A-level Graphic Products/Edexcel/Unit 3 :Designing for the Future/Systems and control/Manufacturing systems

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Advanced manufacturing technology (AMT)[edit]

AMT describes the impact of computer and technology on manufacturing. This is where a computer is used at every stage of the manufacture process, meaning that it's fast, efficient and accurate.

Quick response manufacturing (QRM)[edit]

QRM is where the company is one that listens to company customer demand, rather than planning on expectation that might or not happen.

QRM uses a certain techniques to achieve the goal, such as: total quality management (TQM), just-in-time (JIT) and manufacturing cells. The main overall goal of all of this is to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of a company.[1]

Cellular manufacturing (manufacturing cells) is where production teams are in cells which are dedicated to certain production lines. These teams can be quickly reallocated if user/product requirements change. This means that no access products are manufactured, only the amount that's needed.[2]

The ideal QRM situation would be that when a product is ordered, then it is manufactured, this means the correct amount of products are manufactured.

Advantages Disadvantages
Less money needed to run the factory as there aren't many raw materials and finished goods. Large variation in demand will cause problems if the manufacturer can't react to the high production of volume quick enough.
It's easier for them to get a good position in the market share as quick response times will attract customers. Managing the QRM process can be difficult (managing the responsibilities of staff).
High turnover of stock levels as production systems are created on demand. A lack of supply will make the manufacturer can problems when trying to meet customer demand.
Smaller batches are made; this means that there are lower storage costs. Highly dependent on suppliers to react to demand.
Reducing the cost of quality by minimising waste and by giving more responsibility to production teams.

Concurrent manufacturing (CM)[edit]

Concurrent manufacturing is where one stage of a manufacturing process can be changed without altering/affecting the other stages. The main aim of this is to allow for changes that won't slow down other manufacturing processes. Else, these delays might cause problems such as making the product less competitive/desired. Another way to look at concurrent manufacture is that development stages overlap in certain areas, rather than the traditional stage by stage method.

Computers should be used for efficient communication between the individual teams. Computer should also be used for integrated projects and shared product development; this makes it time effective.

Quality function deployment (QFD)[edit]

QFD House of Quality for Enterprise Product Development Processes

This where the customer satisfaction is incorporated into the development process before it's manufactured.

The main focus of QFD is:

  • Focus on customer requirements
  • Use of multi-discoplinary teamwork
Multidisciplinary teams consist of staff from several different professional backgrounds who have different areas of expertise.[3]
  • Comprehensive "House of quality" matrix
This is used by the team to translate the user requirements into a number of targets.[4]

The main advantages of QFD are:

  • Reduced in the time taken for the product to get to market
  • Reduction in design modifications
  • Reduction in cost for design and manufacturing.
  • Improved product quality
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction.

Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)[edit]

Training FMS with learning robot SCORBOT-ER 4u, workbench CNC Mill and CNC Lathe

This is where multiple machines are linked together, this saves the process of a human moving them from one to another. This is different to a normal production line as it has the ability to move a variety of objects.

To achieve this, it can use:

Plasma Cutting, CNC

There are two categories of FMS:[5]

  • Machine flexibility
The system's ability to adapt to new products, and the system's ability to change the order of operations.
  • Routing flexibility
The system's ability to perform many task at the same time, as well as the system's ability to adapt the amount of products needed (volume/order size).

FMS can vary in complexity and size, here are two examples:

  • It can be highly flexible and produce large amounts of different parts, but only in small batches
  • It can produce one single complete product in large batches.

Advantages of FMS[6][edit]

  • Increased production due to automation.
  • Shorter lead times (The time taken for a product to get to market).
  • Lower labour costs due to automation.
  • Higher production quality as it's done my machines rather than humans (avoid human error).

Disadvantages of FMS[7][edit]

  • High cost to implement
  • Requirement of skilled labour.