SUNConferences, COMA '13

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Flexible Planning Method for Manufacturing Resources Based on Process-graphs
Dirk Bähre, Philipp Steuer, Martin Swat, Kirsten Trapp

Last modified: 2013-08-20


As the number of product variants keeps increasing while product life cycles shorten, production equipment and product life cycles must be rendered independent of each other to allow for a prolonged utilization of production facilities. Hence, new systems must be planned in a flexible way to consider product changes easily even at short notice during the planning phase and afterwards. In series production, transfer lines respectively rigid connected machines are state of the art. This paper presents an advanced process-graph based approach to the planning of manufacturing resources for the series production – already at an early stage of planning. The process-graphs were originally developed for a risk reduced final assembly planning in the automotive industry. They are built successively, starting with a product reference variant and considering miscellaneous configurations by using different variant elements and line types. From these graphs the needed assembly equipment can be derived by building a so-called resource-graph. This method can be adapted for the planning of manufacturing resources. The usage of adapted process-graphs and the possibility to derive a resource-graph with the required machining tools can lead to advantages concerning the planning safety and the usability of the equipment for future product variants. The new approach allows for a demand-oriented assessment of current and future needs for equipment to process certain product variants. Additionally, variants which could be produced in the future but are not planned rigidly can also be considered. The flexibility of the planning method includes the possibility to consider different products all at once and the ability to implement changes afterwards. It will be shown how process-graphs can be used to define and structure a manufacturing resource in a sensible way and how the position for a potential reconfiguration due to a production change can be identified.

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