Design and Simulation of Production and Maintenance Management Applying the Viable System Model: The Case of an OEM Plant

Materials (Basel). 2018 Aug 3;11(8):1346. doi: 10.3390/ma11081346.


Designing, changing and adapting organizations to secure viability is challenging for manufacturing companies. Researchers often fail to holistically design or transform production systems. Reasons are often the conflict of interests between production and maintenance, the temporal divergence of their activities and their organizational structure. Thus, the aim of this study is to propose a holistic approach of how production and maintenance can be designed, changed or managed. Hereby, the Viable System Model was applied. This structure can be applied to any kind of structured organization and for its management with goals to be achieved in modern society; however, focus of the research is the coordination of production and maintenance management. The goal of the developed model is to be able to react to some potential production environments by taking coordinated decisions correctly and in the right moment based on the needed information. To ensure this, standardized communication channels were defined. In conclusion, this proposed approach enables production systems to have internal mechanisms to secure viability depending on all potential environment scenarios.

Keywords: Viable System Model; automotive industry; cybernetics; maintenance management; production management; system dynamics.