1995 Volume 8 Issue 10 Pages 549-556
One of the most essential requirements in the flexible automation is to increase the product flexibility with reducing the heavy load of CAD/CAM systems. The keywords to realize the requirement seem intelligent and distributed information processing. This paper proposes the feasible solution to realize the intelligent and distributed production systems in order to increase the flexibility especially against the errors and failures of the factory floor. The flexible cell assignment to execute the given jobs and the dynamic scheduling to re-schedule quickly when required are the important functions for the factory management. The former is realized by generating flexible sets of machining features in CAD, and non-deterministic cell assignment according to the functionality/ performance and real-time status of cells. The latter is realized by performing operation planning in the cell controllers with use of the real-time simulation and dynamic scheduling system. An example reveals feasibility and availability of the proposed control/ management architecture of the production system.