Manufacturing technology plays a vital role for the development of a country’s industrial growth and largely dictates the trend of the economy. Liberalization and globalization with reformed industrial trade policies have made manufacturing a key element to address global competition.
In the last 20 years, strategic thinking has overtaken single-minded cost reduction and cost minimization in manufacturing. Consequently, the pursuit of cost, quality, flexibility, dependability and timeliness has replaced the single- minded cost reduction in manufacturing firms, which was the norm in manufacturing until the 1970s. Now, manufacturers find competitive advantage through better design, improved customer satisfaction, quick response, faster new- product introduction, and other goals overshadowed in the past by the sole pursuit of cost reduction. The new engineering challenges require systematic and integrated planning and optimization approaches in the manufacturing environment. In this context, the aim of a manufacturing system is to achieve overall performance, utilizing resources in development, design, production, delivery and support of products.
Decision making in the manufacturing environment is a strategic topic, especially in connection with the complexity of driving forces and factors influencing manufacturing systems dynamics. The decision-making exercise can be implemented in the manufacturing environment at different stages, if appropriate procedures are made available to the designers, manufacturing engineers, production planners, and managers. These aspects are considered in the present book using graph theory and fuzzy MADM methods.
Professor R. Venkata Rao has become known as one of the leading experts in the field of decision making related to manufacturing environment. I congratulate him on his achievement, and believe that the book is highly appropriate for use by academicians, designers and practitioners, manufacturing engineers, production planners, marketing managers, applied researchers in industry, academic institutes, R&D organizations, and all decision makers in the manufacturing environment

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