Analytical loading models and control strategies in flexible manufacturing systems: a comparative study
There are three problem areas in designing and implementing a manufacturing line : the part family selection and grouping, system configuration and toolings and the operational control of manufacturing. The manufacturing process has to be stream-lined by considering resources and products to achieve flow lines operating around product families with acceptable levels of utilization. The stream-lined processes have to be assigned to tandem machines in the manufacturing lines. Then, interactions between production and inventory levels should be controlled at the operational level. Based on this framework, first a system configuration and tooling problem is modeled. The model turns out to be a large mLxed integer linear program, so that some alternative optimal seeking or heuristic techniques are used to solye the model for constructing a flow line structured Flexible Manufacturing System. Push systems of the Material Requirements Planning type or pull systems like the base-stock or Kanban schemes are often seen as alternatives for controlling manufacturing systems. The differentiating features of push, pull and a hybrid strategy are studied by discrete event simulation under different system and environmental characteristics for Flexible Manufacturing Systems. The impact of assignment of operations to machines on the performance of the system is also discussed.