Living Factory: Back to Koestler in Holonic Manufacturing


Arthur Koestler’s observations about the similarities in the structures and behaviours of manufacturing environment, biological beings and social groups led to a new era in production design and control. However, the later research ignored the roots of the holonic idea. In this paper, we propose a new model which maps the structures and behaviours of biological cells onto the manufacturing environment. We describe the common organelles of biological cells and then provide corresponding manufacturing units based on a cell design being used in automotive industry. We claim that this model gives a more realistic, reconfigurable, scalable and reliable view of today’s production systems. Furthermore, the availability of diverse biological structures offers a wide range of architectures applicable to different manufacturing environments.

Burak Simsek, Sahin Albayrak
IEEE Industrial Informatics 2003