In 2015 Siemens AG and the Chair of Information Systems (Services – Processes – Intelligence) established a cooperation in order to analyze the economic impact of flexibility measures in manufacturing systems. Flexibility in manufacturing is a key topic in the German high tech strategy “Industrie 4.0” and is also closely connected to the new paradigm of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and the Internet of Things (IoT) as a basis of agile production. Another important topic in terms of flexibility is also the rise of new service concepts for industrial services and the usage of a costs by cause principle, which can affect the financial flexibility of manufacturing systems.

Traditional approaches focus mainly on technological feasibility, while economic efficiency is often neglected. In order to overcome this gap the cooperation project capitalizes on the analysis of economic efficiency and the creation of a framework that can support a quantitative cost-benefit assessment for flexibility measurements in manufacturing systems. Flexibility assessment in this case can be related to the introduction of new product variants as well as more flexible machinery such as CPS or process improvements in smart factories.