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Durham e-Theses
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Design and discrete event simulation of power and free handling systems

Lynn, Jeffrey Alexander (1997) Design and discrete event simulation of power and free handling systems. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Effective manufacturing systems design and implementation has become increasingly critical, with the reduction in manufacturing product lead times, and the subsequent influence on engineering projects. Tools and methodologies that can assist the design team must be both manageable and efficient to be successful. Modelling, using analytical and mathematical models, or using computer assisted simulations, are used to accomplish design objectives. This thesis will review the use of analytical and discrete event computer simulation models, applied to the design of automated power and free handling systems, using actual case studies to create and support a practical approach to design and implementation of these types of systems. The IDEF process mapping approach is used to encompass these design tools and system requirements, to recommend a generic process methodology for power and free systems design. The case studies consisted of three actual installations within the Philips Components Ltd facility in Durham, a manufacturer of television tubes. Power and free conveyor systems at PCL have assumed increased functions from the standard conveyor systems, ranging from stock handling and buffering, to type sorting and flexible product routing. In order to meet the demands of this flexible manufacturing strategy, designing a system that can meet the production objectives is critical. Design process activities and engineering considerations for the three projects were reviewed and evaluated, to capture the generic methodologies necessary for future design success. Further, the studies were intended to identify both general and specific criteria for simulating power and free conveyor handling systems, and the ingredients necessary for successful discrete event simulation. The automated handling systems were used to prove certain aspects of building, using and analysing simulation models, in relation to their anticipated benefits, including an evaluation of the factors necessary to ensure their realisation. While there exists a multitude of designs for power and free conveyor systems based on user requirements and proprietary equipment technology, the principles of designing and implementing a system can remain generic. Although specific technology can influence detailed design, a common, consistent approach to design activities was a proven requirement In all cases. Additionally, it was observed that no one design tool was sufficient to ensure maximum system success. A combination of both analytical and simulation methods was necessary to adequately optimise the systems studied, given unique and varying project constraints. It followed that the level of application of the two approaches was directly dependent on the initial engineering project objectives, and the ability to accurately identify system requirements.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:41

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