A simulation analysis of part launching and order collection decisions for a flexible manufacturing system

Yi Chi Wang*, Tin-Chih Chen, Hsiangtsai Chiang, Hui Chen Pan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In a dynamic flexible manufacturing system (FMS) environment jobs arrive randomly, and in most of the existing studies the due date for a single part is set individually. However, when the due date is set for an order that consists of multiple parts, some completed parts may have to wait for the rest of the order to be completed. This paper studied the scheduling problem in the FMS in which orders require the completion of different parts in various quantities. The orders arrive randomly and continuously, and all have predetermined due dates. Two scheduling decisions were considered in this study: launching parts into the system for production, and determining the order sequence for collecting the completed parts. A new part-launching rule, named the Tardiness Estimating Method (TEM) was proposed. A discrete-event simulation model of the FMS was developed and used as a test-bed for experiments under various system conditions. The proposed part launch rule was capable of providing good performance regarding minimum mean tardiness and maximum service level, but provided only a moderate flow time when compared with the other five rules commonly used in the literature. In addition, three order collection rules were tested in the experiments. Collecting parts for the order with the earliest due date (EDD) was found better than the other rules for tardiness related measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-91
Number of pages12
JournalSimulation Modelling Practice and Theory
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Flexible manufacturing system
  • Order collection
  • Part launching
  • Simulation

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