Simulation Technology for the Design and Scheduling of Material Handling and Storage Systems
The primary objective in acquiring material handling systems is usually the same: find the best system to meet objectives at the least cost. The design and operation of material handling systems is a complex and difficult task. Material handling is also not exactly a prestigeous focus for a career in U.S. industry. Our best talent is rarely assigned to manufacturing, much less material handling.
In Europe and Japan, material handling has long been recognized as a critical link in the manufacturing chain. In fact, it is the key element of integration in modern manufacturing systems.
This article will explore the use of simulation technology as one tool in the design and scheduling of material handling components of production systems. Material handling is examined as it is perceived in industry vis-a-vis its critical role in integrated manufacturing. Simulation and Scheduling is reviewed from a historical perspective and simulation-based tools for designing and scheduling production systems discussed. An overview of some important applications is provided followed by an overview of research needs regarding simulation and material handling.
KeywordsManufacturing System Production Schedule Material Handling Shop Floor Simulation Technology
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