The modularisation of hardware and software is one approach to handle the demand for increasing flexibility and changeability of automated material flow systems that are, for example, utilised in flexible production systems. In such automated material flow systems, autonomous modules communicate with each other to coordinate and execute transport tasks. In this paper a strategic material flow control is introduced, which is distributed on several modules realised with a multi-agent system. The strategic material flow control agent coordinates transport tasks with advanced logistical requirements, such as sequencing. A transport task states for a transport unit the system source and sink together with arrival criteria at the sink, e.g. sequence In order to fulfil the arrival criteria the strategic material flow agent selects additional destinations within the automated material flow system to buffer a transport unit. For the selection of suitable buffer modules, several strategies are proposed and evaluated in a simulation study.
Progress in Material Handling Research
Lieberoth-Leden, Christian and Fottner, Johannes, "Deployment of an Distributed Strategic Material Flow Control for Automated Material Flow Systems Consisting of Autonomous Modules" (2018). 15th IMHRC Proceedings (Savannah, Georgia. USA – 2018). 9.