Title: Virtual job shop approach based on reconfigurable machines

Authors: Paolo Renna

Addresses: Department of Environmental Engineering and Physics, University of Basilicata, Via dell'Ateneo Lucano, 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy

Abstract: The manufacturing companies need to rapid response to the market changes (product fluctuations, mix changes, etc.) in order to stay competitive. Reconfigurable machines allow to support the development of reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS). Reconfigurable machines are able to rapid change of hardware and software components in order to adjust the production capacity and adapt to new products. The performance measures of RMSs depend strongly by the design and control approaches used. This paper proposes a control policy to reconfigure machines in order to obtain a virtual job shop, because the machines of the job shop can be dispersed in the manufacturing system. A simulation environment has been developed in order to test the proposed methodology in different dynamic conditions: production fluctuations, mix change and the dynamicity level of the environment. The simulation results show the benefits of the proposed approach in a very dynamic environment.

Keywords: multi-agent systems; MAS; agent-based systems; reconfiguration policy; dynamic environment; discrete event simulation; virtual job shops; reconfigurable machines; reconfigurable manufacturing systems; RMS.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSOM.2013.052838

International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 2013 Vol.14 No.4, pp.445 - 465

Published online: 30 Aug 2013 *

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