Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) Seminar Report Download

Download this pdf report on Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS). Learn about various components of FMS. Also explore the applications and layout of Flexible Manufacturing System. Get the ppt seminar report to learn the types and example. Why FMS is needed in maufacturing industries?

flexible manufacturing system FMS PDF ppt


Globalization, fickling market requirements and modern lifestyle trends have put up the tremendous challenge to manufacturing industries. In the current business scenario, the competitiveness of any manufacturing industry is determined by its ability to respond quickly to the rapidly changing market and to produce high-quality products at low costs.
However, the product cost is no longer the predominant factor affecting the manufacturers’ perception. Other competitive factors such as flexibility, quality, efficient delivery and customer satisfaction are drawing the equal attention. Manufacturing industries are striving to achieve these capabilities through automation, robotics and other innovative concepts such as just-in-time (JIT), Production planning and control (PPC), enterprise resource planning (ERP) etc. Flexible manufacturing is a concept that allows manufacturing systems to be built to highly customized production requirements. The issues such as reduction of inventories and market-response time to meet customer demands, flexibility to adapt to changes in the market, reducing the cost of products and services to grab more market shares, etc have made it almost obligatory to many firms to switch over to flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs) as a viable means to accomplish the above requirements while producing consistently good quality and cost-effective products. 
FMS is actually an automated set of numerically controlled machine tools and material handling systems, capable of performing a wide range manufacturing operations with quick tooling and instruction changeovers.


A flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is a group of numerically-controlled machine tools, interconnected by a central control system. The various machining cells are interconnected, via loading and unloading stations, by an automated transport system. Operational flexibility is enhanced by the ability to execute all manufacturing tasks on numerous product designs in small quantities and with faster delivery. It has been described as an automated job shop and as a miniature automated factory. Simply stated, it is an automated production system that produces one or more families of parts in a flexible manner. Today, this prospect of automation and flexibility presents the possibility of producing nonstandard parts to create a competitive advantage.
The concept of flexible manufacturing systems evolved during the 1960s when robots, programmable controllers, and computerized numerical controls brought a controlled environment to the factory floor in the form of numerically-controlled and direct-numerically-controlled machines.
For the most part,  flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is limited to firms involved in the batch production or job shop environments. Normally, batch producers have two kinds of equipment from which to choose: dedicated machinery or unautomated, general-purpose tools. Dedicated machinery results in cost savings but lacks flexibility. General purpose machines such as lathes, milling machines, or drill presses are all costly, and may not reach full capacity. Flexible manufacturing systems provide the batch manufacturer with another option—one that can make batch manufacturing just as efficient and productive as mass production.


Stated formally, the general objectives of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) are to approach the efficiencies and economies of scale normally associated with mass production, and to maintain the flexibility required for small- and medium-lot-size production of a variety of parts.
Two kinds of manufacturing systems fall within the flexible manufacturing system (FMS) spectrum. These are assembly systems, which assemble components into final products and forming systems, which actually form components or final products. A generic  flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is said to consist of the following components:
  1. A set of workstations containing machine tools that do not require significant set-up time or change-over between successive jobs. Typically, these machines perform milling, boring, drilling, tapping, reaming, turning, and grooving operations.
  2. A material-handling system that is automated and flexible in that it permits jobs to move between any pair of machines so that any job routing can be followed.
  3. A network of supervisory computers and microprocessors that perform some or all of the following tasks: (a) directs the routing of jobs through the system; (b) tracks the status of all jobs in progress so it is known where each job is to go next; (c) passes the instructions for the processing of each operation to each station and ensures that the right tools are available for the job; and (d) provides essential monitoring of the correct performance of operations and signals problems requiring attention.
  4. Storage, locally at the workstations, and/or centrally at the system level.
  5. The jobs to be processed by the system. In operating a  flexible manufacturing system (FMS), the worker enters the job to be run at the supervisory computer, which then downloads the part programs to the cell control or NC controller.


The potential benefits from the implementation and utilization of a flexible manufacturing system have been detailed by numerous researchers on the subject. A review of the literature reveals many tangible and intangible benefits that FMS users extol. These benefits include:
  • less waste
  • fewer workstations
  • quicker changes of tools, dies and stamping machinery
  • reduced downtime
  • better control over the quality
  • reduced labor
  • more efficient use of machinery
  • work-in-process inventory reduced
  • increased capacity
  • increased production flexibility
The savings from these benefits can be sizable. Enough so that Ford has poured $4,400,000 into overhauling its Torrence Avenue plant in Chicago, giving it flexible manufacturing capability. This will allow the factory to add new models in as little as two weeks instead of two months or longer. Richard Truett reports, in Automotive News, that the flexible manufacturing systems used in five of Ford Motor Company's plants will yield a $2.5 billion savings. Truett also reports that, by the year 2010, Ford will have converted 80 percent of its plants to flexible manufacturing.