A systematic methodology for changeable and reconfigurable manufacturing systems development

Rasmus Andersen*, Alessia Napoleone, Ann-Louise Andersen, Thomas Ditlev Petersen, Kjeld Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Pursuing manufacturing competitiveness in the dynamic industrial landscape necessitates implementing changeable and reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS) capable of rapid adaptation to varying functionalities and capacities. However, current manufacturing system development methods often overlook product-driven changes during the system's life cycle, hindering companies from effectively responding to shifting demands and technological advancements. Consequently, this research paper proposes a systematic methodology for designing and developing changeable and reconfigurable manufacturing systems to address this gap. The proposed methodology is derived from a synthesis of design theory, reconfigurability theory, and practical insights to guide the development process from conception to implementation. The four-step development method adopts a system life cycle-wide perspective, encompassing (i) identification and clarification of the need for reconfigurability, (ii) formulation of reconfigurable concepts, (iii) detailed design of the reconfigurable system, and (iv) successful implementation and utilization of reconfigurability. Crucially, the development method blends existing RMS development tools and novel tools co-created with industry partners, ensuring its pragmatic and holistic applicability. Each step incorporates specific activities and supporting tools, rendering the methodology flexible and adaptable to diverse manufacturing environments. The proposed methodology was validated through case studies in seven diverse manufacturing companies. The primary contributions of this research lie in integrating new and existing development tools into a comprehensive and practical development method, facilitating a system life cycle-wide approach to RMS design, and promoting industry-specific adaptability. The validation across multiple manufacturing companies ensures the effectiveness and broad applicability of the proposed methodology. Consequently, this paper is a valuable resource for manufacturing companies aiming to enhance competitiveness by adopting changeable and reconfigurable manufacturing systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
Issue numberC
Pages (from-to)449-462
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • RMS
  • changeable manufacturing
  • design methodology
  • engineering design
  • reconfigurable manufacturing


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic methodology for changeable and reconfigurable manufacturing systems development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this