An agent-based approach to intelligent manufacturing network configuration

Jules, Désiré Guiovanni (2016). An agent-based approach to intelligent manufacturing network configuration. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The participation of small and medium enterprises in inter-firm collaboration can enhance their market reach while maintaining production lean. The conventional centralised collaboration approach is believed to be unsustainable, in today’s complex environment. The research aimed to investigate manufacturing network collaborations, where manufacturers maintain control over their scheduling activities and participate in a market-based event, to decide which collaborations are retained. The work investigated two pairing mechanisms where the intention was to capture and optimise collaboration at the granular level and then build up a network from those intermediate forms of organisation. The research also looked at two bidding protocols. The first protocol involves manufacturers that bid for operations from the process plan of a job. The second protocol is concerned with networks that bid for a job in its entirety. The problem, defined by an industrial use case and operation research data sets, was modelled as decentralised flow shop scheduling. The holonic paradigm identified the problem solving agents that participated in agent-based modelling and simulation of the pairing and the bidding protocols. The protocols are strongly believed to achieve true decentralisation of scheduling, with good performance on scalability, conflict resolution and schedule optimisation, for the purpose of inter-firm collaboration.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery


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