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Title: Application of lean scheduling and production control in non-repetitive manufacturing systems using intelligent agent decision support
Author: Papadopoulou, Theopisti C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 1050
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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Lean Manufacturing (LM) is widely accepted as a world-class manufacturing paradigm, its currency and superiority are manifested in numerous recent success stories. Most lean tools including Just-in-Time (JIT) were designed for repetitive serial production systems. This resulted in a substantial stream of research which dismissed a priori the suitability of LM for non-repetitive non-serial job-shops. The extension of LM into non-repetitive production systems is opposed on the basis of the sheer complexity of applying JIT pull production control in non-repetitive systems fabricating a high variety of products. However, the application of LM in job-shops is not unexplored. Studies proposing the extension of leanness into non-repetitive production systems have promoted the modification of pull control mechanisms or reconfiguration of job-shops into cellular manufacturing systems. This thesis sought to address the shortcomings of the aforementioned approaches. The contribution of this thesis to knowledge in the field of production and operations management is threefold: Firstly, a Multi-Agent System (MAS) is designed to directly apply pull production control to a good approximation of a real-life job-shop. The scale and complexity of the developed MAS prove that the application of pull production control in non-repetitive manufacturing systems is challenging, perplex and laborious. Secondly, the thesis examines three pull production control mechanisms namely, Kanban, Base Stock and Constant Work-in-Process (CONWIP) which it enhances so as to prevent system deadlocks, an issue largely unaddressed in the relevant literature. Having successfully tested the transferability of pull production control to non-repetitive manufacturing, the third contribution of this thesis is that it uses experimental and empirical data to examine the impact of pull production control on job-shop performance. The thesis identifies issues resulting from the application of pull control in job-shops which have implications for industry practice and concludes by outlining further research that can be undertaken in this direction.
Supervisor: Mousavi, A.; Broomhead, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Just-in-time (JIT) ; Toyota production system (TPS) ; Pull control ; Kanban ; High variety low order (HVLV)