Industry 4.0 and business performance improvement


Flexibility means to produce reasonably priced customized products of high quality that can be quickly delivered to customers.

Criteria that affect flexibility include the technology capabilities of the equipment used and the level of set-up operations (SMED), the capabilities of production technology development (CAD / CAM, CAPP) and equipment compatibility (M2M), the level of production planning and resource utilization (PLM, ERP, MES), staff competence, work traceability and internal logistics (IoT, WMS, LIMS).

Flexibility in manufacturing

Approach Flexibility meaning
Manufacturing The capability of producing different parts without major retooling. The ability to change a production order, to modify a part or to handle multiple parts without loosing the productivity
Operational The ability to efficiently produce highly customized and unique products
Customer The ability to exploit various dimension of speed of delivery
Strategic The ability of a company to offer wider variety of products to its customers
Capacity The ability to rapidly increase or decrease production levels, to shift capacity quickly from one product or service to another

System flexibility

Type of flexibility Flexibility meaning
Volume flexibility A measure of a system`s capability to be operated profitability at different volumes of the existing part types (products)
Routing flexibility A measure of the alternative paths that a part (product) can efficiently follow through a system for a given process plan
Process flexibility A measure of the volume of the set of part types that a system can produce without incurring any remarkable setup
Product flexibility The volume of the set of part types that can be manufactured in a system with minor setup
Expansion flexibility The ability to build a system and expand it incrementally

Flexibility analysis results


The nature of flexibility is manifested through different outputs of flexibility, as the nature of their impact on a company's ability to compete is expressed through various parameters.


The purpose of the Flexibility Level is to assess whether the existing Flexibility Level matches the needs of the company, creating the conditions for increasing productivity and productivity in the company.


Reflects changes in the enterprise on a planned timeline (quarterly, semi-annually, yearly).

Estimation of the company's level of flexibility

Level of flexibility Description of the nature of the level
Weak The company has not implemented, or does not need, significant opportunities to increase production flexibility
Middle range The company has implemented some production flexibility solutions to reduce mainly non-productive times and resource costs due to readjustments
Good The company uses a variety of flexibility applications and technological equipment (CNC machines, industrial robots, SMED solutions, M2M interfaces, etc.) supports increasing the level of flexibility
Excellent The company vigorously utilizes various technologies in Industry 4.0 to increase manufacturing flexibility and productivity