Design and development of a hybrid flexible manufacturing system : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology at Massey University

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Massey University
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The ability of a manufacturing environment to be able to modify itself and to incorporate a wide variety of heterogeneous multi-vendor devices is becoming a matter of increasing importance in the modern manufacturing enterprise. Many companies in the past have been forced to procure devices which are compatible with existing systems but are not as suitable as other less compatible devices. The inability to be able to integrate new devices into an existing company has made such enterprises dependent on one vendor and has decreased their ability to be able to respond to changes in the market. It is said that typically 60% of orders received in a company are new orders. Therefore the ability of a company to be able to reconfigure itself and respond to such demands and reintegrate itself with new equipment requirements is of paramount importance. In the past much effort has been made towards the integration of shop floor devices in industry whereby such devices can communicate with each other so that certain tasks are able to be achieved in a single environment. Up until recently however much of this was carried out in a very much improvised fashion with no real structure existing within the factory. This meant that once the factory was set up it became a hard-wired entity and extensibility and modiflability were difficult indeed. When formalised Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) system architectures were developed it was found that although they solved many existing shortcomings there were inherent problems associated with these as well. What became apparent was that a fresh approach was required that took the advantages of existing architectures and combined them into an new architecture that not only capitalised on these advantages but also nullified the weaknesses of the existing systems. This thesis outlines the design of a new FMS architecture and its implementation in a factory environment on a PC based system.
Volumes 1 and 2 merged.
Computer integrated manufacturing systems, Computer architecture, Production control, Data processing