Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Hoda ElMaraghy


Applied sciences



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Manufacturing systems, specifically machining, are typically designed as either dedicated or flexible; representing two very different paradigms. Measures for manufacturing flexibility have been proposed; generally, according to behaviour of system or product mix. Attempts have also been made to relate flexibility to subsequent costs.

In this thesis, System Design is presented as a property of inherent attributes determined at the design stage. This provides the 'Flexibility Level' and its measurement is based on physical-functional attributes. Hence, System Design is viewed as a continuous quality, which describes both the level of flexibility and/or dedicated nature of a system.

This metric is related to cost in a model which describes system design in its entirety; including manufacturing complexity in relation to cost as a tool to minimize manufacturing costs. Consequently, system behaviour is investigated given alternate manufacturing conditions such as varying product mix and production volume requirements. Industrial examples are used.