Integrated manufacturing systems design in a multi-product company

  • Günther Kruse

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Using a hydraulic equipment manufacturing plant as the case study, this work explores the problems of systems integration in manufacturing systems design, stressing the behavioural aspects of motivation and participation, and the constraints involved in the proper consideration of the human sub-system. The need for a simple manageable modular organisation structure is illustrated, where it is shown, by reference to systems theory, how a business can be split into semi-autonomous operating units. The theme is the development of a manufacturing system based on an analysis of the business, its market, product, technology and constraints, coupled with a critical survey of modern management literature to develop an integrated systems design to suit a specific company in the current social environment.

Society currently moves through a socio-technical revolution with man seeking higher levels of motivation. The transitory environment from an autocratic/paternalistic to a participative operating mode demands systems parameters only found to a limited extent in manufacturing systems today.

It is claimed, that modern manufacturing systems design needs to be based on group working, job enrichment, delegation of decision making and reduced job monotony. The analysis shows how negative aspects of cellular manufacture such as lack of flexibility and poor fixed asset utilisation are relatively irrelevant and misleading in the broader context of the need to come to terms with the social stresses imposed on a company operating in the industrial environment of the present and the immediate future.
Date of AwardSept 1977
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorR.H. Thornley (Supervisor)


  • system
  • manufacturing
  • group
  • motivation
  • celluar

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