Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMSs) have been recognized as a new manufacturing paradigm. In light of their enhanced flexibility and responsiveness, RMSs are considered to be mostly applicable to the very dynamic and unpredictable marketplaces of the near future. However, systematic approaches to the design and ramp-up of an RMS have not been well addressed. This paper presents a virtual production line-based (VPL) approach to the design and operation of a reconfigurable manufacturing system. Shop floor attributed finite-capacity automaton and VPL attributed finite-capacity automaton are proposed for modelling the control of an RMS, which leads to ease of control software development. Algorithms for balancing VPLs to maximize the productivity of an RMS are discussed. The results of simulation runs of the proposed methodology and algorithms applied to simplified back-end semiconductor manufacturing are provided.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Strategy and Management
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering