A methodology for the reconfiguration process in manufacturing systems

Ibrahim H. Garbie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to propose a "Reconfiguration Methodology" in manufacturing systems that they can become more economically sustainable and can operate efficiency and effectively. This methodology will allow customized flexibility and capacity not only in producing a variety of products (parts) and with changing market demands, but also in changing and reengineering the system itself. Design/methodology/approach - Reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) is a philosophy or strategy which was introduced during the last decade to achieve agility in manufacturing systems. Until now, the RMS philosophy was based changing activities such routing, planning, programming of machines, controlling, scheduling, and physical layout or materials handling system. But the RMS concept can be based on the needed reconfiguration level (NRL), operational status of production systems, and new circumstances (NC). The NRL measure is based on the agility level of the manufacturing systems which is based on technology, people, management, and manufacturing strategies. The components of the manufacturing system design (MSD) consist of production system design, plant layout system, and material handling system. Operational status of production systems includes machine capability (flexibility) and capacity (reliability), production volume or demand, and material handling equipment in addition to the plant layout. The NC are also consisting of new product, developing the existing ones, and changing in demand. Findings - Reconfiguration manufacturing systems from one period to another period is highly desired and is considered as a novel manufacturing philosophy and/or strategy toward creating new sustainable manufacturing systems. A new reconfiguration methodology for the manufacturing systems will be analyzed and proposed. Two Case studies will be introduced. Originality/value - The suggestion of a new methodology of reconfiguration including the NRL (configurability index) and the operational status of manufacturing systems with respect to any circumstance is highly considered. The reconfiguration methodology also provides a framework for sustainability in the manufacturing area which mainly focussed on manufacturing systems design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-915
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014


  • Manufacturing strategies
  • Reconfigurable manufacturing systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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