Knowledge Protocols

Knowledge Protocols

Ercan Oztemel (Marmara University, Goztepe Campus, Turkey) and Esra Kurt Tekez (Sakarya University, Esentepe Campus, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-650-1.ch015


Manufacturing enterprises continuously have to cope with changing markets that are unpredictable and diverse; manufacturing industry is facing international competitiveness and globalization. This obviously requires industrial organizations to manage different components of their organizations by integrating and coordinating them into a highly efficient, effective, and responsive system in order to maintain and improve their competitiveness. This chapter presents a knowledge exchange procedure for creating an integrated intelligent manufacturing system. The basic features of proposed scheme are introduced and the approach is supported through a case study.
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Manufacturing enterprises continuously have to cope with changing markets that are unpredictable and diverse; manufacturing industry is facing international competitiveness and globalization. In order to succeed in this dynamic environment, integrated manufacturing systems ensure compact information and material flow between the manufacturing components. It also provides facilities for manufacturers to respond to the manufacturing changes in an effective manner. In order to manage integrated manufacturing systems, the right knowledge needs to be provided to the right place at the right time. Therefore, integrated manufacturing entails effective information and knowledge systems.

The rapidly changing needs require interoperability to be integrated in different a manufacturing functions in order to share knowledge and sustain collaboration among organizations. It is now obvious that the enterprises have to manage the different components of their manufacturing environment through efficient integration and coordination of knowledge and technology. In other words; manufacturing systems require a lot of interdepartmental relationship among different departments such as design, process control, production, storage, etc. Since these departments could be located at different places, management of distributed manufacturing environment with integrated manufacturing functions is highly demanded. The processes of distributed systems are in general characterized as follows (Kim et al., 2001):

  • Participants of the processes are often geographically distributed.

  • The computing environments they use are mostly heterogeneous.

  • Individual tasks are usually carried out independently.

  • Collaboration of the participants is critical to the success of product development.

The traditional approaches confine the expandability and reconfiguration capabilities of the manufacturing systems. Traditional manufacturing facilities have shortcomings that affect their ability to compete in today’s constantly changing marketplace (Odell, 2002; Leitao et al., 2001). Some of those are as the following.

  • They do not have mechanisms in place to accommodate rapid changes in business conditions caused by global competition and changing demands.

  • They do not have mechanisms in place to modify systems while they are executing.

  • They are rigid and slow to make significant organizational or functional changes.

  • They do not have a mechanism to recover gracefully from partial failures on the factory floor. They are hard in order to optimize their execution and to manage the disturbances and warnings.

  • They are unable to form or to participate in virtual enterprises.

  • They are not scalable for changes in the market.

  • The business model and the operational philosophy are not customer driven.

  • They don’t support efficiently the distribution and decentralization of functions and entities.

  • The development of this type of applications based on this traditional approach has the advantage of its simplicity when compared with other advanced approaches; but the code developed cannot be re-used.

These shortcomings may bring about problems like reduced productivity and quality, increased costs, and missed market opportunities.

The main problems of traditional approaches are the distribution of functions, cooperation among distributed modules, reaction to the disturbances, and adaptation to changing environments. The main requirements for next generation of manufacturing systems should therefore be comprised as (Shen and Norrie, 1999):

Key Terms in this Chapter

Priority Relation Matrix: indicates the priorities of working agents which is necessary to provide requested knowledge on time.

REMIMS: is reference model for intelligent integrated manufacturing system.

Form Base: includes in knowledge forms, knowledge library and priority-relation matrix.

Knowledge Network: can be considered as distributed knowledge flow system which provides ways for interactions through knowledge protocols.

Knowledge Protocol: is a means providing knowledge exchange capability between agent of REMIMS in order to facilitate efficient communication and knowledge sharing.

Knowledge Library: stores information regarding the ownership of the knowledge forms, related agent names, and the location of the knowledge within form to be assessed.

Knowledge Form: is source of knowledge stored in computer with specified formats

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