Self-optimizing production systems
Today's manufacturers are facing numerous challenges such as highly entangled and interconnected supply chains, shortening product lifecycles and growing product complexity. They thus feel the need to adjust and adapt faster on all levels of value creation. Self-optimization as a basic principle appears a promising approach to handle complexity and unforeseen disturbances within supply chains, machines and processes. Therefore it will improve the resilience and competitiveness of manufacturing companies. This paper gives an introduction to the concept of self-optimizing production systems. After a short historical review, the different levels of value creation from supply chain design and management to manufacturing and assembly are analyzed considering their specific demands and needs for self-optimization. Examples from each of these levels are used to illustrate the concept of self-optimization as well as to outline its potential for flexibility and productivity. This paper closes with an outlook on the current scientific work and promising new fields of action.