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Towards decentralized production

A novel method to identify flexibility potentials in production sequences based on flexibility graphs
: Bochmann, Lennart; Gehrke, Lars; Böckenkamp, Adrian; Weichert, Frank; Albersmann, Rainer; Prasse, Christian; Mertens, Christoph; Motta, Marco; Wegener, Konrad

International Journal of Automation Technology 9 (2015), No.3, pp.270-282
ISSN: 1881-7629
ISSN: 1883-8022
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IML ()
decentralized production; flexibility potential; modeling of flexibility graphs; volume cycle; industry 4.0

Due to higher degrees of individualization, shorter product life cycles, and volatile selling markets, fulfilling customer demands - the main task of automative companies - has become very complex. In order to tackle this complexity, new concepts that enable the decentralization of decision-making within the production process have become promising solutions. The advancement towards self-organized production requires novel approaches in the field of production program planning. This work introduces the concept of the volume cycle as a new design factor in program planning. Additionally, a novel method to identify flexibility potentials in production sequences based of flexibility graphs is proposed, and the method is validated through a case study considering a segment of the assembly process for an automobile. Suitable visualization techniques for flexibility graphs are also discussed. Furthermore, in order to allow automatic analysis and evaluation off the flexibility potentials, methods of graph mining are introduced and the application possibilities of these techniques in terms of analyzing flexibility graphs are clarified. The results obtained from the case study illustrate that routing flexibility is not leveraged in today's production lines, thus revealing a potential optimization domain.