A dynamic operation control algorithm with multimedia objects for flexible manufacturing cells and systems

Paul G. Ranky, M. F. Ranky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As part design complexity increases, flexible, lean, and reconfigurable production facilities become essential. Furthermore, as the product mix continuously changes the part programming engineers, the designers, the schedulers, the operators and the maintenance technicians of such systems need increasingly powerful interactive multimedia support tools to cope with their jobs. In other words, we have to recognize that traditional, mass-produced, highly-controlled static and rigid design and manufacturing/assembly methods cannot cope with the increased amount of information, knowledge and inferencing requirements of the in-house and/or the external customers of this rapidly changing world. The challenge we face is to narrow the gap between theory and practice, and to offer computable methods, tools and technologies that will keep enterprises highly responsive to market changes and produce goods (and services) on demand at a high quality and relatively low cost in the forthcoming ‘knowledge age. This paper propagates the above by shining some light on the challenges, as well as by offering generic solutions to the problem of dynamic scheduling with integrated tool, fixture, robot hand management and multimedia support in distributed, lean and flexible manufacturing and design systems that operate on a global basis. Our approach is that we start with the macro level offering a global overview and then we ‘zoom’ in to the networked factories, their cells and FMSs, right into algorithms and rules of dynamic schedules, with engineering multimedia supporting design, programming, operation control, tool management and even maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-262
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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