Work Flow in Flexible Manufacturing Systems
The problem of medium term production planning is to determine the production rate over a given planning time horizon. For Flexible Manufacturing Systems the problem is compounded by the great variability of product mix so that existing production planning techniques are less than adequate in dealing with the particular problems of FMS workload planning.
This paper uses control systems theory to determine a general solution to the medium term FMS production planning problem. In doing so, the methods used illustrate the fundamental relationship between the decision variables available to the planner and the state of the system. The techniques used are applicable to a wide variety of FMS configurations and the scope of the approach is illustrated using examples of FMS production planning problems. Furthermore the solutions produced can include indications of FMS resource requirements over time thereby enabling the planner to devise suitable operating strategies.
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