Design and implementation of a virtual information system for agile manufacturing

Liugen Song, Rakesh Nagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the new and emerging agile manufacturing paradigm, where multiple firms cooperate under flexible virtual enterprise structures, there exists a great need for a mechanism to manage and control information flow among collaborating partners. In response to this pressing need, this paper addresses the design and implementation of an agile manufacturing information system integrating manufacturing databases dispersed at various partner sites. We propose a framework in which: (1) information is modeled in a hierarchical fashion using object-oriented methodology (OOM); (2) information transactions are specified by the workflow hierarchy consisting of partner workflows; (3) information flow between partners is controlled by a set of distributed workflow managers (WM) interacting with partner knowledge bases, which reflect partner specific information control rules on internal data exchange, as well as inter-partner mutual protocols for joint partner communications; (4) the prototype system is accomplished using the World Wide Web based on a client-server architecture. The overall approach and system provides within a dynamic environment, where virtual partnerships are synthesized in response to specific business initiatives, a dynamic and flexible mechanism to support partner information exchange and to keep the dispersed information consistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-857
Number of pages19
JournalIIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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