Manufacturing flexibility is the ability of a manufacturing system to cope with environmental changes effectively and efficiently. Most operation managers cannot provide exact numerical values to express opinions based on human perception due to ill defined and ambiguity of flexibility assessment. However, fuzzy logic provides a useful tool to deal with problems in which the phenomena are imprecise and vague. The purpose of this study is to measure the flexibility of manufacturing system based on multi-criteria decision making using fuzzy logic approach. In this approach, the performance ratings and importance weights of different flexibility capabilities assessed by experts are expressed in linguistic terms. Fuzzy performance-importance index of each flexibility capability is also devised to help managers identify the main adverse factors and calls for managers to institute an appropriate action plan to improve the flexibility level. An example is also used to illustrate the approach developed.
Key words: Manufacturing flexibility, fuzzy logic, multi-criteria decision, performance rating, importance weights.
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