Scheduling of a computer integrated manufacturing system: A simulation study

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of selected scheduling dispatching rules on the performance of an actual CIM system using different performance measures and to compare the results with the literature.
Design/methodology/approach: To achieve this objective, a computer simulation model of the existing CIM system is developed to test the performance of different scheduling rules with respect to mean flow time, machine efficiency and total run time as performance measures.
Findings: Results suggest that the system performs much better considering the machine efficiency when the initial number of parts released is maximum and the buffer size is minimum. Furthermore, considering the average flow time, the system performs much better when the selected dispatching rule is either Earliest Due Date (EDD) or Shortest Process Time (SPT) with buffer size of five and the initial number of parts released of eight.
Research limitations/implications: In this research, some limitations are: a limited number of factors and levels were considered for the experiment set-up; however the flexibility of the model allows experimenting with additional factors and levels. In the simulation experiments of this research, three scheduling dispatching rules (First In/First Out (FIFO), EDD, SPT) were used. In future research, the effect of other dispatching rules on the system performance can be compared. Some assumptions can be relaxed in future work.
Practical implications: This research helps to identify the potential effect of a selected number of dispatching rules and two other factors, the number of buffers and initial number of parts released, on the performance of the existing CIM systems with different part types where the machines are the major resource constraints.
Originality/value: This research is among the few to study the effect of the dispatching rules on the performance of the CIM systems with use of terminating simulation analysis. This is also significant given the nature of the CIM systems that are mostly used to produce different parts in varying quantities and thus do not produce parts on a continuing basis. This research is amongst the first to study the combined effect of dispatching rule and the buffer size in the CIM systems where the job arrivals are predetermined and depend on the completion of the existing parts in the system. A description of how buffer size and initial part release is related to the performance of the CIM system under study for the studied priority dispatching rule is also provided.
Keywords: computer integrated manufacturing, flexible manufacturing systems, scheduling, dispatching rules, simulation
Author: Nadia Bhuiyan, Gerard Gouw, Daryoosh Yazdi
Journal Code: jptindustrigg110030

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