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8.1 Introduction

Operational Aspects of CIM

8.2 Flexible Cells and its Development and Utilization 8.3 Computer Simulation of FMS
8.3.1 8.3.2 8.3.3 The Elements of Discrete Simulation Vital Steps in Developing and Using a Simulation Model Simulation Software Used in Modeling FMS Problems

8.4 A Simulation Case Study of an FMS Cell 8.5 Summary 8.6 Key Words 8.7 Answers to SAQs

Global competitive pressure is placing an emphasis on manufacturing and technology management. Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) concept promises lower cost, higher quality, and shorter lead-time. Most of the manufacturing industries look toward CIM to provide the flexibility to their manufacturing system. Computer integrated manufacturing is an application of computers in the field of sales, design, manufacturing and business of the company. CIM is used for integration of various manufacturing activities in a factory. Today, the use of computers in manufacturing is common. Manufacturing systems are being designed that not only process parts automatically, but also move the parts from machine to machine and sequence the ordering of operations in the system. To develop a CIM following points must be taken into account : Sketches and drawing retrieval Engineering analysis Testing and simulation Layout and checking Engineering review New drawings Manufacturing modelling Process plans New moulds, dies, tools, and fixtures New programs for machining New inspection procedures Quality assurance and testing New assembly instructions New field and service manuals

After studying this unit, you should be able to understand the concepts of flexible cells and their utilization,

CIM Modelling and Operations

explain what is meant by the term simulation, know the important elements of discrete event simulations, to recognize the importance of FMS and their simulation models, and solve typical problem that requires the use of simulation.


A flexible production cell consists of automated machines, a buffer storage system for production parts and an automated clamping and loading station. Additional computerized functions can provide tool breakage control, tool locking measurement, and variable spatial coding for tools and automated standing time monitoring. Hence, a flexible production cell is a unified collection of several numerically controlled machine tools, which can automatically process similar parts over an extended period. If the acquisition and deposition of production parts is also automated, then flexible production cells can be regarded as autonomous. A further development of the flexible production cells is the flexible production system. It consists of the processing system, the material flow system and the information flow system, which are linked together. Total control is executed by a computer, which takes over the conveyance of production parts and tools, as well as providing the production facilities with the relevant control programs. The flexibility of the system arises because various production tasks can be carried out without major refitting costs, since the refitting procedures are largely integrated in the production process. The sequence of operations can also be flexibly determined, since conveyance is not based on particular order of machine runs. Since the processing stations are provided with NC programs from the Control Computer of the flexible production system, this can be construed as a DNC system. The individual processing stations are in general CNC systems, but they may be more extensive processing centers. With the combination of various computerized production systems, newer organizational forms have been developed. These substantiate the claim that the use of computer systems can infiltrate deep into the organizational structures. It is a common feature of all systems that they tend to aim at greater functional integration. Individual organizational forms sometimes constitute stages in the development of increasing integration of automated production facilities; sometimes, however, they are also complementary in nature. The organizational firms represented for smaller output levels also influence the production technology of large-scale processes, which are generally carried out in transfer lines. A flexible transfer line aims at speedy refitting, and hence adjustment to changing production orders. At the same time, the general characteristics of a transfer are retained (adjusted material flow and precisely timed transfer of production parts within an optimized layout of processing stations). The flexibility of the transfer line depends on all of its components-conveyance, material flow, and individual processing stations. The computerized production systems that have been mentioned are often primarily considered as experimental systems and hence as isolated solutions. It can be seen, however, that they can be combined to form ever-expanding concepts, and hence demand a fundamental decision on the part of the enterprise as to which organizational firm should be used for each parts spectrum, and how the production systems should be connected with one another. This demands careful layout planning. Here, reference is made to a development in which, through increasing use of computers, potential manufacturing firms determine the total enterprise structure via layout planning of all components.

As a result of increasing automation, it is now often the case in industrial concerns that the majority of employees working in production are concerned with maintenance. A

distinction can be drawn here between preventive and curative maintenance. Preventive maintenance involves the replacement or inspection of a machine or machine part on the basis of a maintenance plan.

