Manufacturing is the application of tools and processes for the transformation of raw materials into finished products. The manufacturing sector is closely linked with engineering and industrial design. Manufacturing is experiencing most important transformation as a result of the unforeseen challenges arising from the current trend of miniaturization, the appearance of new materials and the growing interaction between biologists and engineers to learn more from nature and living objects. Production planning is the foremost task for manufacturing firms to deal with, especially adopting Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) as the manufacturing strategy for production seeking an optimal balance between productivity-flexibility requirements. Production planning in FMS provides a solution to problems regarding part type selection: machine grouping, production ratio, resource allocation and loading problem. These problems need to be solved optimally for maximum utilization of resources. Optimal solution to these problems has been a focus of attention in production and manufacturing, industrial and academic research since a number of decades. Evolution of new optimization techniques, software, technology, machines and computer languages provides the scope of a better optimal solution to the existing problems. Recently, engineers and scientists have begun exploring “bottom-up” approaches for manufacturing today’s highly complex products. Further, these emerging processes are aimed to improve process efficiency and product quality.

This book is intended to exchange current and future directions of manufacturing processes research, development and implementation, and to cover advancing state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and encouraging innovation for developing new and efficient processes. It provides a comprehensive knowledge on the latest fundamental and applied industrial research.

This book will appeal to those involved in manufacturing engineering, systems and management and those involved in manufacturing research.