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A holonic manufacturing system, designed to realize agile manufacturing, must (be able to) integrate the entire range of manufacturing activities from ordering, through design, modeling, production, to delivery. These activities are performed at many distributed sites. In order to effectively integrate these distributed sites, this work adopts distributed object and mobile object technologies, RosettaNet implementation framework, as well as holon and holarchy concepts derived from studying social organizations and living organisms to develop a holonic information coordination system (HICS). The generic holon is first developed by adopting the technologies of the distributed object-oriented approach with common object request broker architecture infrastructure, n-tier client/server architecture, a knowledge base, and data warehousing to achieve the properties of holon, error recovery, and security certification. The communication holon (CH) is then generated by inheriting the generic holon. Finally, CHs are employed to establish HICS. The CH exhibits basic holonic attributes, such as intelligence, autonomy, and cooperation. Furthermore, the CH can handle partner interface processes, and data exchange by various data formats following the standards of RosettaNet business messages. The failure recovery mechanism of the CH causes HICS to be more reliable than legacy systems. As such, HICS can meet the future requirements of supply-chain information integration of virtual enterprises.
Note to Practitioners-An HICS that handles the information flow of the supply chain is proposed in this work. HICS is composed of many communication holons (CHs). Any company that would like to use HICS to exchange information for enterprise integration may possess a CH. The CH is implemented with the Java web-start technology. Therefore, any company can download a CH from the web server via a web browser. The company is, then, able to communicate with other members throughout the supply chain. Accordingly, CHs are scattered throughout the Internet/intranet and each CH can act as both an information supplier and an information consumer. Further, because the CH adopts the RoesettaNet implementation framework (RNIF), any company that has the capability of RNIF can also communica- te with the members in the HICS framework via RosettaNet business messages.
Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:1 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Jul 2004