CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2019 Edition
| Editors: Sami Chatti, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart, Tullio Tolio

Capacity Planning

  • Hoda A. ElMaraghyEmail author
  • Ahmed M. DeifEmail author
Reference work entry



Capacity is defined, in the context of manufacturing, as the maximum rate of production and the ability to yield production. Capacity planning is concerned with defining all resources and factors that affect the ability of a manufacturer to produce including equipment, labor, space, and time (i.e., number of shifts). The outcome of capacity planning is an investment strategy and resource utilization plan defined based on optimal policies that try to fulfill demand and its variation while considering various system’s operational objectives and constraints.

Theory and Application


Capacity planning is motivated by manufacturers’ desire to meet customers’ demand. Uncertainty of the customer’s demand increases the complexity of capacity planning. Capacity planning is often confused with scheduling since both deal with managing production to meet demand. However, a major distinction between both activities is that capacity planning is...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intelligent Manufacturing Systems CenterUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.Canada Research Chair in Manufacturing Systems, Intelligent Manufacturing Systems CentreUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  3. 3.Orfalea College of BusinessCalifornia Polytechnic State University (CAL POLY)San Luis ObispoUSA