Operational Aspects of CIM


Simulation is a modelling and analysis tool widely used for the purpose of designing, planning, and control of manufacturing system. In this section, we provide a basic understanding of simulation modelling and later present a case study of improving the efficiency of a flexible manufacturing cell using a simulation model. Simulation is a descriptive technique in which a model of a process is developed and then experiments are conducted on the model to evaluate its behaviour under various conditions. The use of simulations as a decision-making tool is fairly widespread, and you are undoubtedly familiar with some of the ways it is used. For instance, space engineers simulate space flight in laboratories to permit future astronauts to become acustomed to working in a weightless environment. Similarly, airline pilots often undergo extensive training with simulated landings and take offs before being allowed to try the real thing. There are many other examples of applications of simulation techniques : the few mentioned illustrate the nature and diversity of simulation. Simulation is synonymous with imitation. A simulation model may be defined as a concise framework for the analysis and understanding of the system. It is an abstract framework of system that facilitates imitating the behaviour of the system over a period of time. In contrast to mathematical models, simulation models do not need explicit mathematical functions to relate variables. Therefore, they are suitable for representing complex systems to get a feeling for the real system. One of the greatest advantages of a simulation model is that it can compress or expand time. Compression of time refers to the ability of these models to simulate several years of activities within minutes or even within a few seconds. Simulation models can also be used to observe a phenomenon that cannot be observed in real time by expanding time and taking observations at very small intervals of time. Simulations can also stop time for a detailed analysis of a system at a particular instant of time, without loss of the continuity of an experiment. These advantages of using simulation models for manufacturing systems can be understood better with the help of illustrations. For example, in automobile firm we may be interested in seeing the long term impact of an alteration in the maintenance policy. The information regarding the failure rate of equipment, including the mean time between failures (MTBF), equipment total down time, average time taken in repair, and other similar activities can be furnished by the simulation model. It can also provide the information regarding the effects of such a policy on other system parameters, such as job tardiness, throughput and work-inprocess inventories. The aforementioned time to calculate the after effects doesnt include the time used in analyzing the data and development of the model. Once a model is developed for any system, it provides an efficient tool for analyzing the effects of various parameters and studying the implications of various policies. A case study for expanding time in observing the failure pattern of a cutting tool is considered here. A simulation model may be developed to see the pattern of cutting tool breakage. In real time, breaking takes place so quickly and abruptly that we cannot observe the stages through which the tool goes while breaking. A simulation model can help in this regard by showing the breaking phenomenon with visual animation stage by stage. Besides expanding and compressing time, we need to stop time for certain analyses at the moment some specific event happens. This is a type of snapshot taken at a particular time, but simulation snapshots provide great insight into what was happening in the system at that time. For example, a manufacturing system analyst may be interested in the state of queues of jobs, in-process inventory, and the number of rejected items at each machine on completion of every shift of work. Simulation models provide this information with great ease.

CIM Modelling and Operations

To summarize, simulation modelling techniques are powerful for manipulation of time, system inputs, and logic. They are cost effective for modelling a complex system, and with visual animation capabilities they provide an efficient means of learning, experimenting, and analyzing real-life complex systems such as flexible manufacturing systems. Simulation models are capable of taking care of stochastic variability without much complexity. They enable the behaviour of the system as a whole to be predicted. This, in turn, helps information about the different elements of the system with a controlled input. A simulation model may be only choice for experimenting, as it is impossible or uneconomical to experiment with a real system. Flexible manufacturing systems involve complex and costly sub systems. Simulation is a highly appropriate method for observing interactions among various elements of the FMS and their effects on the system as a whole. Most of FMS phenomena are discrete and stochastic in nature. Therefore, discrete, Monte Carlo simulation is the technique to use for their modelling and analysis. Two basic elements of discrete simulation are the rules that determine the occurrence of next event and rules for changing the state of the model when an event occurs.

