RMS capacity utilisation: product family and supply chain

Reza Abdi, Ashraf Labib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The paper contributes to development of RMS through linkage with external stakeholders such as customers and suppliers of parts/raw materials to handle demand fluctuations that necessitate information sharing across the supply chain tiers. RMS is developed as an integrated supply chain hub for adjusting production capacity using a hybrid methodology of decision trees and Markov analysis. The proposed Markov Chain model contributes to evaluate and monitor system reconfigurations required due to changes of product families with consideration of the products life cycles.

The simulation findings indicate that system productivity and financial performance in terms of the profit contribution of product-process allocation will vary over configuration stages. The capacity of an RMS with limited product families and/or limited model variants becomes gradually inoperative whilst approaching upcoming configuration stages due to the end of product life cycles. As a result, reconfiguration preparation is suggested quite before ending life cycle of an existing product in process, for switching from a product family to a new/another product family in the production range, subject to its present demand. The proposed model is illustrated through a simplified case study with given product families and transition probabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1930-1956
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number7
Early online date6 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • reconfigurable manufacturing system
  • capacity utilisation
  • product life cycle
  • product-process (re)configuration


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