Evaluations of operational control rules in scheduling a flexible manufacturing system

Tung Sun Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, computer simulation is used to evaluate the effects of various control rules on the performance of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) operating under different manufacturing environment. Alternative routings are available, if the operation of a part can be performed by more than one machine. Three control rules, namely, dynamic alternative routings, planned alternative routings, and no alternative routings, are proposed to control the selection of alternative routings for each part. The effects of the universal loading station and also those of the dedicated loading station are investigated. In addition, the impact of buffer existence on the system's performance is also examined by considering machines with and without local buffers. The effects of changing production ratios of different part types on the performance of various operational control rules are also investigated. Moreover, the effects of system having machine breakdown are also discussed. The simulation results indicate that the FMS with dedicated loading stations outperforms the FMS with universal loading stations in all aspects. The dynamic alternative routings generally produces the best results in system performance if the universal loading station is provided. The planned alternative routings generally gives the best system performance when both the dedicated loading stations and local buffers are available. The no alternative routings usually remains at the bottom of the rank, occasionally with some exceptions. Problems in actual implementation are also highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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