2009 Volume 22 Issue 7 Pages 260-272
Rapid changes of market demands and pressures of competition require manufacturers to maintain highly flexible manufacturing systems to cope with a complex manufacturing environment. This paper deals with development of an agent-based architecture of dynamic systems for incremental process planning in the manufacturing systems. In consideration of alternative manufacturing processes and machine tools, the process plans and the schedules of the manufacturing resources are generated incrementally and dynamically. A negotiation protocol is discussed, in this paper, to generate suitable process plans for the target products real-timely and dynamically, based on the alternative manufacturing processes. The alternative manufacturing processes are presented by the process plan networks discussed in the previous paper, and the suitable process plans are searched and generated to cope with both the dynamic changes of the product specifications and the disturbances of the manufacturing resources. We initiatively combine the heuristic search algorithms of the process plan networks with the negotiation protocols, in order to generate suitable process plans in the dynamic manufacturing environment.