Manufacturing planner agents in network enterprises

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 3, Number 3-4, p.315-327 (2003)



The negotiation phase between the customer and the supplier in network enterprises operating in the automotive industry in the field of chip removal is a critical activity for the suppliers. Indeed the suppliers, in order to anticipate their competitors, need to propose in a very short time a reliable evaluation of time and costs related to the production of the parts required by the potential customer. Since the capability to provide this kind of evaluation in a short time gives competitive advantage to enterprises, in order to support the supplier during this phase, a manufacturing planner agent is under development, within the project 'Distributed process and production planning in manufacturing enterprise networks' The target is to automatically create non-linear working plans mapping all the operations on the machines constituting the system, where 'non-linear' means that alternative sequences and alternative operations are considered. Since the agent is part of a system based on a distributed architecture, it is extremely important to use an effective standard concerning data treatment. This topic will also be addressed in the paper.

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