A Stable, Distributed Routing Policy for Flexible Manufacturing Systems
Consider a multi-machine Flexible Manufaturing System (FMS) FMS, where a set of n input part types (PTs) is processed subject to processing and system constraints. The m servers are arranged in a parallel fashion, with identical operating conditions for a particular part type (PT), but nonidentical processing capabilities. In other words, there is no preference between servers for processing of a PT, whenever the particular PT can be processed on the server. This gives rise to processing constraints, namely routing decisions during system operation. All policies developed share the following set of assumptions: (1) process times, buffer bounds, and routing conditions are known in advance and deterministic, (2) no job preemption, (3) the machines allow for model processing breakdowns, (4) no precedence relations between PTs of one class exist, and (5) there are implicit setup times between PTs. For the considered type of model an activated breakdown incurs processing discontinuation of a particular PT model, resulting in unprocessed parts of a batch being transfered back into the input inventory buffers. This allows other models of a PT to be processed even though a certain PT model currently cannot be manufactured.
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