Owing to the advance of communications and automation technologies it is now common, that a product is designed in one part of the world, manufactured often in another continent, assembled again somewhere else and sold (with various minor customization changes) everywhere in the world. In other words we need to deal with a variety of combinations of local design and manufacture/ assembly and global design and manufacture/ assembly, on-demand, truly just-in-time. We have to recognize that traditional, mass-produced, highly-controlled static and rigid design and assembly methods cannot cope with the increased amount of information, knowledge and interreferencing requirements of the customers of this rapidly changing world. The challenge is to assemble products on demand at a high quality and relatively low cost in the forthcoming "Knowledge Age". This paper propagates the above by shedding some light on the challenges, as well as by offering generic algorithmic solutions to the problem of dynamic scheduling with integrated robot tool management and multimedia support in distributed, lean and flexible assembly and design systems (including flexible assembly systems employing human operators as well as robots) that operate on a globally distributed basis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering