Distributed autonomous real-time planning and control of small to medium enterprises
journal contributionposted on 29.07.2009, 13:41 by Shahin RahimifardShahin Rahimifard, Stephen T. Newman, R. Bell
The research reported in this paper is built on the use of the concepts of ‘holonic manufacturing’ and is seeking new methods to reinforce the autonomous and cooperative attributes of planning and control activities within human centred manufacturing facilities. It is claimed that in small enterprises, where the success depends on the skill of individual employees and their ability to collaborate, the manufacturing performance can be improved by the use of the appropriate information technology (IT) tools and the appropriate planning and control structure, designed and developed on the basis of these holonic concepts. Such novel tools and planning structures must provide the most appropriate information in a way that enhances collaborative activity within the business and strengthens the role of the individual. This paper identifies a number of major requirements that must be considered for the design and implementation of an effective production planning and control (PPC) structure, tailored for the needs of small enterprises. Based on these requirements and the use of holonic manufacturing concepts, a novel distributed autonomous real-time planning and control structure is presented. The final sections of the paper describe the implementation of such a planning and control structure within a typical configuration for the production facility of a small metalworking enterprise.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering