Development of Simulation Techniques for the Design of Nagare Flow Production Systems
Simulation techniques have been used for some time to assess the dynamic behaviour of manufacturing systems. The trend towards ‘Japanese’ style production systems has presented some challenges to dynamic analysis: complex and flexible operator working patterns are difficult to model using traditional simulation techniques. The term ‘nagare’ has been used to describe production systems consisting of low technology machine tools arranged in a IT shape. Operators travel in a circular pattern moving components from machine to machine. This paper will present a manufacturing simulator that is able to model nagare production systems. Features within the simulator assist the user in developing simulation models. Typically the speed of developing simulation models confines their use to checking the final design. It will be shown that this simulator can be used to design, as well as evaluate, such production systems.
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