With the advent of the new challenge to design a more lean and responsive computer-integrated manufacturing system, firms have been striving to achieve a coherent interaction between technology, organisation, and people to meet this challenge. This paper describes an integrated approach developed for supporting management in addressing technology, organisation, and people at the earliest stages of manufacturing automation decision-making. The approach uses both the quality function deployment (QFD) technique and the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) technique. The principal concepts of both applications are merged together to form a decision tool; QFD in its ability to identify the most suitable manufacturing automation alternative and FMEA in its ability to identify the associated risk with that option to be addressed in the manufacturing system design and implementation phases. In addition, this paper presents the results of a practical evaluation conducted in industry
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