Our company won a competition in United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) to create a multi-agent system for managing aggregate and final assembly of the newest MS-21 aircraft in Irkut Corporation.
Irkut Corporation is the leader of UAC and Russia’s key-note aircraft construction company, which provides complete solutions in military and civil aircraft design, testing, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and after-sales support. Currently, the corporation is working on a new Russian passenger plane MS-21 («Mainline plane of the XXI century»). This is the first liner made entirely according to the Western standards, taking into account the worldwide trends and the real demand in the market.
MS-21 is a project of a family of short- and medium-haul jet passenger narrow-body airliners. It is designed to fly over distances of about 6 thousand kilometers and is created as a replacement for the Tupolev Tu-154 and Tu-204/214 aircrafts, as well as for the foreign airplanes Airbus A320, Boeing 737 and others.
MS-21 can provide a qualitatively new level of comfort for passengers due to the largest fuselage diameter in the class of narrow-body aircrafts. Thanks to this unique solution, the personal space of each passenger is significantly expanded. Moreover, airlines can enjoy a reduction in turnover time at airports. Besides, due to installation of large windows, natural illumination of the passenger compartment has been increased. In addition, pilots of MS-21 can enjoy an innovative ergonomic cockpit.
Currently, MS-21 is still at the development stage, therefore, technical processes are often changed, all nodes are being worked through, communication with suppliers is worked out, and assembly technologies are clarified, which leads to frequent changes in plans.
Our system will be implemented in 4 shops of aggregate and final assembly (about 600 workers).
Currently, the main planning cycle for these units is built in the BAAN system for one month. However, since the product and technological assembly processes are still being worked out and improved, the plan may significantly differ from reality. This is typical for the Ramp-up stage — the same happens when Airbus, Boeing or other corporations are assembling new models of their aircrafts. In these conditions, the monthly plan for shift-daily assignments from BAAN is manually updated by economists and dispatchers involved in aggregate and final assembly, taking into account availability of technology, components and materials, as well as the load of workers, etc.
Irkut Corporation directed their attention to developments of our company after successful completion of our large international project ARUM (Adaptive Production Management), carried out in a consortium with 14 scientific, engineering and consulting companies from Germany, England, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece. This project was carried out under the leadership of EADS(European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), one of the founders of the Airbus company. ARUM was implemented within the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program for Development of Research and Technology «FP7 Factories of the Future».
Within the ARUM project, a multi-agent resource management system has been developed. It is designed to plan, optimize and control complex and multilinked production processes at the ramp-up stage — the initial stage of creating new technical products that have not yet entered mass production.
The developed system has successfully passed the first implementation in Airbus, as well as in construction of production plans for Airbus suppliers, in particular, the Iacobucci company, a well-known manufacturer of ovens and coffee machines for aircraft cabins.
More on the ARUM project: http://smartsolutions-123.ru/en/news/446/.
These innovative technical R&D solutions, developed for Airbus, in order to create a network-centric multi-agent system for managing workshops of a machine-building enterprise will be used for Irkut Corporation. Moreover, they will be brought up to the industrial level and implemented within the aggregate and final assembly shops.
The proposed system will be initially built as a distributed one — each of the four workshops will be managed by its own multi-agent system. They will negotiate with each other on changes in plans in case any unforeseen events arise in one of the shops, if their consequences cannot be compensated in this unit through rapid redistribution of orders and resources.
In addition, a Wikipedia-type enterprise knowledge base will be created to expand the innovative component of the project. This knowledge base will contain important additional descriptions of products, technical operations, work centers and workers’ competencies, which will significantly improve the quality and efficiency of models, methods and algorithms for production planning in real time.
The existing plant system will continue planning on an annual, quarterly and monthly horizon, while the proposed solution will assume responsibility for fulfillment of plans within one month, forming shift-daily assignments for sections and workers and rebuilding them according to unforeseen events (delays, breakdowns, etc.)
Thus, the existing 2.0 version of the system will be upgraded to the Smart Factory 3.0 version, which will most fully use capabilities of network-centric approach, knowledge base and multi-agent technology. The proposed system will also receive a new web interface for users who can work on tablets.
The developed system is designed to ensure a higher efficiency of resource use in aggregate and final assembly shops and fulfillment of plant plans for production of the new aircraft for a growing number of customers within the required time.