Postprint version. Published in International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Volume 19, Issue 3, September 1, 2007, pages 128-150.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Ahmed Deif was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1007/s10696-008-9031-2.
This paper presents a model for assessing different capacity scalability policies in Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS) for different changing demand scenarios. The novelty of this approach is two fold: (1) it is the first attempt to explore different capacity scalability policies in RMS based on multiple performance measures, mainly scaling rate, Work In Process level, inventory level and backlog level; and (2) the dynamic scalability process in RMS is modeled for the first time using System Dynamics. Different policies for capacity scalability for various demand scenarios were assessed. Numerical simulation results obtained using the developed capacity scalability model showed that the best capacity scalability policy to be adopted for RMS is dependent on the anticipated demand pattern as well as the various manufacturing objectives. The presented assessment results will help the capacity scalability planners better decide the different tradeoffs between the competing strategic and operational objectives of the manufacturing enterprise, before setting the suitable capacity scalability plan parameters.