Scalable reconfigurable manufacturing systems (scalable-RMS) consist of standardized modular equipment that can be quickly added or removed to adjust the production capacity. Each modular machine, referred to as a scalable reconfigurable machine tool (scalable-RMT), is composed of identical modules that can be added to, or removed from the machine depending on its required throughput. In previous work, conceptual scalable-RMTs have been described. Additional scalable-RMTs are presented in this paper to highlight the applicability of this concept in manufacturing. As an extension to existing scalable-RMS literature, this paper incorporates multiple products in the system configuration design. Specifically, this paper proposes an integer programming based iterative algorithm for finding the minimum cost configuration of a multi-product system. It is shown that the proposed algorithm converges to the optimal solution under the majority of practical conditions. Then, a mathematical formulation to minimize the system investment and operational costs in a multi-product scalable-RMS is presented. A numerical example compares the solution obtained using the traditional approach of determining the system design and then the inventory control policy versus the proposed simultaneous approach. It is concluded that the simultaneous approach yields significant improvement over the traditional (decoupled) approach.

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