Next Generation Manufacturing Systems

Description, Modelling, and Simulation of Next Generation Manufacturing Systems (NGMS):

Merging the Agile, Autonomous and Distributed, Biological, and Fractual Manufacturing Systems Concepts

IMS Project Abstract


The Next Generation Manufacturing Systems (NGMS) Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) Program is an international partnership formed to propose and conduct pre-competitive research and development project under the Terms of Reference of the International IMS activity. The Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing - International (CAM-I) is the International Coordinating Partner for the Program.

The NGMS IMS Program has developed a vision of Next Generation Manufacturing Enterprise and a Technical Agenda describing a set of technology and systems R&D projects as the first steps toward realizing the vision. This abstract is for the first of a series of IMS Projects, based on the Technical Agenda, that the NGMS IMS Program plans to propose.

Objectives of the International Collaboration

The objective of the NGMS IMS Program is to develop and integrate the best ideas on advanced manufacturing systems into the next generation of manufacturing systems (NGMS). NGMS will have to support the next generation of manufacturing enterprises (NGMEs), so-called "virtual enterprises" consisting of a globally distributed assembly of autonomous work units linked primarily by the goal of profitably serving specific customers and operating in an environment of abrupt, often unpredicted, change.

The Technical Agenda describes a set of projects that is far-reaching, with tasks grouped into seven categories: NGMS Description, Specification, Technologies, and Integration; Modelling and Simulation for NGMS; Data Models and Standards; Planning, Scheduling, and Control Systems; Integrated operations; Intelligence in the Work Unit; and Enterprise Dynamics. The IMS Project described in this abstract is more limited; it sets a context for the larger work and begins the first R&D projects. Specifically, we will:

develop a unifying description of NGMS, begin the on-going development of an NGMS Specification that will capture the results of the individual R&D activities, and develop a framework for ensuring the integrability of the results into cost-effective NGMS.

develop on-line facilities for tracking advanced technologies and advanced materials that will be used in and by NGMS, gauging their readiness for application. After pilot testing by the NGMS IMS Program Partners, these facilities will be made more openly available.

develop an integratable set of models and simulations merging a bottoms-up view of the factory floor as it will be found in NGMEs with a top-down view of the globally distributed virtual enterprises that will constitute those NMGEs.

Proposed Partners

The partners who have contributed to the development of the NGMS IMS Program include:

ABB Asea Brown Boveri		Caterpillar			Eastman Kodak
Fraunhofer Society		Fuji Electric Co.*		Fujitsu Ltd.
The Furukawa Electric Co.	General Motors			Honda Engineering Co.
Honeywell			IVF of Sweden			JGC Corporation
Kawasaki Heavy			Kockums Submarine		Komatsu Ltd.
  Industries Limited		  Systems
Martin Marietta Energy		Mitsubishi Heavy		NKK Corporation
  Systems			  Industries Limited
Obayashi Corporation		Queensland Manufacturing	Sony Corporation
Short Brothers			CAM-I***
Universities that have contributed to the development of the NGMS IMS Program include:

Karlsruhe University		Kobe University			Kyoto University
Kyoto Institute of		Lawrence Technological		Limerick University
  Technology			  University
Ohio State University		Osaka University		Stanford University
Tokyo Metropolitan		University of Southern		Virginia Polytechnic
  University			  California			  University
* Fuji Electric Co. is the NGMS IMS Program Japan Region Coordinator and the prime contractor for the Japanese Domestic IMS Feasibility Study II-1, the results of which have contributed greatly to the NGMS IMS Program.
** The Queensland Manufacturing Institute serves as the NGMS IMS Program Australia Region Coordinating Partner.
*** In addition to being International Coordinating Partner, CAM-I serves as the NGMS IMS Progam's Europe and U.S. Regional Coordinating Partner.

Additional partners may join the NGMS IMS Program. In particular, we are developing a class of partners, Consortium Partners, consisting of a consortium of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that together would act as a single partner in the Program.

Value added of the International Collaboration

In our preliminary work, we have identified key characteristics of NGMS and found that our partners contribute complementary views to the realization of NGMS.

From Europe, the Fractal Company concept for virtual enterprise has been manually implemented and is enriched by a model that incorporates strategic goals; cultural, social and economic factors as well as the more traditional description of processes and informationflows. From Japan's Domestic IMS Task II-1 we incorporate well-developed efforts that are examining both autonomous and distributed manufacturing systems that consist of distributed manufacturing modules equipped with machine intelligence and finer-grained analogs of biological systems. From the United States, the ideas of Agile Manufacturing introduce the requirements for robust dynamical systems. The Australian experience contributes an important view of relationships among smaller enterprises.

We have found that there is great commonality in these concepts and that they lead logically to similar systems. However, each emphasizes a different set of issues and characteristics. By combining the concepts we will be able to accelerate the development of more competitive, complete and comprehensive systems. The partnership will provide a global testbed for NGMS, validating and then testing such issues as cost, timeliness, flexibility, and robustness, and scalability of globally distributed NGMS.

Coordinating Partners

Australia Region Coordinator				Japan Region Coordinator

The Queensland Manufacturing Institute			Fuji Electric Co. Limited
Dr. Periklis Christodoulou				Production and Information Systems Office
Cnr. Miles Platting and Logan Road			Mr. Takashi Kurihara
P.O. Box 4012						12-1, 1-chome, Yurakucho, Chiyodaku
Eight Mile Plains					Tokyo, JAPAN
Queensland, AUSTRALIA 4112

Tel:							Tel:	+81-3-3211-9409
Fax:	+61-7-847-0711					Fax:	+81-3-3201-0750
e-mail:				e-mail:

Europe Region Coordinator				U.S. Region Coordinator

Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing -			Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing -
  International						  International
Dr. Peter Bunce						Dr. Jim Jordan
CAM-I Europe Office					NGMS IMS Program Office
20 Market Street					21914 Granada Avenue
Poole, Dorset BH15 1NF   ENGLAND			Cupertino, CA  95014  USA

Tel:	+44-1-202-670717				Tel:	+1-408-253-0134
Fax:	+44-1-202-680698				Fax:	+1-408-253-0134 (pre-notify)
e-mail:			e-mail:

International Coordinator

Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing - International
Dr. Jim Jordan
NGMS IMS Program Office
21914 Granada Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014 USA
Tel: +1-408-253-0134
Fax: +1-408-253-0134 (pre-notify)