CAREER: Design and Implementation of a Knowledge-Based Agile Manufacturing Information System
Rakesh Nagi Principal Investigator
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9624309 Naji This CAREER award emphasizes the combined aspects of research and education in the area of Agile Manufacturing Information Systems to manage and control information flow among collaborating companies of a virtual or multi-partnership enterprise. The research component of the study proposes a framework in which: (1) Information is modeled in a hierarchical fashion using Object-Oriented Methodology. (2) Information flow between partners is controlled by a set of distributed Knowledge-Based Systems (KBS, one for each partner) which reflect partner specific information control policies. (3) Implementation of the system is based on a Client-Server architecture. Research issues are being considered with an industrial partner on item (1), on design, modeling and validation of multiple KBS for item (2), and on distributed computer implementations. The education component of this work focuses on two specific activities that will ultimately allow a broader range of instructional and developmental activities. (1) Course and laboratory development for a multi-purpose agile manufacturing simulation. In a simulated setting, participants will act as agile companies and either develop or "run" a design-to-manufacture life-cycle of a product. (2) Course and educational material development of a topics course in agile manufacturing which will focus on the fundamentals of information technology tools and concepts to support agile practices. This work will facilitate collaboration and synergism for a competitive US manufacturing base. It will enable manufacturing industries to establish information-based (paperless) and policy governed relationships among application systems of an agile enterprise. This will enable them to collectively and competitively respond to cost, quality and lead-time pressures being imposed in a fierce global economy. Practical benefits are the paperless information integration, elimination of data inconsistencies, and reduction in product lead-times and asso ciated costs.