Synchronisation for smart factory - towards IoT-enabled mechanisms

Peng Lin, Ming Li, Xiangtianrui Kong, Jian Chen, George Q. Huang, Meilin Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Traditionally, production scheduling is optimised using objective functions based on punctuality criteria such as earliness and tardiness. However, synchronisation in complicated manufacturing process is always neglected. Due to the lack of synchronisation, severe problems happen frequently such as long holding time and unreasonable setups. Motivated by the practical challenges, the authors are among the first to present the IoT-enabled real-time synchronisation approaches for an automobile standard part factory with the following objectives. First, the synchronisation paradigm is proposed in terms of two dimensions, namely the Horizontal Synchronisation (HSync) for the consistency of batch production progresses within one customer order, and the Vertical Synchronisation (VSync) for the coordination between adjacent processing stages. Second, the IoT-enabled synchronisation mechanisms using rule-based heuristics and real-time production data is presented. Third, an advanced planning and scheduling (APS) system framework is developed to automatically implement the synchronisation mechanisms. Finally, the effectiveness of the synchronisation mechanisms is verified through a case study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)624-635
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • advanced planning and scheduling
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • real-time scheduling
  • Synchronisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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