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Production Planning in Production Networks: Models for Medium and Short-term Planning

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Distributed production networks are structures which are considered able to provide the organisational agility and efficiency necessary to compete in the global market. The performance of such organisations heavily depends on the ability of those involved in the network to coordinate their activities. Two approaches are available for managing complex distributed production networks: a centralised approach, where a unique entity (the planner, for instance) has all the necessary information to make planning decisions for the entire network; or a decentralised approach where each entity in the network has the necessary information and knowledge to make autonomous planning decisions, while the common goal is reached through cooperation between all the people involved in the network.

Production Planning in Production Networks addresses production planning problems in distributed manufacturing networks from strategic, tactical, organisational and operative perspectives. New methodologies for capacity negotiation, allocation and workload assignment in production networks are presented. Specifically, three main problems are focussed on: how to negotiate production capacity availability in the long-term; how to allocate production capacity in medium-term planning; and, how to assign workloads in the short-term. The proposed approaches are based on negotiation algorithms in multi-agent networks. These approaches are compared with classical centralised approaches using discrete event simulation methodologies. Benchmark analysis is provided to understand the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed approaches.

The methodologies, approaches and results presented in Production Planning in Production Networks will be of interest to production network managers who will learn how to organise decentralised production planning in distributed organisations, and enterprise resource planning vendors who can apply the proposed methodologies to the extended enterprise. 

About the Author

Professor Giovanni Perrone works in manufacturing and production systems and teaches manufacturing, computer integrated manufacturing and industrial engineering at the University of Basilicata in Potenza, Italy. He also teaches economics at the University of Palermo, Italy. His principal interests are in Production Engineering and Management, Operations Management, Advanced and Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, Production Economics and Soft Computing Techniques. He is a member of the IIE and IEEE, a corresponding member of CIRP, and a member of AITEM (the Italian association for manufacturing).

Paolo Renna is an assistant professor at the University of Basilicata, Italy. His principal research interest is the simulation of distributed agent systems applied to manufacturing systems and production planning.

Giovanna Lo Nigro is an assistant professor at the University of Palermo, Italy, and teaches Organization Design within Managerial Engineering. Her research interests include response for quotation, distributed production planning, negotiation in economic transactions, supply chain management, reconfigurable manufacturing systems, virtual organization, and customer centered process reengineering. She is a member of the Italian Association of Management Engineering (AiIG).

Manfredi Bruccoleri is an assistant professor of manufacturing engineering at the University of Palermo, Italy. In 2001 he was a visiting scholar at the Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems at the University of Michigan, USA.

Sergio Noto La Diega is a full professor of manufacturing technology at the University of Palermo, Italy. He also teaches Business Management within Managerial Engineering. His main research interests include economic analysis of manufacturing systems, modeling and simulation of manufacturing systems, optimization of machining processes, dynamic behavior of machine tools in metal cutting, and analysis of metal forming processes.

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