The Effect of Complexity on High Performance Manufacturing
This paper defines factors that lead to increased complexity in the manufacturing environment. Various ways to manage complexity of a manufacturing system are discussed. A strategic approach is taken and we argue that less complexity is not always desirable, particularly when complexity is added by new products or added product features required by the market and the business strategy. But, unnecessary complexity in manufacturing should be avoided through means such as use of flexible automation, design for manufacturability, focused factories, JIT and management of human resources. A contingency approach is suggested as one way to determine how to adapt to a complex environment.
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