Robustness in production systems

In addition to classic goals such as the achievement of high performance at low cost, companies also pursue additional goals for their production and logistic systems. These goals include, e.g., costumer satisfaction or CO2-efficiency. Under the influence of the highly networked global production and increasing competition for resources and markets, robustness has become another important goal in recent years. The robustness of a production system can be defined as the ability of a system to remain in an operating condition in spite of disturbing internal and external influences.

Although an increased robustness is usually associated with additional costs, the  safety gained is very important for companies. However, there is currently limited knowledge about the systematic evaluation of the interactions between the robustness of the system, the resulting costs, and the benefits it offers.


         FigureRobustness as the property to stay in a defined system status despite disturbances.

The research group focuses on the following robustness related questions:

  • How can robustness in production and logistic systems be measured and assessed?
  • What is the relationship between robustness and efficiency, i.e. how much efficiency a company has to give up in order to obtain a higher degree of robustness?
  • Is it enough to improve the robustness at central points or interfaces in the system in order to improve the robustness of the overall system?

Selected Publications

  • Becker, Till and Meyer, Mirja and Windt, Katja (2013). A network theory approach for robustness measurement in dynamic manufacturing systems. The Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium -- Disruptive supply network models in future industrial systems: configuring for resilience and sustainability ISBN 978-1-902546-36-0: [www] [BibTex]

  • Till Becker and Mirja Meyer (2014). Performance and Time Based Robustness Measures for Dynamical and Multi-variant Manufacturing Systems. The Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium -- Capturing value from global networks: implications for manufacturing, supply chains and industrial policy ISBN 978-1-902546-45-2: [www] [BibTex]