Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

An experimental investigation and comparative evaluation of scheduling strategies for a dynamic job shop in a tool sharing environment

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  • Good tool management and job operating strategies will result in reduction in tool inventory and associated costs. Very little empirical research has been conducted on a Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) as a whole in relation to its performances with tool movement approach, specifically in a dynamic job shop in a tool shared environment. This study evaluated job loading rules and tool selection policies in a tool shared environment with regards to the job shop performance as a whole. This research also examined the relationship between job loading rules and tool selection policies when tool movement approach was employed. A process oriented manufacturing system simulation procedure was used as the theoretical framework for this research, which was pursued in two phases. The first phase was focused on the development of a generalized simulation model and identification of the bottleneck conditions and merits of different simple rules. The second phase, then, was emphasized on development of bi-criterion rules and determining the "best" strategies used for bottlenecks under different simulation models and operating conditions. This research concentrated on heuristic rules. The nature of the study was observational, in which computer simulation outputs were collected and analyzed by multifactor analysis of variance, Fisher's Least Significant Difference method, and non-parametric tests. Experimental designs were used for comparing job loading rules and tool selection policies, as well as shop operating conditions. Significant differences were found among job loading rules, tool duplication levels, and tool selection policies. Furthermore, significant interaction effects were also observed between some independent factors. Job loading rules play the most important role in the system performance, specially with more tool copies. Tool selection policies affect the percent tardy jobs with single tool copy. It is noticed that in the multiple-machine and multiple-tool situations higher machine utilization can be obtained at higher tool duplication levels. The analysis of results showed that different processing time distributions also effect system performance measures.
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