This paper addresses the problems of dispatching multiple-load automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs). A pickup-or-delivery-en-route (PDER) rule is proposed to address the task-determination problem that indicates if a partially loaded AGV’s next task should be picking up a new job or dropping off a carried load. A workload-balancing (WLB) algorithm is developed to deal with the pickup-dispatching problem that determines which job should be assigned to an AGV. A simulation experiment is conducted to compare the PDER rule with an existing task-determination rule in 2 representative FMSs. We use another simulation experiment to compare the WLB rule with 4 existing pickup-dispatching rules in 3 FMSs. The results show that the PDER rule can significantly improve the system throughput and reduce the average time in system of parts, while the WLB rule also has an outstanding throughput performance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Automated guided vehicle systems--Computer simulation; Transportation, Automotive--Dispatching

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Manufacturing and Mechanical Systems Integration (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Technology (CAST)


Michael E. Kuhl

Advisor/Committee Member

Manian Ramkumar

Advisor/Committee Member

James Lee


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TL223 .L5 2017


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes