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A Few Descriptive and Optimization Issues on the Material Flow at a Research-Academic Institution: The Role of Simulation

Authors: D. R. Delgado Sobrino, P. Košťál, J. Oravcová


Lately, significant work in the area of Intelligent Manufacturing has become public and mainly applied within the frame of industrial purposes. Special efforts have been made in the implementation of new technologies, management and control systems, among many others which have all evolved the field. Aware of all this and due to the scope of new projects and the need of turning the existing flexible ideas into more autonomous and intelligent ones, i.e.: Intelligent Manufacturing, the present paper emerges with the main aim of contributing to the design and analysis of the material flow in either systems, cells or work stations under this new “intelligent" denomination. For this, besides offering a conceptual basis in some of the key points to be taken into account and some general principles to consider in the design and analysis of the material flow, also some tips on how to define other possible alternative material flow scenarios and a classification of the states a system, cell or workstation are offered as well. All this is done with the intentions of relating it with the use of simulation tools, for which these have been briefly addressed with a special focus on the Witness simulation package. For a better comprehension, the previous elements are supported by a detailed layout, other figures and a few expressions which could help obtaining necessary data. Such data and others will be used in the future, when simulating the scenarios in the search of the best material flow configurations.

Keywords: Flexible/Intelligent Manufacturing System/Cell (F/IMS/C), material flow/design/configuration (MF/D/C), workstation

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