8.3.1 The Elements of Discrete Simulation

Some of the common but important elements of discrete event simulation are entity, activity, events, queues, attributes, and states. Entities Entities are the nouns of simulation language. They are the building blocks of a manufacturing system, for example, machines, work pieces, AGVs, and Robots. Entities are of two types: permanent and temporary. Permanent entities, as the name suggests, remain in the model for the duration of the simulation experiment. Temporary entities enter the model and pass through it for a limited time period. Permanent and temporary entities are sometimes also referred to as facilities and transactions, respectively. Examples of permanent entities in FMSs are machining centres and AGVs, and temporary entities are jobs in the system. Activities Functions performed by the entities in the system are termed activities. They are the verbs in simulation language. During any activity multiple entities interact for definite period of time. One of the important aspects of activities in the simulation is that their duration is either fixed or assumed to be fixed. Whenever an activity starts, its finish time is known. Transportation of material by AGVs and processing of jobs by CNC machines are good examples of activities of manufacturing systems. Events Events are the points on the time scale at which some changes take place in the model. They represent the beginning or end of one or more activities. Events are classified as endogenous (or internal) or exogenous (or external). Endogenous events are caused by some interaction of elements within the model, and exogenous events are caused from outside the model, for example, by the arrival of a job in a manufacturing system. Queues Queues are formed when an entity is waiting in the system for some activity. For example, in a manufacturing system a job waiting to be processed on a machine that is not yet available for this job will be part of the queue for this machine. Attributes These are the adjectives of simulation language, qualifying nouns (i.e., entities). Attributes are the characteristics of entities and serve as identification for an entity in a simulation model.

States States define the condition of various elements and of the model as a whole. The state of the model at a particular time gives information about entities and queues. Activity Cycle Diagram (ACD) This is a diagram used in defining the logic of a simulation model. It is equivalent to a flow-chart of a general-purpose computer program. In some of the literature, these diagrams are also referred as entity cycle diagrams. The ACD shows the cycle for entity in the model. Conventions for drawing ACDs are as follows : (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Each type of entity has an activity cycle. The cycle consists of activities and queues. The cycle is closed Activities are depicted by rectangles and queues by circles or ellipse.

Operational Aspects of CIM



Waiting in Queue




Represents movements of parts Represents change in state of machine

Figure 8.1 : Activity Cycle Diagram for a Machine Shop

Utilizing these concepts and conventions, Figure 8.1 shows a simple ACD for a machine shop. Here the jobs are arriving from the outside environment. Jobs are waiting in a queue for the machine. As soon as the machine is available, a job goes to the workstation for processing. Once processing is over, the job again joins a queue waiting to be dispatched. Machines remain idle and wait for the next available job. In some cases flow-charts are used to define the logic instead of ACDs, but on the whole, activity cycle diagrams give a better understanding of a system for simulation modelling. Activity cycle diagrams are good for logical understanding, but much more is involved in simulation modelling. In the following sub-section, we discuss basic steps for developing and using a simulation model.


Vital Steps in Developing and Using a Simulation Model

(i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Define the problem by specifying the objectives and specific issues to be considered. Collect data about the entities and identify the attributes of each type of identity. Develop an ACD using all the entities; also define the duration of each activity and queue disciplines. Specify initial conditions and values of the variable; also specify the statistics to be collected.

CIM Modelling and Operations

(v) (vi)

Validate the preceding information by involving the people who are actually working on the system and have in-depth understanding of it. Construct a computer program for the simulation model using an appropriate software and hardware combination.

(vii) Make pilot runs to test the sensitivity of the output to variations in input parameters. This will help in validating the simulation model. (viii) If necessary, make changes in the model based on the information gathered during pilot runs. (ix) (x) (xi) Make production runs and collect the desired statistics. Analyze the output data and prepare recommendations. Present reports and plans for implementation of the results.

In the sub-section, we will elicit some of the simulation software used in the context of FMS.


