Computers in Industry vol:33 issue:2 pages:295-304
Within the traditional mass production industries a complete re-design of the manufacturing system would occur for each new product. As product life cycles become shorter this approach is no longer practical. It would seem that next-generation manufacturing systems will require support for continuous change so that they can evolve with changing products. The design of such systems, and shop floor control systems in particular, will be a difficult task and will cover many issues in the areas of engineering, management science, computer science and the social sciences. This paper does not attempt to provide a complete description of how evolutionary shop floor control systems should be designed. Instead, we present five considerations for the design of such systems, based on holonic manufacturing concepts: aggressive holons, reusability and large user groups, IT architecture, behaviour control and end-user involvement.