Manufacturing enterprises are facing a major challenge to improve their production efficiency in order to survive in a globally competitive market. There is an opportunity to develop and apply intelligent scheduling software tools to improve their productivity and profitability. We have developed a distributed dynamic manufacturing scheduling technology using intelligent software agents. This technology can well address dynamic changes and disturbances in the shop floor locally without disruptions to regular production — a problem that cannot be solved by traditional planning and scheduling systems because these changes and disturbances cannot be predicted in advance. It can significantly improve equipment utilization rates thereby improving the efficiency and productivity of manufacturing enterprises. We have developed software prototype systems within our research facilities. We are collaborating with industrial partners to validate the technology in industrial settings and are looking for a software company in the manufacturing sector to commercialize the technology.

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