Simulation Software Used in Modelling FMS Problems

Recent developments in object-oriented modelling and simulation addresses the issues like development, management and reuse of simulation models, while efforts in the field of parallel/distributed simulation and fast simulation target the execution speed issue. The history of simulation modelling software can be broken into five periods: the era of custom programs, the emergence of simulation programming languages, the second generation of simulation programming languages, the era of extended features and the current period. In the early sixties, discrete event simulation languages such as GPSS, GASP and SIMULA were introduced. These languages were primarily written in general purpose languages but had built-in procedures to perform many routine simulation tasks, such as scheduling of events and statistics collection. In the late sixties a second generation of simulation languages emerged. In most cases (i.e. GPSS V, SIMULA 67 and GASP IIA), these languages were more powerful replacements of their predecessors. In the seventies, as the use simulation modelling grew, developments in simulation languages were driven toward the extension of simulation languages to facilitate easier and more efficient methods of model translation and representation. Many of the languages which evolved from these developments, GPSS, SLAM, and SIMAN, are still widely used today. In addition to the developments occurring in simulation languages, changes were also occurring in the way simulation models were used within organizations. Simulation was frequently used to study smaller, short term problems and projects. This effectively increased the pressure for development of faster and more efficient modeling methodologies with higher levels of reusability and user friendly interfaces. In the eighties, rapid advancements occurred in the areas of computer hardware and software. Powerful and inexpensive personal computing environments with high resolution graphics became commonplace, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques and expert systems gained acceptance. These changes had, and continue to have, direct impact on simulation methodologies. Simulation modelling is now open to a much broader base of potential users through advances such as

menu and icon driven model builders, expert systems to aid in the building and debugging of models, graphs and charts to display model results both during and after execution, and model animation to view the operation of the system as a whole or zoom in on a specific area of interest.

In the area of graphics and animation, packages such as SLAMSYSTEM, Cinema/SIMAN, and SIMFACTORY are the leading edge competitors. The animation and graphics are typically developed and presented as an integral part of the simulation language. By contrast, software engineering, AI and expert system concepts impact simulation modelling through the use of a simulation front-end or application generator. These tools interact with the user and ultimately result in code, which can be passed directly to the simulation language.

Operational Aspects of CIM

(a) (b) What are some of the primary reasons for the widespread use of simulation techniques in practice? Outline the steps that might be involved in a simulation study.


The flexible manufacturing cell used in their simulation study consist of an ASEA sixaxis robot, Kearney and Trecker horizontal spindle mill, Mori Seikl lathe, gripper change station, and rough part including area. In this case, the cell is setup to produce three components: base, jaw, and screw for the assembly of a vise. Each part is machined on one particular machine: the base on the Kearney and Trecker mill, the jaw on a Bridgeport mill, and the screw on the Mori Seiki Lathe. The components arrive at the cell as rough castings in the loading area. The robot follows a preprogrammed route to transport the parts to their respective machines, load them onto the machines, reposition the parts for additional operations on the same machine, and transport the finished parts to the unloading area. The gripper change station is necessary because the base and jaw require that the robot use a straight gripper while the screw requires the use of a curved gripper.


Analysis of the Current System

The model of the flexible manufacturing cell was developed in the Simulation Language for Alternative Modeling (SLAM II) and the Extended Simulation support System (TESS). TESS adds a relational database management system and animation capabilities to the simulation.The model of the flexible manufacturing cell was run over a simulated time span of 4800 min, or 10-8-hr shifts. Key data values or statistics, with regard to the intended objectives, were : (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Time in the system for each component part Number of observations (product output) Average waiting time for each resource Percentage of time that each resource was captured.

The statistics for the simulation run of the current system as well as policies experimented with are summarized in Table 8.1. The absolute minimum time required to produce a particular part can be determined by summing all the necessary activities throughout the system. This would result in minimum times of 5.19, 6.56, and 2.90 min for the base, jaw, and screw respectively. These times could be achieved only if an entity never had to wait for a resource. With the help of this information and the statistics in


CIM Modelling and Operations

Table 8.1, we can obtain the average waiting time and percentage of time that each resource was captured. As seen from Table 8.1, the jaw spent the longest time in the system, 10.87 min per parts. A key aim was to reduce this critical or system-dependent time, without increasing the processing time of the base or screw above the processing time of the jaw. After initial runs, it was checked that the output of the simulated model coincided with that of the actual system with the expectation of realistic results. Table 8.1 : Simulation Modeling of the Case Problem
Sl. No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Time in the system for base (min.) Time in system for jaw (min.) Time in system for screw (min.) System Output (cycle) Percentage increase Current System 9.62 10.87 5.13 441.00 Policy I 8.66 9.91 5.13 484.00 9.75 Policy II 8.51 9.76 6.55 491.00 11.33 Policy III 6.49 7.43 8.79 546.00 23.81

