1998-04-08

Development of Optimal Production Control Strategies Using Experiment Planning - A Study Case in the Earthmoving Industry 981512

Control strategies - the long term rules used in production planing and control - for highly integrated and flexible manufacturing systems in most cases are specialized in specific and usually constant production programs. Therefore, changes in the production program require adaptations in those single or combined control strategies. To keep the system optimal, there is a need for more than just analytical mathematical methods, whose limits are quickly crossed because of their complex correlations.
An effective device for the development of optimal control strategies connected with an advantageous system structure is the focused Experiment Planning. It combines static analysis and calculations with dynamic simulations in order to develop alternatives for improvement of control strategies and the system structure in a repetitive process. The use of the Experiment Planning enables an efficient adaptation of control strategies and the system structure to a changed production program, such that e.g. the objective target „best possible throughput time” and therewith the largest possible throughput can be reached.
The application of the Experiment Planning has stood the test among others at an innovative German producer of earthmoving vehicles. Effective and capable control strategies and adaptation measures for the system structure could be developed with its assistance. For planned mixes of production programs possible production runs were tested under given limits of capacity. Furthermore, in multiple future scenarios flexibility potentials were detected to adequately respond also to changing market needs.

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