Title: Effect of machine flexibility on the performance of FMS subjected to frequent breakdowns

Authors: Anoop Verma, Nishikant Mishra, Ritesh Kumar Singh

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA. ' School of Management and Business, Aberystwyth University, Cledwyn Building, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DD, UK. ' Department of Production Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology Mesra, Ranchi 835 215, India

Abstract: The paper studies the scheduling problem in a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) operating under uncertain environment. Depending upon the intensity, nature and information, the uncertainties are classified into: 1) completely unknown; 2) suspicious; 3) known uncertainties. An objective function has been formulated that incorporate all sort of uncertainty in order to evaluate the performance measures of an FMS. Makespan has been considered as objective measures to evaluate the performance of FMS. The objective measure has been determined on ten randomly generated dataset. A total of 12 cases have been considered for each flexibility level under each dataset. Flexibility level has been used as a variable to analyse the performance of FMS under these cases. A nature inspired random search technique, viz. Symbiotic Evolutionary Algorithm (SEA), has been used to solve the scheduling problem under different cases considered. To delineate the supremacy of SEA on the FMS planning and scheduling problem, results are compared with the well-established priority-based dispatching rules.

Keywords: flexible manufacturing systems; unknown uncertainties; machine flexibility; random search algorithms; scheduling; frequent breakdowns; uncertain environments; known uncertainties; suspicious uncertainties; objective functions; uncertainty; objective measures; makespan; performance evaluation; random generation; datasets; flexibility levels; random searches; symbiotic evolutionary algorithms; dispatching rules; priority-based rules; services operations; services management; informatics; logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOI.2011.038314

International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics, 2011 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.45 - 70

Published online: 28 Jan 2011 *

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