A decision-making approach to the operation of flexible manufacturing systems

  • George Chryssolouris
  • James E. Pierce
  • Kristian Dicke


This paper introduces a generic decision-making framework for assigning resources of a manufacturing system to production tasks. Resources are broadly defined production units, such as machines, human operators, or material handling vehicles; and tasks are activities performed by resources. In the specific context of FMS, resources correspond to individual machines; tasks correspond to operations to be performed on parts. The framework assumes a hierarchical structure of the system and calls for the execution of four consecutive steps to make a decision for the assignment of a resource to a task. These steps are 1) establishment of decision-making criteria, 2) formation of alternative assignments, 3) estimation of the consequences of the assignments, and 4) selection of the best alternative assignment. This framework has been applied to an existing FMS as an operational policy that decides what task will be executed on which resource of this FMS. Simulation runs provide some initial results of the application of this policy. It is shown that the policy provides flexibility in terms of system performance and computational effort.

Key words

decision making flexible manufacturing systems scheduling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Chryssolouris
    • 1
  • James E. Pierce
    • 1
  • Kristian Dicke
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Manufacturing and ProductivityMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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