Metaphors for Manufacturing: What Could it be Like to be a Manufacturing System?

Casti, J.L. (1986). Metaphors for Manufacturing: What Could it be Like to be a Manufacturing System? IIASA Research Report (Reprint). IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RR-86-004. Reprinted from Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 29(3):241-270 [1986]


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In the world of manufacturing, considerable emphasis is placed upon properties of manufacturing systems described by the terms "flexibility", "complexity", "reliability", "self-repairing" and so forth. To understand and deal with such properties, one needs a theoretical framework allowing one to pose and analyze various questions surrounding the meaning and interrelations of these terms. This paper addresses the questions of what sort of system-theoretic frameworks would be likely candidates to form the basis for such a "theory of manufacturing."

Our approach to the modeling problem is to examine several different paradigms that have proven useful in other fields - engineering, biology, linguistics, computer science, chemistry - and to explore the degree to which these "metaphors" can be used to characterize manufacturing systems. The paper concludes with an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of each metaphor and a suggestion for a program devoted to further development of the most promising approaches.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Report (Reprint))
Research Programs: Theory of Manufacturing (TOM)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:56
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:12

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