Resilience to supply chain disruptions and to changing product volumes and specifications are currently major challenges for the manufacturing sector. To maintain quality and productivity, manufacturers need to be able to respond to disruption using a coordinated set of strategies across different levels of the business, from changes on the shop floor to changes in business strategy. To achieve this coordinated response in the most effective way-what we refer to as an elastic response-a first step is to clearly understand what resources, capabilities and business strategies are available, and then identify viable solutions that may include adding or removing equipment, re-purposing assets, adapting shifts, changing suppliers, or outsourcing part of the process. As manufacturing systems move towards more dynamic, flexible environments, a digital representation of the capabilities at all levels of the business as well as real-time status of these will play a key role in achieving a true picture of the state of a system and support the decision-maker to deliver an effective elastic response. This paper presents a semantic approach to the underpinning models needed to enable such response. By semantically representing capabilities at all levels, a semi-automated process can be implemented to reason and match process demands to capabilities. This is the first step in understanding if the existing system can cope with the disruption or if there are any other existing means in the business that can be used to enable an effective response.
Martínez-Arellano, G., Niewiadomski, K., Mo, F., Elshafei, B., Chaplin, J. C., Mcfarlane, D., & Ratchev, S. (2023). Enabling Coordinated Elastic Responses of Manufacturing Systems through Semantic Modelling.