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Core Models, Principles, and Networks’ Structuring

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Part of the Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing book series (SSAM)


Manufacturing networks fundamentally differ from hierarchical organisations, as they emphasise on speed, re-linking and reconfiguration. For the decisions for realignment of units with reallocations of resources, reconfigurations on varying levels of detail and control actions, generic models represent an adequate description. Units, processes and resources obey specific newly described concurrency principles, with major implications on all manufacturing set ups. Behaviour, parallelism, iteration, encapsulations and emergence will be dominating all virtualizations of resources and objects, perfectly supporting the interrelating manufacturing aspect models for seamless collaboration, also between geographically dispersed resources. Manufacturing objects interact with other manufacturing objects via their respective virtual representations, so, in reality, virtualisations interact with virtualisations. Methods, models and KPI’s appear as embedded items on varying levels of detail supported by fold/unfold mechanisms for the generics, the processes as well as the systems, likewise. Many models in manufacturing management have been built up to harmonise demand and resource availability by taking adequate decisions for assignments and schedules, in many cases by computer programme routines. As all models will also be increasingly used decentralised, the well-known set of manufacturing management models has to be reclassified into the categories of product models, process models and decision support system models for repositioning their network role. Criticality thinking enables levelled continuous decision- and control procedures for manufacturing networks’ structures adaptation and evolution.


  • Virtual Machine
  • Network Configuration
  • Decision Space
  • Programmable Logic Controller
  • Smart Object

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  1. 1.

    In the resulting topology, all projections should be homeomorphisms, so utmost compatibility of the models is achieved. For implementations, this postulate already states the need for standards ensuring this networkability. The self-similarity principle perfectly captures the nature of homomorphism of these mappings (Kuehnle 2009) and, therefore, gives valuable hints for harmonisation, concerning corresponding structures on and between all levels of detail.

  2. 2.

    Groundbreaking work on the agent field has been done in international projects and by multinational consortia for establishing standards (AML) that support distributed communication and decision making structures. Results, closest to the areas outlined here, are the set ups of PABADIS (Peschke et al. 2005) and GRACE (2013).

  3. 3.

    SLP is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard protocol. SLP is a lightweight service announcement and request protocol that allows devices to announce their services to other devices on the network and for devices to query the network for services. In SLP, devices have three roles: service agent (SA), user agent (UA), or directory agent (DA).

  4. 4.

    Distributed automation is not restricted to wired systems. Wireless communication has been widely emerging in industrial communication due to the increased ease of installation with wireless systems as well as the ability to install systems in locations where wired systems are cumbersome or impossible. Examples of such places are rotating machinery or highly mobile systems. The questions around resolutions of devices, interfaces and logic are harmonised is an interesting one. Thus the scalability of the architecture could be a problem in large-scale smart unit networks. UPnP is a full system configuration and service discovery protocol suite intended for both computers and devices.

  5. 5.

    ERP-level reconfigurations often can be accommodated in IEC 61131-type PLC programs, but more advanced software functionality (such as IEC 61499 and object orientated programming) could in some cases be beneficial.

  6. 6.

    In the context of manufacturing enterprises, the implementation of an RTE requires the vertical integration of an enterprise and the realization of closed-loop controls in (near) real-time. Fleisch and Oesterle (2000) propose concepts, which have been addressed by IT within an RTE, suggesting: (i) integration; (ii) automation; and (iii) individualization. In their solution, the integration of an enterprise is realized by means of EAI solutions, capable of connecting various enterprise applications. In general, SOA is part of EAI and seen as a substantial enabler of RTE as it provides flexible and adaptable infrastructures (Zeeb et al. 2007). EDA (Event-driven architecture) can SOA, because services can be activated by triggers fired on incoming events. SOA 2.0 provides a richer, more robust level by leveraging previously unknown causal relationships to form a new event pattern CEP (Complex Event Processing) correlates multiple messages within given time frames.

  7. 7.

    In a composite, by encapsulation, all important properties are preserved in the sub-units. For this reason, encapsulation is strongly propagated as an important feature of newly constructed adaptable components (units are self-similar) and a hot research spot for components’ reuse.

  8. 8.

    DM units are part of an orchestration for a wide spectrum of sensor- and source data, models and simulations along with approaches to make information accessible and actionable to the workforce and to the automation systems. With increasing self-aware, self diagnosing and self optimising units, distributed manufacturing is not only expected to reduce downtime and improve efficiencies, but also to self-generate versatile configurations and to execute globally dispersed activities.

  9. 9.

    By increasing smartness, abilities to design, to plan and to solve problems are considerably extended, as the respective models and procedures may be run on the control devices. Even the most powerful planning instruments, as virtual and augmented reality, to plan entire factories may be implemented on smaller machine controls, for instance for ramp-up optimisation, as demonstrated in automotive industry already.

  10. 10.

    First information bases had prepared information for manual decisions, later the computer brought in MRP logics, inventory management programs and shopfloor scheduling. With product and program data, as well as the extended view of value chains, manufacturing company decisions had been supported by large resource information bases as ERP or ERP II. Computer aided engineering and supply chain management software widened up the scope for numerical optimisation, simulation and animation.


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Correspondence to Hermann Kühnle .

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Kühnle, H., Bitsch, G. (2015). Core Models, Principles, and Networks’ Structuring. In: Foundations & Principles of Distributed Manufacturing. Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing. Springer, Cham.

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