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    ABSTRACT: Mixed-model assembly systems and modular supply chains are enablers to high product variety. However, as variety gets very high, the assembly and supply processes can become very complex. In assembly systems, the complexity may cause human errors and in turn impacts system performance. The complexity also impacts supply chain configuration and inventory control policy. This paper proposes a unified measure and models of complexity to assist in designing systems with robust performances. Complexity is defined as an entropy function of product variety and models are developed to describe the complexity propagation in multi-stage assembly systems and multi-echelon supply chains. Applications of the models are presented for complexity mitigation.
    CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology. 01/2008;