Computerised control of cellular manufacturing systems

  • Mustakim Montaj

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis reviews the existing manufacturing control techniques and identifies their practical drawbacks when applied in a high variety, low and medium volume environment. It advocates that the significant drawbacks inherent in such systems, could impair their applications under such manufacturing environment. The key weaknesses identified in the system were: capacity insensitive nature of Material Requirements Planning (MRP); the centralised approach to planning and control applied in Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP IT); the fact that Kanban can only be used in repetitive environments; Optimised Productivity Techniques's (OPT) inability to deal with transient bottlenecks, etc. On the other hand, cellular systems offer advantages in simplifying the control problems of manufacturing and the thesis reviews systems designed for cellular manufacturing including Distributed Manufacturing Resources Planning (DMRP) and Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) controllers.
It advocates that a newly developed cellular manufacturing control methodology, which is fully automatic, capacity sensitive and responsive, has the potential to resolve the core manufacturing control problems discussed above. It's development is envisaged within the framework of a DMRP environment, in which each cell is provided with its own MRP II system and decision making capability. It is a cellular based closed loop control system, which revolves on single level Bill-Of-Materials (BOM) structure and hence provides better linkage between shop level scheduling activities and relevant entries in the MPS. This provides a better prospect of undertaking rapid response to changes in the status of manufacturing resources and incoming enquiries. Moreover, it also permits automatic evaluation of capacity and due date constraints and hence facilitates the automation of MPS within such system.
A prototype cellular manufacturing control model, was developed to demonstrate the underlying principles and operational logic of the cellular manufacturing control methodology, based on the above concept. This was shown to offer significant advantages from the prospective of operational planning and control. Results of relevant tests proved that the model is capable of producing reasonable due date and undertake automation of MPS. The overall performance of the model proved satisfactory and acceptable.
Date of AwardSept 1990
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorD. Love (Supervisor)


  • cellular manufacturing systems
  • distributed manufacturing resources planning
  • production control
  • material requirements planning

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