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The manufacturing system environment is typically a complex system, involving many variables and constraints being in certain cases a chaotic system. The introduction of new paradigms to face globalisation, distribution of activities and customer satisfaction requirements, increases the problem complexity. The new manufacturing control approaches should support the agile adaptation to volatile technological and economical environments and should react dynamically and quickly to disturbances. This paper intends to introduce an agent-based approach to the manufacturing problem, that uses holonic concepts, is focused on distributed manufacturing shop floor control for discrete batch production, considers the optimisation of set-up and maintenance operations, and develops mechanisms for agile and fast reaction to disturbances without compromising the global production optimisation.
Date of Conference: 2-6 Sept. 2002