Flexible Manufacturing System- Types Of Flexible Manufacturing System

Flexible Manufacturing System- Types Of Flexible Manufacturing System


“Manufacturing Industries are facing vigorous threats by inflation in market needs, corporate lifestyle and globalization. Hence, in current
situation, Industries which are responding rapidly to market fluctuations with more competitiveness will have great capabilities in
producing products with high quality and low cost. In the view of manufacturers, production cost is not at all a significant factor which
affects them. But, some of the factors which are important to the manufacturer are flexibility, quality, efficient delivery and customer
“Hence, with the help of automation, robotics and other innovative concepts such as just-in-time (JIT), Production planning and control
(PPC), enterprise resource planning (ERP) etc., manufacturers are very keen to attain these factors.”
“Flexible manufacturing is a theory which permits production systems to perform under high modified production needs. The problems such as minimum inventories and market-response time to bump into customer needs, response to adjust as per the deviations in the market. In order to sweep market by reducing the cost of products and services will be mandatory to various companies to shift over to flexible manufacturing systems. FMSs as a possible way to overcome the said issues while making reliable and good quality and cost effective yields. Flexible manufacturing system has advanced as a tool to bridge the gap between high mechanized line and CNC Machines with efficient mid volume production of a various part mix with low setup time, low working  process, low inventory, short manufacturing lead time, high machine utilization and high quality. FMS is especially attractive for medium and low-capacity industries such as automotive, aeronautical, steel andcelectronics.”

“”Flexible manufacturing system incorporates the following concepts and skills in an automated production system 
1. Flexible automation
2. Group technology
3. Computer numerical control machine tools
4. Automated material handling between machines”


“Flexible manufacturing systems can be separated into various types subject to their natures:”

“Flexible manufacturing system can be illustrious subject to the kinds of operation performed:”

a. “Processing operation. It performs some activities on a given job. Such activities convert the job from one shape to another continuous up to the final product. It enhances significance by altering the geometry, features or appearance of the initial materials.”

b. “Assembly operation. It comprises an assembly of two or more parts to make a new component which is called an assembly/subassembly. The subassemblies which are joined permanently use processes like welding, brazing, soldering , adhesive bonding, rivets, press fitting.”

“There are typical varieties of FMS based on the number of machines in the system:”

a. “Single machine cell (SMC). It consists of completely automated machines which are capable of performing unattended operations within a time period lengthier than one complete machine cycle. It is skilful of dispensing various part mix, reacting to fluctuations in manufacture plan, and inviting introduction of a part as a new entry. It is a sequence dependent production system.”

b. “Flexible manufacturing cell (FMC). It entails two or three dispensing workstations and a material handling system. The material handling system is linked to a load/unload station. It is a simultaneous production system.”

c. An Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). “It has four or more processing work stations (typically CNC machining centers or turning centers) connected mechanically by a common part handling system and automatically by a distributed computer system. It also includes non-processing work stations that support production but do not directly participate in it e.g., part / pallet
washing stations, co-ordinate measuring machines. These features significantly differentiate it from Flexible manufacturing cell

categories of flexible manufacturing system
categories of flexible manufacturing system

“FMS is further classified based on the level of flexibility related to the manufacturing system. Two categories are depicted here:”

a. Dedicated FMS. “It is made to produce a certain variety of part styles. The product design is considered fixed. So, the system can be
designed with a certain amount of process specialization to make the operation more efficient.”

b.Random order FMS. “It is able to handle the substantial variations in part configurations. To accommodate these variations, a random order FMS must be more flexible than the dedicated FMS. A random order FMS is capable of processing parts that have a higher degree of complexity. Thus, to deal with these kinds of complexity, sophisticated computer control system is used for this FMS type.”

Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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