A participatory systems design methodology for changeable manufacturing systems

Ann Louise Andersen, Hoda ElMaraghy*, Waguih ElMaraghy, Thomas D. Brunoe, Kjeld Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to adapt to changes in products, processes and technologies is a key competitive factor. Changeable manufacturing paradigms have emerged to address this need, but the industrial implementation remains challenging. In this paper, a participatory design methodology for changeable manufacturing systems is proposed, including requirements specification, selection of appropriate manufacturing paradigm and suitable physical and logical enablers. The methodology supports companies in determining the potential for and mechanisms of transitioning towards changeable manufacturing systems, based on knowledge of products, production, technologies and facilities. The developed methodology is applicable to both new and existing manufacturing systems. It is demonstrated in two industrial cases which highlight its applicability and differences in the appropriate recommended manufacturing systems transition towards changeability as a result of differences in manufacturing characteristics, change requirements and enablers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2769-2787
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • changeability
  • design method
  • manufacturing system
  • reconfigurability
  • systems design


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