Presented in this article is a review of manufacturing techniques and introduction of reconfigurable manufacturing systems; a new paradigm in manufacturing which is designed for rapid adjustment of production capacity and functionality, in response to new market conditions. A definition of reconfigurable manufacturing systems is outlined and an overview of available manufacturing techniques, their key drivers and enablers, and their impacts, achievements and limitations is presented. A historical review of manufacturing from the point-of-view of the major developments in the market, technology and sciences issues affecting manufacturing is provided. The new requirements for manufacturing are discussed and characteristics of reconfigurable manufacturing systems and their key role in future manufacturing are explained. The paper is concluded with a brief review of specific technologies and research issues related to RMSs
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