Search results

1 – 8 of 8
Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Patricio Torres-Palacio

In modern industrial processes, the need of reducing lead time is imperious. This goal is pursued by “Holonic” structures, which are systems based on a network of…

Abstract

Purpose

In modern industrial processes, the need of reducing lead time is imperious. This goal is pursued by “Holonic” structures, which are systems based on a network of collaboration. The purpose of this paper is to appraise the possible benefits, in terms of production duration, of such organizations compared to non-holonic arrangements. In addition, this analysis represents virtual teams, which are a significant and strategic attribute of holonic manufacturing systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The experiment performed in this paper is a simulation of an automobile assembly process under both a holonic and a non-holonic structure to observe lead times and the distinctive characteristics of each organization. Other targets of this research are to monitor the advantages that either strategy may offer in terms of efficiency and to examine a possible model of how virtual teams can be used in holonic networks.

Findings

The findings are unexpected. An initial expectation might lead to the belief that, given the better coordination and communication of holonic networks, lead times would be diminished. This experiment, utilizing virtual teams of university students, indicated otherwise.

Research limitations/implications

It should be noticed, however, that future experiments in real manufacturing assembly processes are recommended to complement the findings of this study.

Originality/value

The management of lead times is indeed a complex task that includes a diversity of variables. Holonic structures should balance several factors that might play a role in lead times and ultimately in the success of a project. An original experiment with the participation of many universities in different countries is presented in this study. The exposure of global characteristics of modern manufacturing structures constitutes the main value of this research.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Mihaela Ulieru, Robert W. Brennan and Scott S. Walker

Merges the latest results obtained by the holonic manufacturing systems (HMS) consortium with the latest developed standards for platform interoperability released by the…

1497

Abstract

Merges the latest results obtained by the holonic manufacturing systems (HMS) consortium with the latest developed standards for platform interoperability released by the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) to propose a novel e‐business model: the holonic e‐enterprise (HE). The HE extends both the HMS and FIPA models. On one side it extends the holonic manufacturing paradigm with one top level, the inter‐enterprise one. On the other side it extends the multi‐agent system (MAS) paradigm to the hardware (physical machine) level.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 13 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Yoshihiro Kusuda

Describes the history, current activities and ongoing projects of the IMS. Intelligent Manufacturing Systems is an international collaboration programme for research and…

437

Abstract

Describes the history, current activities and ongoing projects of the IMS. Intelligent Manufacturing Systems is an international collaboration programme for research and development of new manufacturing models for the next generation.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 November 2018

Piero Mella

Any kind of production flow is obtained not from individual production organizations but from a more or less widespread Production Network of interconnected production…

Abstract

Purpose

Any kind of production flow is obtained not from individual production organizations but from a more or less widespread Production Network of interconnected production modules located in different places and times. All of these modules are, consciously or not, necessarily connected, interacting and cooperating in a coordinated way to combine and arrange, step by step, the factors, materials, components, manpower, machines and equipment to obtain flows of products’ final goods, in particular’ and to sell these where there is a demand for them. The purpose of this paper is to determine, in logical and formal terms, the minimum conditions that bring about the formation of production networks and to discover the laws that explain their dynamics over time.

Design/methodology/approach

At the global level, the continuous and accelerated economic progress of mankind is witnessed. There is an increase in the quantity and quality of satisfied and yet to be satisfied needs, of attained and yet to be attained aspirations. The increase in productivity and in quality has become unstoppable and appears to guide the other variables in the system. It is natural to ask who produces and governs these phenomena. It does indeed seem there is a Ghost in the “Production” machine whose invisible hand produces growing levels of productivity and quality, increases the quality and quantity of satisfied needs and aspirations and reduces the burden of work, thus producing increasingly higher levels of progress in the entire economic system. This conceptual framework gives a simple answer: there is nothing metaphysical about this evolution towards unstoppable and irreversible progress, and it is produced by the spontaneous genesis and activity of selfish nodes and governed by the rules and laws of the production networks.

Findings

The author has identified ten “rules of selfish behavior” on the part of the nodes, whose application necessarily and inevitably produces three evolutionary dynamic processes “which refer to the network as an entity” which the author has called the “rules of the production networks” to emphasize their cogency: continual expansion, elasticity-resiliency and continual improvement in performance. The cognitive and creative processes that characterize the nodes do not allow us to predict the actual evolution of production networks; nevertheless, if it is assumed that nodes “consciously or not” follow the 10 “rules of selfish behavior”, then several typical trends, or behavioural schema, can be deduced which the author has called as the “laws of networks”, to highlight their apparent inevitability and cogency.

Research limitations/implications

More than any other structure, Production Networks display Holland’s features and Arthur’s properties as their modules, viewed as autonomous entities with cognitive functions, represent a collectivity of agents that interact and exchange information with their environment to maintain over time their internal processes through adaptation, self-preservation, evolution and cognition, making individual and collective decisions as part of a network of micro behaviours.

Social implications

This new conception of production through production networks, which takes into account the “rules” and “laws” regulating their behaviour, also sheds new light on the development of networks and their natural tendency to become globalized.

