As mass customization becomes a major challenge for manufacturing companies, assembly systems should have the capabilities to accommodate a high variety of products. Since the assembly system operations become much more complex with the increased variety, the firms are in need of a measure which is general and practical enough to correctly estimate the complexity of an assembly system. This paper proposes a new model which measures the complexity based on the modeling of production architecture. Production architecture describes how a product is processed in an assembly system. Then, the complexity is measured by checking which tasks are processed at each station since the differences among tasks are regarded as the main cause of complexity. The model has been applied to a case, a simplified version of real data from an electronics manufacturer. Applying this approach, the complexity induced from task differences can be measured from each station to an entire assembly system, and one can reduce the overall complexity by controlling the tasks which are allocated to stations. Consequently, the firms can get fundamental insights into the operation of complex assembly systems with the help of production architecture from which the complexity measure is derived.

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