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Tactical flexibility of manufacturing technologies

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2 Author(s)
S. P. Pal ; Sch. of Bus., Carleton Univ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada ; S. Saleh

In discrete manufacturing the smooth running of a factory is a goal that is often not attained. Smooth running depends on the ways that everyday problems are tackled on the factory floor. The efforts of factory personnel in this regard are challenged when new technologies are introduced, as is the case with the computer-based manufacturing technologies (CBMT) in the automotive industry. The tactical flexibility of a workstation, its ability to deal with the deviations from norm, is argued to be reduced as the CBMT replaces other technologies. This change is accompanied by changes in many factory floor activities. With this perspective, the authors identify not only the problems affecting workstations in modern plants but also the plant-specific solutions to these problems. Data collected from four Canadian automotive plants through a questionnaire are shown to generally support this framework and are used to draw conclusions relevant for production managers and technological strategists

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 4 )