Research Article

Implementation of a Flexible Manufacturing System in a production cell of the automotive industry: decision and choice

Miguel Afonso Sellitto; Vagner Gerhardt Mancio

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Abstract: Paper aims: The purpose is to decide on the technology for the implementation of an FMS in a manufacturing cell that produces the coil for starting engines in a company of the Brazilian automotive industry.

Originality: The mixed use of structured methods to support a semi-structured decision-making problem.

Research method: The qualitative-quantitative modeling, relying on four competitive priorities of the manufacturing, cost, quality, flexibility, and delivery. The method considered three technological alternatives A1, a ladder-type layout, conveyor and pneumatic devices, A2, an open field layout and automatic guided vehicles, and A3, a robot-centered layout and robotic arms.

Main findings: Two different methods arrived at the same conclusion. The best alternative is A3, which is also better than doing nothing.

Implications for theory and practice: The complete description of a real-world case, embracing the decision-making process and the final choice and the difficulties faced by a decision analyst in supporting practitioners in solving a complex problem.


Flexible Manufacturing System, Automation, Manufacturing strategy, Industrial robots, Analytical hierarchy process


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