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Complex social systems in nature and large manufacturing systems show several similarities. Not only do both of them follow similar principles focusing on the same goal, but also both consist of a large number of entities and the collaboration between those is as complex as dynamic. This paper introduces a multi-agent based shop floor control architecture inspired by the social behavior within natural systems. The proposed layout considers the production of periodic parts as well as the production of aperiodic arising parts. It is able to react dynamically on changes of the external environment in the way that the introduced architecture utilizes special techniques to incorporate new production cells into the existing shop floor structure at runtime. By introducing special mechanisms, the system also shows self-healing capabilities in case of a machine failure.
Date of Conference: 15-18 Sept. 2008