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<p>For solving scheduling problems in an aircraft manufacturing workshop, these authors propose a human-machine cooperative framework where computers check the consistency of thousands of constraints and humans select relevant choices </p> <p>The flanged-element manufacturing workshop at Dassault Aviation's plant in Argenteuil, France, uses a number of short-run manufacturing cycles to produce small quantities of numerous aircraft structural parts. The many manual finishing operations, components, and manufacturing processes involved place a premium on management flexibility and quick reactions for meeting ever-changing production demands. Human operators, therefore, must assume a pivotal role in the workshop's decision-making processes.</p> <p>This case study reports on our efforts to converge a top-down approach to functional design and a bottom-up approach to cognitive design of human-computer interactions to increase efficiency at the workshop. The functional design effort relies on a constraint-reasoning process to provide a set of decision-making solutions, while the cognitive design effort comprises a knowledge-acquisition phase. We combined these concepts to produce a highly interactive mock-up system, programmed with a constraint logic programming language, that lets users easily modify previous choices.</p> <p>The final system this article describes is still under specification, as part of the ongoing reorganization of the shop. The mock-up design, supported by the French Ministry of Research, has been developed to investigate new technological possibilities in the domain of cooperative human-machine scheduling, but not to be integrated in a Dassault industrial site. If integrated, this mock-up would enable operators to react immediately to perturbations. This work could also migrate to other manufacturing operations, such as cutting operations in the clothing industry, which present similar constraints.</p>
Pierre Lopez, Luc Haudot, Patrick Esquirol, Marc Sicard, "Constraint-Oriented Cooperative Scheduling for Aircraft Manufacturing", IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 12, no. , pp. 32-39, January-February 1997, doi:10.1109/64.577411
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