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Flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is a manufacturing system in which there is some amount of flexibility that allows the system to react in case of changes whether predicted or unpredicted. The first category, machine flexibility covers the system's ability to be changed to produce new product types and ability to change the order of operations executed on a part. The second category is called routing flexibility which consists of the ability to use multiple machines to perform the same operation on a part, as well as the system's ability to absorb large-scale changes, such as in volume, capacity or capability. Most FMS consist of three main systems. The work machines which are often automated CNC machines are connected by a material handling system to optimize parts flow and the central control computer which controls material movements and machine flow.
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Scope and Importance:
The main advantages of an FMS are its high flexibility in managing manufacturing resources like time and effort in order to manufacture a new product. The best application of an FMS is found in the production of small sets of products like those from a mass production. An Industrial Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) consists of robots, Computer-controlled Machines, Numerical controlled machines (CNC), instrumentation devices, computers, sensors and other standalone systems such as inspection machines. The use of robots in the production segment of manufacturing industries promises a variety of benefits ranging from high utilization to high volume of productivity. Each Robotic cell or node will be located along a material handling system such as a conveyor or automatic guided vehicle. The production of each part or work-piece will require a different combination of manufacturing nodes. The movement of parts from one node to another is done through the material handling system. At the end of part processing, the finished parts will be routed to an automatic inspection node and subsequently unloaded from the Flexible Manufacturing System.
Transparency Market Research (TMR), a market intelligence firm based in the U.S. has released a report forecasting the global industrial robotics market will reach a market value of $44.48 billion by 2020, growing from $29 billion in 2013. TMR estimates the market will grow at a CAGR of 6.2% between 2014 and 2020.
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This page was last updated on 15th Sep, 2015
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