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Simulation of flexible manufacturing systems: a pilot implementation

Yücel, Necati Deniz
Manufacturing industry has made extensive use of simulation as a means of trying to model the impact of variability on manufacturing system behavior and to explore various ways of coping with change and uncertainty. Simulation helps find optimal solutions to a number of problems at both design and application stages of Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS̕s) serving to improve the أflexibilityؤ level The flexibility requirement of FMS necessitates the dissemination of every activity that concerns production, throughout all the levels of a company forcing almost every level of employee face with simulation software, either in terms of preparing models, modifying runs or evaluating results. This problem of inadequate capability of personnel to utilize simulation effectively can be overcome through the design of custom interfaces and integration of simulation software with everyday-use programs. This research mainly focuses on realizing the modeling and simulation of FMS̕s by the use of the existing system in Middle East Technical University, Mechanical Engineering Department, Computer Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory as a test-bed. Additionally, the means of integration of simulation with auxiliary programs is demonstrated. The models developed throughout the study using ARENA® are used to come up with different scenarios of production. Sample results and decisions about production issues that can be attained through the use of simulation are provided. The described model creation procedures, the generated models, and result assessments are expected to act as a guideline for other simulations regarding FMS̕s.