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An Approach To Managing Manufacturing Exceptions Using Object-Oriented Information Integration


Wang, Ching-Yang (1993) Doctoral Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.


Most manufacturing environments are seriously impacted by manufacturing exceptions, which can have detrimental effects on quality, reliability and productivity. An exception is either a rare or an unexpected event which interrupts the normal manufacturing processes. Information technology is used in this work for developing methodologies, which provide flexible, extensible exception management capabilities that aid in the resolution of manufacturing exceptions. A conceptual exception model has been built to provide a structured approach which can be used to develop exception management methodologies. The exception model contains multiple views which are interdependent, propagating and integrated as a whole model. Through the functionality provided by these views, the exception model can aid in coping with exceptions by clarifying issues in exception management, by proposing assistance using information technology and by providing methods for building an exception management information system.

Three case studies of implementing an information system using an optical fiber manufacturing process have been developed to illustrate and verify the concepts of the exception model. The issues of characterizing the normal operations, managing a specific exception and managing a category of exceptions are examined. The case studies have been implemented in the Smalltalk environment. The design part of an information system is fully developed, and most of the implementations to demonstrate the design concepts have been completed. The developed information system then provides a platform for users to execute some exception management capabilities such as recovery plans to aid in coping with exceptions and the impact and decision propagation regarding exceptions.

The anticipated effect of this research is to benefit persons, such as system integrators, who need to build exception management information systems. Furthermore, a developed exception management information system can contribute to persons, such as the floor operators and the facility manager, who need an information system to aid in coping with exceptions. Although the scope of the implementation of the case studies is narrow, the structured approaches provided by this conceptual exception model can provide a foundation for further exploration in the areas of managing manufacturing exceptions.

Manuscript: order via UMI