Dynamic reconfiguration and simulation of manufacturing systems using agents

Anthony I. Anosike (School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK)
David Z. Zhang (School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 1 June 2006



Conventionally, various levels of decisions with regard to production are made in a number of sequential stages such as system design, production/process planning, production scheduling, system reconfiguration and system restructure. This paper aims to present an integrated approach for modelling, restructuring and simulating manufacturing systems to suit changing manufacturing situations as quickly as possible.


An agent‐based approach is employed where each manufacturing resource is represented by an agent. Simply speaking, the approach enables the machines in a manufacturing system to manage themselves efficiently and effectively.


The agent‐based modelling and interaction approach enables manufacturing resources to be allocated dynamically in an optimal manner. The modelling approach also enables alternative system configurations to be identified and evaluated using distributed discrete event simulation system. Resource allocation and manufacturing system control can take place simultaneously with simulation.


This paper presents a successful integration of agent‐based modelling, process planning, scheduling, control, identification of alternative system configurations, simulation and analysis of the configurations and PLC reprogramming within a coherent framework for improved manufacturing responsiveness.



Anosike, A. and Zhang, D. (2006), "Dynamic reconfiguration and simulation of manufacturing systems using agents", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 435-447. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380610662861

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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