The Cambridge packing cell - A holonic enterprise demonstrator

Martyn Fletcher*, Duncan McFarlane, Andrew Lucas, James Brusey, Dennis Jarvis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Many modern manufacturing systems are highly automated and are now requiring decentralised 'smart' architectures to control hardware and manage the flow of materials / knowledge, in order to provide responsiveness. This responsiveness is needed to satisfy an ever increasing consumer need for goods that satisfy their unique requirements and are delivered to market both quickly and economically. A key route to achieve this mass-customisation with distributed control is to apply the holonic enterprise paradigm, and one manufacturing process that exhibits a high potential for responsiveness is packaging. Therefore this paper presents some of the main features of such an enterprise - the Holonic Packing Cell demonstrator being built at Cambridge University's Institute for Manufacturing. It must be emphasised that this cell is constructed from state-of-the-art industrial strength facilities to demonstrate a spectrum of responsive manufacturing ideas - it is not built from Lego bricks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-543
Number of pages11
JournalLecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (Subseries of Lecture Notes in Computer Science)
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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