Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist
Manufacturing systems analysis is the field that develops methods for predicting and understanding the behavior and performance of manufacturing systems. Manufacturing systems engineering uses these methods and understanding to design efficient, effective factories. Increased competition and product variety and decreased product lifetimes have generated great interest in productivity and quality issues. However, there has been little research in their intersection.
There is much literature on quality, and there are strategies that emphasize quality. There is also much literature on quantity, and there are strategies that emphasize quantity. However, there is little literature that deals with both together, and little literature that considers quality in a systems context.
In this talk, we analyze how production system design, quality, and productivity are inter-related in small production systems. We show how inventory capacity can influence system yield and productivity, sometimes in counter-intuitive ways. We also discuss a variety of other problems that we have recently begun to investigate.
The research described here was done in collaboration with Jongyoon Kim and Irvin C. Schick, with support from the General Motors Technical Center.