Mb0050 Research Methodology Solved Assignment 2012


Q2. a. What are the sources from which one may be able to identify research problems?


The selection of one appropriate researchable problem out of the identified problems requiresevaluation of those alternatives against certain criteria, which may be grouped into:


Internal Source

Internal Criteria consists of:1)

Researcher’s interest:

The problem should interest the researcher and be a challenge to him.Without interest and curiosity, he may not develop sustained perseverance. Even a smalldifficulty may become an excuse for discontinuing the study. Interest in a problem depends

upon the researcher’s

educational background, experience, outlook and sensitivity.2)


competence: A mere interest in a problem will not do. The researcher must becompetent to plan and carry out a study of the problem. He must have the ability to grasp anddeal with int.he must possess adequate knowledge of the subject-matter, relevant methodologyand statistical procedures.3)

Researcher’s own

resource: In the case of a research to be done by a researcher on his own,consideration of his own financial resource is pertinent. If it is beyond his means, he will not beable to complete the work, unless he gets some external financial support. Time resource ismore important than finance. Research is a time-consuming process; hence it should beproperly utilized.


External Source



Research ability of the problem:

The problem should be researchable, i.e., amendable forfinding answers to the questions involved in it through scientific method. To be researchablea question must be one for which observation or other data collection in the real world canprovide the answer.2)

Importance and urgency:

Problems requiring investigation are unlimited, but availableresearch efforts are very much limited. Therefore, in selecting problems for research, theirrelative importance and significance should be considered. An important and urgentproblem should be given priority over an unimportant one.3)

Novelty of the problem:


problem must have novelty. There is no use of wasting one’s

time and energy on a problem already studied thoroughly by others. This does not meanthat replication is always needless. In social sciences in some cases, it is appropriate toreplicate (repeat) a study in order to verify the validity of its findings to a different situation.4)


A problem may be a new one and also important, but if research on it is notfeasible, it cannot be selected. Hence feasibility is a very important consideration5)


Research requires certain facilities such as well-equipped library facility, suitableand competent guidance, data analysis facility, etc. Hence the availability of the facilitiesrelevant to the problem must be considered.





Note: Answer all questions. Kindly note that answers for 10 marks questions should beapproximately of 400 words. Each question is followed by evaluation scheme.

Q1. What is Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS)? How does it help in improving the manufacturingprocess? (Definition of FMS - 1 mark; Characteristics- 2 marks; Explanation of system designed to producecomponents


3 marks; How there is flexibility in the manufacturing process


2 marks; Components of FMS


2 marks) 10 marksAnswer.Definition of FMS

- A system that consists of numerous programmable machine tools connected by an automated

material handling system”.

A flexible manufacturing system (FMS) gives manufacturing firms an advantage in aquickly changing manufacturing environment.

Characteristics of FMS

- There are following characteristics of FMS as:

It is an attempt to solve production problems of mid-volume and mid-variety parts.

It is designed to process several parts in the given mix simultaneously.

It is equipped with sophisticated flexible machine tools

Faster, lower-cost changes from one part to another which will improve capital utilization

Lower direct labor cost, due to the reduction in number of workers.

Reduced inventory, due to the planning and programming precision

Explanation of system designed to produce components

- A Flexible Manufacturing System is one that can bechanged or adapted rapidly to manufacture different products or components at different volumes of production.Flexible manufacturing systems are usually seen at their most efficient when manufacturing components rather thanfinished products.Machine Flexibility: When machines are used to manufacture a variety of products/components this is called

‘machine flexibility’. A good example is a company that

specializes in manufacturing injection molded components.The component design may change very quickly but as long as the mould is updated / modified the injection moldingmachine can still operate. Computers monitor the supply of materials; monitor the operating temperatures and qualitycontrol. Machines of this nature are adaptable and are ideal for FMS.

Flexibility in the manufacturing process

- Flexible manufacturing systems are being designed with other type of  processing equipments including inspection stations, assembly works and sheet metal presses. Increasingmanufacturing flexibility is a key strategy for efficiently improving market responsiveness in the face of uncertainfuture product demand.

Components of FMS

1. Workstations:

In present day application these workstations are typically computer numerical control (CNC)machine tools that perform machining operation on families of parts. The various workstations are

Machining centers

Load and unload stations

Assembly work stations

Sheet metal processing, etc.

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