The objective of this study is to increase the output of the cell by making only scheduling changes. The way to alter the scheduling order of the component parts in the model is to change the priorities associated with the resources. The only resource in the cell that requires prioritizing is the robot, because it is the only resource that is shared by more than one component part. In the model, the priorities of the parts requesting the robot resource can be changed, making it possible to experiment with the programming of the robot without affecting the cell itself. A comparison of the order in which the parts are processed by the robot in the current system and in the three policies to be considered is as follows : Current Policy : B-J-S-B-J-W-J-B-J Policy I Policy II Policy III Policy I In this case, the order of the base and jaw was switched after processing the screw. This change caused the order of the remaining processing for these two parts to be reversed and eliminated the time during which the robot was waiting for the second operation on the jaw to be finished. The results of this simulation run have been summarized in Table 8.1. The results demonstrate that the changes made in this experiment provided an increase in output by 9.75 percent and at that time in the system for the jaw was reduced from 10.87 to 9.91 min per production cycle. This simple change in the processing order of the base and jaw made a significant impact on the productivity of the cell. Policy II The next question to be considered was: What if the screw processing was split up into multiple steps? The intent of Policy II was to answer this question. The results of this simulation run are summarized in Table 8.1. The output was raised to 491 units, an increase of 50 units over the current system, which translates to an increase in productivity of 11.3 percent. It is apparent that dividing the processing of the screw into two steps decreased the waiting time of both the base and jaw while raising the processing time of the screw only slightly. This increased time,

: B-J-S-J-B-J-B-J : B-J-S-J-B-S-J-B-J : S-J-B-J-W-B-W-J-B-J-S

where B stands for the base, J for jaw, S for screw, and W for wait.

however, is still less than the critical time for the cell, which is the time for the cell, which is the time for the jaw. Policy III The results thus far are acceptable, but could the output be improved even further without going beyond scheduling changes? Considering that the screw has the shortest processing time of the three parts, it would be best if the screw did most of the waiting, thereby reducing the waiting of the jaw. In this experiment, the second step in the processing of the screw was moved all the way to the end, after completion of both the base and the screw. In order to do this, the robot was made to wait for a short time at two points in the processing of other parts. This simulation run produced the data shown in Table 8.1. The critical time was no longer the time spent in the system by the jaw, because the time to process the screw had increased to a point above that of the jaw. However, this time was well below the critical time in the other cases, providing an output of 546 units, which is an increase in productivity of 23.8 percent over the current system. With simulation modelling, it is possible to create and test countless scenarios. In this study, among the scenarios considered, the processing order in Policy III provided the best scheduling to meet the intended objectives. Although Policy III may or may not be the best possible processing order, it provides an excellent improvement over the current system. With the help of this simulation model, it was shown that a 24 percent increase in productivity would be realized by modifying the processing order as shown in the third policy.

Operational Aspects of CIM

(a) (b) What are the various simulation packages used in modelling FMS? Briefly discuss the various steps in developing a simulation model.

This unit deals with the concept of flexible cells and its development and utilization with the existing system. An emphasis has been given to the idea of simulation and how it can be mapped to represent the problem of FMS. This unit has provided an overview of simulation, primarily in the contest of operation. A simulation study can involve several stages, some of which may be repeated. These are defining the problem, justifying the cost of the study, abstracting the model, coding the model, validating the model, planning a simulation experiment, conducting the study and collecting data, analysing the data, and documenting and implementing the study. Several applications of simulation in manufacturing and service setting were described to short the breadth of its applicability. A brief introduction has been given about the commonly used simulation packages.


Simulation Models Flexible Cells : It is used for modelling the system.


Refer the relevant text in this unit for answer to SAQs.