In: International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 36, No. 5, pages 1401-1425. 1998.
Abstract: Designing flexible manufacturing systems in general, and flexible material handling system in particular, is a complex problem, typically approached through several stages. Here the focus is on the conceptual design stage during which valid approximation-based methods are needed. The segmented flow topology (SFT) AGV systems were developed to facilitate control of complex automated material handling systems. This paper introduces a decomposition method, directly derived from timed Petri nets (TPN) theories, to calculate the expected utilization of AGVs (as servers of SFT systems) and to derive simple operational decision rules leading to maximum system productivity at steady state, for a given deterministic routing of discrete material through the manufacturing system.
Keywords: Petri nets, analytic models, guided vehicle systems, performance evaluation.
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