The performance of a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) largely depends on how the control system can control the flow of entities in the system. The control system takes control decisions based on the information provided as an input to the decision-making process. Therefore, it is important that the decision-making process and information systems operate in a synchronised manner with respect to the FMS characteristics. This can also be referred to as a Decision-Information-Synchronisation (DIS) operating zone implemented in the control system. To study the DIS in the present research, three types of visibility for decision-makers in FMS shop-floor control have been identified: (1) no local visibility, (2) physical local visibility and (3) physical and information local visibility of decision-maker/operator. These alternative visibilities and automation levels of decision and information system provide the hybrid environments of FMSs control. The current paper presents an approach to identify the DIS operating zone of FMS with suitable visibility of decision-maker and automation level. Simulation results show that under non-real-time control (low automation level in decision and information system) with physical local visibility, the FMS system performs comparable with the real-time control (high automation level in decision and information system) when routing flexibility levels are presented. Under the current global competitive environment, this study helps industrial managers determine a suitable level of visibility and automation in planning an FMS control system in order to obtain the desired performance at the lower cost.
- routing flexibility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering