The group has been focused on the following objectives:
Investigating production planning and control mechanisms and techniques relevant to both lean and agile or quick response production.
Studying forms of intensifying the use and application of available knowledge on industrial management. The idea is to explore a distributed dynamic updatable knowledge, from a worldwide community, base on industrial management methods for improving research and manufacturing operations of users.
Research on design and operation of new forms of manufacturing organization exploring distributed, product and customer order oriented manufacturing systems (as against to traditional functional oriented systems).
Study and Develop Information Systems for Production Management
Study and develop Product Data Management and Generic Product Data Models
Focusing the research on distributed systems, including supply chain management
Extend the research to service systems, namely logistics and health systems
Analysis and development of performance systems for the service and manufacturing industries.
To research theoretical base of the Networked, Agile and Virtual Enterprises paradigm and to specify Virtual Enterprise model that will represent improvement in relation of the actual State-of-the-art and to validate it.
To research the Concurrent Engineering paradigm
To research foundations for a Formal Theories for Production Systems and Enterprises.
To research organization complexity and learning.
To develop a laboratory installation of a Virtual Enterprise Manufacturing Cell, as a demonstrator and to integrate it with laboratories on other universities.
To establish cooperation with the local industry.
To publish the research results in the peer-reviewed journals, books and international conferences.
Regarding the SUPPORTING OBJECTIVES:
- To obtain further budget from public and private funds.
- To “form” new PhD researchers in the area, in order to consolidate human resources and knowledge on the area.
- To create a network of partners that would integrate their laboratories in the network – demonstrator of the Virtual Enterprise paradigm for manufacturing.
- To define a “roadmap” for the future research and implementation directions and strategy.
17 projects, leading Ph.D. degrees were developed during the period 2003 to 2006. 14 Ph.D. theses were delivered in this period.
Novel algorithms for scheduling manufacturing activities, based on meta-heuristics and other techniques, and several computational models, including computer simulation, for manufacturing systems operations and design
The work was reported mainly through tens of communications, mainly at international research meetings, seminars and conferences and originated tens of papers, published in journals and proceedings of conferences and seminars and also book chapters related with the research work. As referred above several PhD theses were produced.
A few prototypes and demonstrators were also developed namely:
A Prototype of a CAD system for Product Oriented Manufacturing Systems (POMS) configuration and operation design (See IPROMS’05, Elsevier, ISBN-10:0080447309)
A prototype for collaborative scheduling reported on IPROMS’07 virtual conference (http://conference.iproms.org/
A contribution aiming at improving research and manufacturing operations of users came from an innovative research project centered on using the Internet through web services and a peer-to-peer network.
Further research work was carried out on systematization and organization procedures focused on developing integrated lean production systems of interlinked cells. Related with this work we shall emphasize a prize ward for one of the four papers published in the Annual Journal – “Inovação Organizational”, INOFOR, co-financed by the European Union The paper title is: “Sistemas de Produção Orientados ao Produto: Integrando Células e Pessoas” (POMS systems: integrating cells and people)
A large number of publications were produced, books peer reviewed papers in International Journals
Several projects proposals submitted to FCT has been not approved for financing that significantly influenced the potential for much better results, especially cooperation with the national industry.
With 4 other Portuguese higher education institutions, has been created a “Thematic Network – UBIQUITOUS PRODUCTION SYSTEM AND ENTERPRISES (UPSE).