The concept of "flexibility" has been a recurring theme in the recent operations research literature pertaining to manufacturing. Although flexibility is recognized for its strategic importance to the future of manufacturing, critical underpinnings of this concept are not well understood. This paper presents a comprehensive study of flexibility and proposes a scheme for assessing "value of flexibility", a surrogate flexibility measure. The paper also provides valuable conceptual foundations for the development of quantitative models dealing with economic evaluation of investments in the flexibly automated manufacturing systems.
- Economic Justifications
- Flexible Manufacturing Systems
- Surrogate Measures
- Value of Flexibility