A Generic model for the design and analysis of production systems

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

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Paul L. Forrester

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This dissertation studies the process of operations systems design within the context of the manufacturing organization. Using the DRAMA (Design Routine for Adopting Modular Assembly) model as developed by a team from the IDOM Research Unit at Aston University as a starting point, the research employed empirically based fieldwork and a survey to investigate the process of production systems design and implementation within four UK manufacturing industries: electronics assembly, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and carpet manufacturing. The intention was to validate the basic DRAMA model as a framework for research enquiry within the electronics industry, where the initial IDOM work was conducted, and then to test its generic applicability, further developing the model where appropriate, within the other industries selected. The thesis contains a review of production systems design theory and practice prior to presenting thirteen industrial case studies of production systems design from the four industry sectors. The results and analysis of the postal survey into production systems design are then presented. The strategic decisions of manufacturing and their relationship to production systems design, and the detailed process of production systems design and operation are then discussed. These analyses are used to develop the generic model of production systems design entitled DRAMA II (Decision Rules for Analysing Manufacturing Activities). The model contains three main constituent parts: the basic DRAMA model, the extended DRAMA II model showing the imperatives and relationships within the design process, and a benchmark generic approach for the design and analysis of each component in the design process. DRAMA II is primarily intended for use by researchers as an analytical framework of enquiry, but is also seen as having application for manufacturing practitioners.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1995


  • design, analysis, production systems


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