Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 429–439 | Cite as

DPP: An agent-based approach for distributed process planning

  • Lihui Wang
  • Weiming Shen


A changing shop floor environment characterized by larger variety of products in smaller batch sizes requires creating an intelligent and dynamic process planning system that is responsive and adaptive to the rapid adjustment of production capacity and functionality. In response to the requirement, this research proposes a new methodology of distributed process planning (DPP). The primary focus of this paper is on the architecture of the new process planning approach, using multi-agent negotiation and cooperation. The secondary focus is on the other supporting technologies such as machining feature-based planning and function block-based control. Different from traditional methods, the proposed approach uses two-level decision-making—supervisory planning and operation planning. The former focuses on product data analysis, machine selection, and machining sequence planning, while the latter considers the detailed working steps of the machining operations inside of each process plan and is accomplished by intelligent NC controllers. By the nature of decentralization, the DPP shows promise of improving system performance within the continually changing shop floor environment.

Machining feature agents process planning numerical control 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lihui Wang
    • 1
  • Weiming Shen
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research Council CanadaIntegrated Manufacturing Technologies InstituteLondon, ONCanada

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