tung Sun Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In today's industries, flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs) play an important role in manufacture. An FMS is a modern technology that helps to improve the factories by improving their response time, lowering their unit costs and producing better quality goods. It is designed to combine the efficiency of mass-production of mid-volume and mid-variety products. In this paper, the performance of an FMS is evaluated in terms of makespan, average flow time, average delay time at local buffers and average machine utilization, observing the effects of different scheduling flexibilities, which include dispatching and routeing flexibilities. The three routeing policies considered in this paper are 'no alternative routeings', 'alternative routeings dynamic' and 'alternative routeings planned'. The above routeing policies are combined with seven dispatching rules and are studied in different production volumes which vary from 50 to 500 parts. In addition, the impact of both infinite and finite local buffer capacities is analysed. Since an FMS usually deals with a variety of products, the effects of changing the part mix ratio are also discussed. Finally, the study of machine failure is also covered in this research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-918
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Dispatching rules
  • Flexible manufacturing system
  • Routeing decisions
  • Scheduling
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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