The objective of this project was to demonstrate that a higher level of efficiency and a greater level of job satisfaction can be achieved by maximising manufacturing planning and control decision-making at the lowest possible levels.
Manufacturing efficiency will be increased and job skills and experience will be extended because:
- authority and responsibility will be delegated to the levels which have the relevant experience and the most immediate data necessary to make the best judgements
- the volume of data passing through the system will be substantially reduced, resulting in reduced communications overhead, decrease in complexity, and a shorter response time.
The following systems were to be developed:
- the Operator Management System (OMS) offering operator planning and control at the cell level in two versions - a stand-alone version running on PC type workstations and an on-machine version running on custom CNC hardware offering real-time monitoring of the machining process
- the Production Management Support System (PMS) offering operator planning and control at the multi-cell in two versions: standard PMS, supporting PMS software functions and linking to higher level MrP systems, and multi-level PMS, with additional links supporting communication with lower level management systems.
The PMS and OMS were to be linked to form the complete Distributed Manufacturing Planning and Control System.
SW8 5BP London