Guidelines for implementing robust supervisors in flexible manufacturing systems Academic Article uri icon


  • Over the past several years, researchers have developed numerous control policies that assure deadlock-free operation for flexible manufacturing systems. Using this research base as a foundation, we have developed several supervisory policies that assure robust operation in the face of resource failure. Along with deadlock-free operation, these policies guarantee that failure of unreliable resources does not block production of part types not requiring failed resources. In our previous work, we developed two types of robust policies, those that 'absorb' all parts requiring failed resources into the buffer space of failure-dependent resources (resources that support only parts requiring failed resources), and those that 'distribute' parts requiring failed resources among the buffer space of shared resources (resources shared by parts requiring and parts not requiring failed resources). These two types of robust controllers assure different levels of robust system operation and impose very different operating dynamics on the system, thus affecting system performance in different ways. In this research, we use extensive simulation and experimentation on a highly complex and configurable system to develop guidelines for choosing the best robust supervisor based on manufacturing system characteristics and performance objectives. We validate these guidelines using seven randomly generated complex systems and find a better than 88% agreement.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Production Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, S., Chew, S. F., & Lawley, M.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Shengyong||Chew, Song Foh||Lawley, Mark

publication date

  • December 2009