Date of Award

Fall 10-31-1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Second Advisor

Reggie J. Caudill

Third Advisor

John D. Carpinelli

Fourth Advisor

Nirwan Ansari

Fifth Advisor

Edwin Hou


A flexible manufacturing system (FMS) is a computerized production system that can simultaneously manufacture multiple types of products using various resources such as robots and multi-purpose machines. The central problems associated with design of flexible manufacturing systems are related to process planning, scheduling, coordination control, and monitoring. Many methods exist for scheduling and control of flexible manufacturing systems, although very few methods have addressed the complexity of whole FMS operations. This thesis presents a Petri net based method for deadlock-free scheduling and discrete event control of flexible manufacturing systems. A significant advantage of Petri net based methods is their powerful modeling capability. Petri nets can explicitly and concisely model the concurrent and asynchronous activities, multi-layer resource sharing, routing flexibility, limited buffers and precedence constraints in FMSs. Petri nets can also provide an explicit way for considering deadlock situations in FMSs, and thus facilitate significantly the design of a deadlock-free scheduling and control system.