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A Survey of Flexible Manufacturing Systems Implementation



W Darrow


This report presents descriptive data on three hundred manufacturing facilities that are using computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) techniques to machine component parts for commercial, industrial, and military products. Of these, 258 were categorized as Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS). Key descriptive statistics were gathered for each system. The data is organized into records by the user''s country, company, and geographic location. Each record is made up of 24 fields that describe the facility, the product, and the operating parameters, as well as providing a reference to the source(s) of information. In many instances the information has proven to be sparse. Nevertheless, taken in aggregate, a picture of the state of the art for FMS has emerged from the study. This picture is reflected in the graphical summaries of the data, which are presented by region for Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Japan, and the United States. An analysis of trends in FMS implementation, product and material characteristics, and materials handling technology is made for each the above regions.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 3413
Report Number


computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), flexible manufacturing, manufacturing


Darrow, W. (1986), A Survey of Flexible Manufacturing Systems Implementation, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed February 29, 2024)
Created December 31, 1985, Updated October 12, 2021