Manufacturing is the organized activity devoted to the transformation of raw materials into marketable goods. The manufacturing system usually employs a series of value-adding processes to convert raw materials into more useful forms, and eventually into finished products. In an industrialized country, the manufacturing industries are the backbone of the national economy, because it is mainly through their activities that the real wealth is created. Recently, there has been what may be termed as a revolution in the fundamental ways of thinking about manufacturing management.
Manufacturing Systems Management is a discipline built upon a collection of methodological tools brought together to effect an integrated or "total" approach to problem-solving in manufacturing engineering and management, with productivity improvement as its overall objective. The main objective of manufacturing, earlier, was in achieving maximum productivity through the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of human, machine and equipment. Such a technology-based orientation gradually changed with the development of operations research, cybernetics, modern control theory and computing power. Today, the fields of applications have widened dramatically, ranging from the traditional areas of production engineering, facilities planning and material handling, to the design and optimization of more broadly-defined systems.
Manufacturing Systems Management is primarily concerned with translating designs into economical, environment friendly and reusable products rather than with the fundamental mechanics of design. It provides the theoretical and intellectual framework to be focused on whatever area of interest, and incorporates inputs from a variety of disciplines, while maintaining the engineer's familiarity and grasp of physical processes.
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