A life cycle engineering approach to development of flexible manufacturing systems

Pingtao Yan, Meng Chu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Life cycle engineering, or integrated product and process development (IPPD), has gained much attention recently due to its significant applications to various products and systems in industry. The authors' previous work introduced an IPPD methodology as a systems approach to competitive and environmentally conscious product and process development. Different product development issues are formally described as constrained optimization problems and solved using a life locus tree. This paper extends the methodology to the development of manufacturing systems. In order to increase its modeling capability and decision accuracy, time variable is introduced into the methodology. The execution duration of processes and their time-varying characteristics are considered. The methodology is then applied to the life cycle development of a flexible manufacturing system (FMS). FMS machine selection and decisions along its life are optimally made. The latter includes how many times each FMS component should be upgraded and which end-of-life option it should take. Life cycle decision making is based on cost, benefit, and environmental impact of an FMS. The proposed approach provides a new way to develop cost-effective, high-quality, and environmentally conscious FMS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-473
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Flexible manufacturing system (FMS)
  • Integrated product and process development
  • Life cycle engineering


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