AnyLogic Case Studies Manufacturing Optimization for Flexible Manufacturing Systems
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Manufacturing Optimization for Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Manufacturing Optimization for Flexible Manufacturing Systems - AnyLogic Industrial IoT Case Study
Functional Applications - Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)
Construction & Infrastructure
Manufacturing System Automation

Flexible manufacturing system design

Modern machining shop floors require production systems that can be adapted to meet production problems as they occur. For technical reasons, most shop floor processes are automated, and, for economic reasons, the flow of materials and resources should also be automated to allow for long periods of unattended operation. The resulting systems are highly complex and would benefit from better forecasting and analytics.

MCM has also found that when designing such complex systems for successful tender, precise dimensioning is necessary to win the bidding process. Further design challenges arise when trying to predict system behavior or plan reconfigurations. And, without knowing system behavior well, it is difficult to define machine control policies.

A performance evaluation tool would help MCM address the challenges associated with FMS plant design. They wanted a tool to help support several activities:

  1. Performance evaluation
  2. Initial plant configuration support
  3. Automation dimensioning performance insights
  4. Insights on component marginal utility
  5. Configuration comparisons
  6. New FMS plant management business opportunities


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MCM - Machining Centers Manufacturing – is an Italian company, the world leader in the production of machine tools. It designs and manufactures top-of-the-range machining centers, flexible manufacturing systems, and customized solutions for multi-process integration, to meet diversified and complex manufacturing requirements.

Established in 1978 in the province of Piacenza, in the center of a historic Italian machine tool district, MCM has grown fast thanks to the innovation it offers. Successful across all markets, MCM is an excellent example of an Italian company manufacturing advanced capital goods, able to match the organization of the companies operating at a global level with the dynamism and meticulous attention to every construction detail.

The company size is such as to allow, on the one hand, a well-structured organization chart, representing a wide range of technical know-how and, on the other hand, to operate with considerable flexibility and dynamism, for example in effectively meeting the specific needs of the customer.

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MCM (Machine Centers Manufacturing)

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Manufacturing performance evaluation tool

At a high level, the simulation specialists at Engineering fulfilled MCM’s requirements for an FMS Performance Evaluation tool by leveraging the capabilities of AnyLogic simulation modeling. The flexibility of the simulation tool, its connectivity, and its extensibility, made it ideal for meeting MCM’s needs.

To aid plant design and configuration, Engineering developed an FMS-specific library in conjunction with the plant specialists at MCM. The library was made from a collection of reusable agents and Java classes related to FMS applications such as production units, machines, pallet and tool racks, shuttles, etc.

Using the FMS-specific library alongside the standard AnyLogic libraries allowed MCM engineers to rapidly prototype FMS facility designs. In testing, they could quickly layout a shop floor using the new library and combine it with regular AnyLogic functionality to develop facility-specific algorithms, such as a plant-dependent control policy.

During prototyping and for analysis, model simulations run in a custom UI, as required. These are ideal for verification with non-technical people and analysis by a wide range of stakeholders.

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[Efficiency Improvement - Customer Service]

With the FMS Simulator, MCM and Engineering achieved what they set out to do and more.

[Management Effectiveness - Operation]

The system allows modelers to quickly provide high-level simulations during the preliminary stages of selling a plant and give end-customers a preview of how the real-life solution will be.

[Management Effectiveness - Data Analysis]

The tool developers also foresee using FMS simulations for the training or assessment of policies obtained using reinforcement learning.

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