Is the ability to accomplish rapid changeover between the manufacture of different assemblies. Rapid changeover is further defined as the ability to move from the assembly of one product to the assembly of a similar product with a minimum of change in tooling and software. Rapid changeover enables the production of small lot sizes, allowing for `just-in-time' production.
Agile manufacturing is a term applied to an organization that has created the processes, tools, and training to enable it to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality.
An enabling factor in becoming an agile manufacturer has been the development of manufacturing support technology that allows the marketers, the designers and the production personnel to share a common database of parts and products, to share data on production capacities and problems — particularly where small initial problems may have larger downstream effects. It is a general proposition of manufacturing that the cost of correcting quality issues increases as the problem moves downstream, so that it is cheaper to correct quality problems at the earliest possible point in the process.