A new coding system is introduced to classify manufacturing systems and capture the characteristics of the various pieces of equipment and the relationships among them within a manufacturing system, which contribute to their structural, time-independent inherent complexity. The manufacturing Systems Complexity Code (SCC) consists of fields representing equipment, such as machines, buffers and transporters, as well as their layout. Each field contains a string of digits, the value of which depends on the degree of structural, control, programming and operation complexity of theses entities. The developed coding system has many applications including manufacturing systems design, comparison and planning, assessment of their complexity and evaluation of redesign alternatives and trade-offs. The new coding system is described along with its applications and demonstration examples.

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