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The use of intelligent feedback for work order release in an uncertain manufacturing system

By S. C. L. Koh and S. M. Saad


A turbulent manufacturing environment where uncertainty is inevitable does not allow for the availability of the required materials and resources when they are needed. This paper studies the implications of demand surges, lead-time variations and resources breakdown on the ability of a manufacturing system to achieve its delivery target. Simulation modelling was used to represent a stochastic manufacturing system, which is disturbed by these uncertainties. Manufacturing systems each with and without intelligent feedback were modelled. An intelligent feedback is represented via a set of algorithm, which reanalyse and self-organise the new status of the order in the presence of the uncertainties and update the relevant attributes before the order is released. Four types of intelligence were examined: (1) lead-time allowance, (2) capacity allowance, (3) safety stock allowance and (4) batching flexibility. Experiments results from each system were compared. It was found that the manufacturing system with intelligent feedback has a higher ability to achieve its delivery target by proactively tackling the variations caused by uncertainties. This study also found that the reliability of a work order in the presence of uncertainty could be improved by using an appropriate type of intelligence. which is dependent upon how and when the order was released. It was concluded from this research that intelligent feedback could help manufacturing enterprises proactively readjust the release of work orders that will be affected by uncertainties in order to improve the reliability and delivery of work orders. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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