FMS Implementation Management: Promise and Performance

Harry Boer, Malcolm Hill, Koos Krabbendam

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At the present time, industry is confronted with ever-increasing customer demand for a wider diversity of products, faster product innovation, shorter delivery times and higher delivery reliability. Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) are widely regarded as a major technological response to this need for increased flexibility. Since the development of the first FMS in 1962, a few hundred FMS have been installed worldwide. The number of companies that have experience in operating an FMS over a long period is very much smaller, so it is hardly known whether, and under what circumstances, the promises of FMS can be achieved. In this article a tentative answer to this question is provided, based on seven case studies of FMS implementation, for which operational experience varied between three and six years.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Flexible manufacturing
  • Operational performance
  • Organizational change
  • implementation


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