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Design an intelligent real-time operation planning system in distributed manufacturing network

Yaqiong Lv (School of Logistics Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan, China)
Danping Lin (Logistics Engineering College, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, China)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




With the new generation Industry 4.0 coming, as well as globalization and outsourcing, products are fabricated by different parties in the distributed manufacturing network and enterprises face the challenge of consistent planning of semi-finished product in each manufacturing process in different geographical locations. The purpose of this paper is to propose a real-time operation planning system in the distributed manufacturing network to intelligently control/plan the manufacturing networks.


The feature of the proposed system is to model and simulate large distributed manufacturing networks to streamline the mechanical and production engineering processes with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which can keep track of process variants. To deal with concurrency and synchronization, the hierarchical timed colored Petri net (HTCPN) formalism for modeling is selected in this study. This method can help to model graphically and test the discrete events of concurrent operations. Fuzzy inference system can help for knowledge representation, so as to provide knowledge-based decision assistance in distributed manufacturing environment.


In this proposed system, there are two main sub-systems: one is the real-time modeling system, and the other one is intelligent operation planning system. These two systems are not parallel in the whole systems while the intelligent operation planning system should be embedded in any stage of the real-time modeling system as needed. That means real time modeling system provides the holistic structure of the studied distributed manufacturing system and realize real-time data transfer and information exchange. At the same time the embedded intelligent operation planning system fulfill operation plan function.


This new intelligent real-time operation system realizes real-time modeling with RFID-based HTCPN and smart fuzzy engine to fulfill intelligent operation planning which is highly desirable in the environment of Industry 4.0. The new intelligent manufacturing architecture will highly reduce the traditional planning workload and improve the planning results without manual error interference. The new system has been applied in a practical case to demonstrate its feasibility.



Lv, Y. and Lin, D. (2017), "Design an intelligent real-time operation planning system in distributed manufacturing network", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 117 No. 4, pp. 742-753.



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