In the current manufacturing environment, characterized by diverse change sources (e.g.
economical, technological, political, social) and integrated supply chains, success
demands close cooperation and coordination between stakeholders and agility. Tools
and systems based on software agents, intelligent products and virtual enterprises have
been developed to achieve such demands but either because of: (i) focus on a single
application; (ii) focus on a single product; (iii) separation between the product and its
information; or (iv) focus on a single system characteristic (e.g. hardware, software,
architecture, requirements) their use has been limited to trial or academic scenarios. In
this thesis a reusable distributed manufacturing monitoring system for harsh
environments, capable of addressing traceability and controllability requirements within
stakeholders and across high cost and complexity supply chains is presented. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.