Cutting tools versus machine tools investments in FMS design

M. Barad*, K. Hoang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wide fluctuations in the relative investment costs in cutting tools versus machine tools were exhibited by five developed countries (USA, UK, Japan, West Germany and France) during the period 1970 to 1990. An analysis of these data provides evidence that an optimal investment ratio may exist and that the five developed countries are on their ways to realise it. This problem is next examined at a micro level where examples are introduced to show the important role of cutting tools within an economic flexible manufacturing system design strategy. The concept of machine flexibility (expressed in terms of a variety of operations i.e. versatility) and performance measures such as maximal machine utilisation and work in process as affected by machine flexibility and tool allocation, are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-40
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Cutting tools
  • Economic design
  • Flexibility
  • Machine tools


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