Layout validation and re-configuration in Plug&Produce systems

Pedro Neves, Luis Ribeiro, João Dias-Ferreira, Mauro Onori, José Barata Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose-This paper aims to provide a method and decision support tool to enhance swift reconfiguration of Plug&Produce (P&P) systems in the presence of continuously changing production orders. Design/methodology/approach-The paper reviews different production scenarios and system design and configuration methods and more particularly specifies the need of decision support tools for P&P systems that integrate configuration and planning activities. This problem is then addressed by proposing a method that helps reduce the solution space of the reconfiguration problem and allows the timely selection of the most promising reconfiguration alternative. Findings-The proposed method was found to be helpful in reducing the reconfiguration alternatives that need to be considered and in selecting the most promising one for different orders. The advantages and limitations of this method are identified, and an illustrative test case of the approach is presented, corroborating the method applicability in the absence of large queues in the system. Originality/value-This paper addresses a less explored domain within the P&P systems research field, which is the system reconfiguration. It proposed a method to support system validation and reconfiguration jointly with an illustrative test case. This represents an original contribution to the P&P research field, and it can have impact in improving agility and decreasing the complexity of reconfiguration activities to cope with constantly changing production orders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-428
Number of pages17
JournalAssembly Automation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Plug&Produce systems
  • System reconfiguration


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