Originality/value

Although the concept of a network is becoming more popular in economic and business studies, it is yet to see an interpretation of production as deriving exclusively from the actions of increasingly larger networks. This paper presents an integrated view of production that does not discard the notion that production is carried out by organizations and companies but introduces the broader concept of the integration among organizations, which must be interpreted as nodes of a broader network that produces the flows of all the components needed to obtain the flow of a specific product. This represents an innovative view that will help us in understanding the difficulties policymakers encounter in governing production and controlling the basic variables that characterize it, specifically productivity, quality, quantity, prices and value. This perspective also allows to derive rules and laws for the behaviour of production networks that appear to be cogent and unvarying over time.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

D.M. Wilkes, A. Alford, M.E. Cambron, T.E. Rogers, R.A. Peters and K. Kawamura

For the past ten years, the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (IRL) at Vanderbilt University has been developing service robots that interact naturally, closely and safely…

Abstract

For the past ten years, the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (IRL) at Vanderbilt University has been developing service robots that interact naturally, closely and safely with human beings. Two main issues for research have arisen from this prior work. The first is how to achieve a high level of interaction between the human and robot. The result has been the philosophy of human directed local autonomy (HuDL), a guiding principle for research, design, and implementation of service robots. The human‐robot relationship we seek to achieve is symbiotic in the sense that both the human and the robot work together to achieve goals, for example as aids to the elderly or disabled. The second issue is the general problem of system integration, with a specific focus on integrating humans into the service robotic system. This issue has led to the development of the Intelligent Machine Architecture (IMA), a novel software architecture specifically designed to simplify the integration of the many diverse algorithms, sensors, and actuators necessary for intelligent interactive service robots.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

S.C. Lenny Koh and Mike Simpson

The aim of this paper is to investigate how enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems could create a competitive advantage for small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs)…

6094

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate how enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems could create a competitive advantage for small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The objectives of this study are to examine how responsive and agile the existing ERP systems are to change and uncertainty, and to identify the types of change and uncertainty in SME manufacturing environments.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methodology is used in this study, which involves literature review, questionnaire survey and follow‐up, in‐depth telephone interviews. An uncertainty diagnosing business model is applied to collect data from SME manufacturers in make‐to‐stock (MTS), make‐to‐order (MTO) and mixed mode (MM) manufacturing environments in a structured manner, and to analyse the effects of the underlying causes of uncertainty on product late delivery in MTS, MTO and MM manufacturing environments in SMEs. Some 108 enterprises responded (86 per cent response rate), of which 64 are SMEs. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is carried out in SPSS to analyse the effects of the underlying causes of uncertainty on product late delivery in MTS, MTO and MM manufacturing environments in SMEs.

Findings

ANOVA results show that a different group of underlying causes of uncertainty significantly affects the product late delivery performance in MTS, MTO and MM manufacturing environments in SMEs. This study found that ERP could improve responsiveness and agility to change, but not to uncertainty. SMEs could create a competitive advantage by being more responsive to change in the ERP system before generating purchase and work order. ERP systems could not deal with uncertainty due to its stochastic and unpredictable nature. SMEs use a range of buffering or dampening techniques under uncertainty to be competitive in delivery.

Originality/value

It can be concluded that the application of the business model in SMEs that use ERP has provided useful knowledge about the significant underlying causes of uncertainty that affect product late delivery performance in MTS, MTO and MM manufacturing environments. Using this knowledge, similar SMEs could then prioritise the effort and devise suitable buffering or dampening techniques to manage the causes of uncertainty and hence prevent any changes to the ERP system.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1999

Stanislav Karapetrovic and Walter Willborn

This paper addresses the implementation of ISO 9000 international standards in the university environment, and presents examples of developing a quality system based on…

1378

Abstract

This paper addresses the implementation of ISO 9000 international standards in the university environment, and presents examples of developing a quality system based on these standards in a Canadian university department. The application is based on a holonic systems concept, which is first explained. Subsequently, a project plan for the design, documentation, implementation, and maintenance of an academic quality system is presented. Emphasis is placed on the effective structuring of the system, development of a set of product quality indicators accepted by faculty and staff, as well as non‐bureaucratic documentation. The systems concept allows for the integration of the ISO 9001 quality system with other systems, such as the ISO 14001 environmental management system. A university may decide on implementing both of these systems simultaneously, or incorporating one into the existing framework of the other. Positive synergy effects will occur in any case. The integration of such management systems in academia is also discussed.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Ben Clegg

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the application of systems thinking to designing, managing and improving business processes has resulted in a new and unique…

1492

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the application of systems thinking to designing, managing and improving business processes has resulted in a new and unique holonic‐based process modeling methodology know as process orientated holonic modeling.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes key systems thinking axioms that are built upon in an overview of the methodology; the techniques are described using an example taken from a large organization designing and manufacturing capital goods equipment operating within a complex and dynamic environment. These were produced in an 18 month project, using an action research approach, to improve quality and process efficiency.

Findings

The findings of this research show that this new methodology can support process depiction and improvement in industrial sectors which are characterized by environments of high variety and low volume (e.g. projects; such as the design and manufacture of a radar system or a hybrid production process) which do not provide repetitive learning opportunities. In such circumstances, the methodology has not only been able to deliver holonic‐based process diagrams but also been able to transfer strategic vision from top management to middle and operational levels without being reductionistic.

Originality/value

This paper will be of interest to organizational analysts looking at large complex projects whom require a methodology that does not confine them to thinking reductionistically in “task‐breakdown” based approaches. The novel ideas in this paper have great impact on the way analysts should perceive organizational processes. Future research is applying the methodology in similar environments in other industries.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

1 – 8 of 8