Graduation-inspired synchronization for industry 4.0 planning, scheduling, and execution

Mingxing Li, Ming Li, Haoran Ding, Shiquan Ling, George Q. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Manufacturing complexity and uncertainty still perplex scholars and practitioners, especially in the modern fast-changing market with diversified customer demand, growing product varieties, and mixed production volumes. Emerging Industry 4.0 technology helps resolve the complexity and uncertainty as it dramatically enhances the connectivity, visibility, and traceability via real-time data of production environments in both physical and cyber aspects. However, the management paradigms inherited from the last industrial revolution for decision-making in Planning, Scheduling, and Execution (PSE) are not ready to tap the potentials of Industry 4.0 real-time data to break the bottleneck of complexity and uncertainty. The deepening divide between technological innovations and methodological advancements inevitably hinders progress towards Industry 4.0 manufacturing. Graduation Manufacturing System (GMS) is a novel paradigm that provides flexible and resilient principles for Industry4.0 PSE, but the decision models of GMS have not been discussed in the literature. This paper proposes Graduation-inspired Synchronization (GiSync) framework as the PSE decision mechanism under GMS. GiSync leverages the combined strengths of real-time data collected by advanced technologies and the innovative management philosophy inspired by graduation ceremonies to facilitate real-time, flexible, and resilient decision-making for Industry 4.0 PSE. It includes proximity-based order-job synchronization, suitability-based job-workstation synchronization, and Out-of-Order-based operation-resource synchronization. A case study shows that GiSync outperforms the others on average and displays minor variations in statistics regarding cost-efficiency, punctuality, and simultaneity measures, indicating that GiSync is more effective, stable, and resilient in stochastic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-106
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Systems
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Graduation Manufacturing System (GMS)
  • Industry 4.0
  • Planning, scheduling, and execution (PSE)
  • Real-time data
  • Synchronization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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