Concept of semi-autonomous production planning and decision support based on virtual technology
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The following conceptual contribution is based on the two scientific fields Digital Factory (DF) as well as end-user electronics. The two fields which describe the starting points for the conceptional contribution offer promising potential for the future production and planning process. At first it can be stated that the DF is an established umbrella in industry. However, many enterprises are not capable to reap the full potential of the DF. Major obstacles are the efforts for creating digital models, updating models due to adjustments of real-world systems and employing digital models for operational planning like production planning and control. Hence, there is a clear gap between real-world production systems and their digital counterparts, which should be filled by synchronizing both worlds in reasonable – or even real – time. A further observation provides the second starting point: Latest end-user electronics made for everyday life provide powerful computing and visualization power as well as intuitive design at reasonable cost. Hence, virtual technologies (i.e. Augmented- and Virtual Reality) are not restricted to a small group of specialists anymore. The consequent question is how such rapid developments fit or can be fitted into the harsh industrial context. We propose that shop floor employees use virtual technologies to interact between synchronized worlds and software agents offer aggregated information to users. Utilizing software agents leads ultimately to semi-automatic planning processes where agents run simulations autonomously and propose planning scenarios.
Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Flexible Automation & Intelligent Manufacturing, held May 20-23, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas, and organized by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems, University of Texas at San AntonioIncludes bibliographical references