A petri net-based discrete-event control of automated manufacturing systems with assembly operations

Hesuan Hu, Mengchu Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


In the context of automated manufacturing systems (AMSs), Petri nets are widely adopted to solve the modeling, analysis, and control problems. So far, nearly all known approaches to liveness-enforcing supervisory control study AMSs with flexible routes, whereas little work investigates the ones with synchronization operations. Compared with flexibility, synchronization allows the disassembly and assembly operations that correspond to splitting to and merging from different subprocesses, respectively. Such structures bring difficulties to establish a liveness condition of the Petri net model of AMSs. In this paper, we propose a novel class of systems, which can well deal with these features so as to facilitate the investigation of such complex systems. Using structural analysis, we show that their liveness can be attributed to deadlock freeness, which is much easier to analyze, detect, and control by synthesizing a proper supervisory controller. Furthermore, a set of mathematical formulations is proposed to describe and extract the corresponding deadlocks. This facilitates the synthesis of liveness enforcing supervisors as it avoids the consideration of deadlock-free but nonlive scenarios. The effectiveness and efficiency of this new method is shown by AMS examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6880325
Pages (from-to)513-524
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Assembly operation
  • Petri nets
  • automated manufacturing system (AMS)
  • deadlock resolution
  • discrete event systems
  • supervisory control


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