Natural Integration Levels of the Process Planning Function
The increased competition has been realized by the leading manufacturing companies, through for example increased flexibility and quality and at the same time reduced leadtimes and price level. Job shop manufactures with high product assortment and low production volume do not benefit from process plans (routings) optimized according to local criteria and sub-optimized productions planning approaches are not requested. This paper deals with integrated approaches of the process planning function which can take the requirements and needs of the surrounding activities into account. It also describes and emphasizes the need for flexible and dynamic process plans. Concepts for solving the integration issue based on constrained information theory are also developed. The concepts provided for integration is diverted from thc discovery of time dependent tasks within the process planning domain. It describes the natural integration levels which is identified in the phases within the process planning domain which corresponds to the phases a product has to pass through from development to production.
The paper thereby mainly addresses order manufactures, where the possibilities of using alternative routings on shop floor level are apparent. Another essential characteristic of the production task is that products, processes and plans are accommodated to the existing resource profile, which represents the long tern accessibility of machines, tools, workers and other production facilities.
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