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Identification of resources and parts in a Plug and Produce system using OPC UA
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW)
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6604-6904
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8878-2718
2019 (English)In: Procedia Manufacturing, E-ISSN 2351-9789, Vol. 38, p. 858-865Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper describes a method together with an implementation for automating the detection, identification and configuration of newly added resources and parts in a Plug and Produce system using OPC UA. In a Plug and Produce system, resources and parts are usually controlled by agents, forming a multi-agent system of collaborating resources. Hence, when a resource or part is connected to the system, a corresponding agent must be instantiated and associated with that specific device. In order to automate this, the system needs information about newly connected devices. This information could, for example, be positional data describing where the device is connected. Some devices like tools and parts to be processed have no own network connection, but still, they should get an agent with correct configuration instantiated. In this work, OPC UA is used for communication between devices and the corresponding agents. All agents and their communication are handled by an Agent Handling System, consisting of an OPC UA HUB together with functions for device detection and agent instantiation. The HUB is used for transferring data between devices and their agents in the network by OPC UA protocols. When a device is connected to the network, it is detected, and a connection is automatically created to the HUB that becomes configured for transmitting data between the device and its corresponding agent. © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 38, p. 858-865
Keywords [en]
OPC UA, Multi-agent, Industry 4.0, Smart Factory, Plug, Produce
National Category
Computer Sciences Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Control Engineering
Research subject
ENGINEERING, Computer engineering; Production Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-15158DOI: 10.1016/j.promfg.2020.01.167Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85083532613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-15158DiVA, id: diva2:1427946
Conference
29th International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing, FAIM 2019; Limerick; Ireland; 24 June 2019 through 28 June 2019
Available from: 2020-05-04 Created: 2020-05-04 Last updated: 2023-01-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A User-Friendly Approach for Applying Multi-Agent Technology in Plug & Produce Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A User-Friendly Approach for Applying Multi-Agent Technology in Plug & Produce Systems
2020 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
En användarvänlig strategi för att tillämpa multiagentteknologi för Plug & Produce
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents methods for simplifying the use of multi-agent systems in Plug & Produce. The demand for customized products and low volume production is constantly increasing. The industry has for many years used dedicated manufacturing systems where it is difficult and expensive to adapt to new product designs. Instead, factories are forced to use human workers for certain tasks that demand high flexibility and rapid adaption for new product designs. Several solutions have been proposed over the years to create highly flexible automation systems that automatically handles rapid adaption for new products. A concept called Plug & Produce aims at creating a system where resources and parts can be added in minutes rather than days in dedicated systems. One promising solution for implementing Plug & Produce is the distributed approach called multi-agent systems, where each resource and part get its own controller that communicates with each other to reach manufacturing goals. The idea is that the system automatically handles the adaption for new products. However, still today the use of such systems is extremely limited in the industry. One reason is the lack of mature multi-agent systems that are easy to use and that hides the complexity of the underlying agent system from the users. This is a huge problem since these systems tend to be more complex than traditional approaches. Thus, this thesis focuses on simplifying the use of multi-agent systems by proposing various methods for bringing the multi-agent technology for Plug & Produce closer to the industry.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling presenterar metoder för att förenkla användningen av multiagent-system för Plug & Produce. Efterfrågan på kundanpassade produkter och lågvolymproduktion ökar ständigt. Industrin har under många år använt sig avdedikerade tillverkningssystem som gör det både svårt och dyrt att anpassa sig till nya produktdesigner. Istället tvingas fabriker att antälla onödigt många operatörer för vissa arbetsuppgifter där det krävs hög flexibilitet och snabb anpassning till nya produktdesigner. Flera lösningar har föreslagits under åren för att skapa flexibla automatiseringssystem som automatiskt hanterar snabb omställning till nya produkter. Ett koncept som heter Plug & Produce handlar om att skapa system där nya typer av resurser och produkter kan kopplas in i systemet på ett fåtal minuter snarare än dagar i traditionella system. För att implementera Plug & Produce kan multi-agent-system användas, där varje resurs och produkt får sin egen styrning. Agenterna kan sedan kommunicera med varandra för att nå de mål som satts upp för tillverkningen av produkterna. Tanken är att systemet automatiskt hanterar anpassningen till nya produkter. Idag är dock användningen av sådana system extremt begränsad i industrin. En av anledningarna är avsaknaden av mogna multi-agent-system som är lätta att använda och där komplexiteten hos det underliggande agensystemet kan döljas från användaren.

Detta är ett stort problem eftersom multi-agent-system tenderar att vara mer komplexa än traditionella system. Därför fokuserar denna avhandling på att förenkla användningen av multi-agent-system genom att föreslå olika metoder som kan underlätta användandet av multi-agent-tekniken för Plug & Produce i industrin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2020. p. 49
Series
Licentiate Thesis: University West ; 29
Keywords
Multi-agent system, Plug & Produce, Process plans, Planning, Multiagentsystem, Plug & Produce, Processplaner, Planering
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Production Technology; ENGINEERING, Quality management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-15181 (URN)978-91-88847-61-4 (ISBN)978-91-88847-60-7 (ISBN)
Presentation
2020-06-02, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-06-02 Created: 2020-06-01 Last updated: 2020-10-14
2. A Control Framework for Industrial Plug & Produce
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Control Framework for Industrial Plug & Produce
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Kundanpassade produkter och korta produktionsserier blir alltmer populärt. Detta har lett till problem för dedikerade tillverkningssystem som är designade för massproduktion. Det krävs ofta långa produktionsserier för att det ska bli en rimlig investering att ställa om produktionen. Därför används människor för tillverkningsuppgifter som ofta ställs om. Denna avhandling fokuserar på konceptet Plug & Produce, som gör det enklare att flytta, lägga till och ta bort resurser från ett tillverkningssystem. Tanken är att resurser placeras i processmoduler som alla har samma fysiska gränssnitt för att kopplas in i tillverkningssystemet. Styrningen av tillverkningssystemet görs av ett multiagentsystem där varje detalj som ska produceras för produkter får en egen agent som representerar detaljen och agerar som styrningsmjukvara. Varje detaljs agent tar hand on sina egna tillverkningsmål genom att kommunicera med resursagenter i systemet som används för styrning av resurserna. I detta arbete, presenteras ett ramverk för Plug & Produce som består av ett konfigurerbart multiagentsystem, samt ett konfigurationsverktyg som kan användas för att definiera agenterna. Arbetet inkluderar metoder för att identifiera inkopplade resurser, kommunikation mellan agenter, schemaläggning som kan undvika konflikter mellan agenter, samt metoder för att automatiskt hitta vägar för transport genom tillverkningssystemet.

Abstract [en]

Customized products and low-volume production are becoming more popular resulting in a problem for dedicated manufacturing systems that are designed for mass production. Adapting a system to new demands is expensive and requires many products to be produced before it becomes a reasonable investment. This has forced factories to use human workers for manufacturing tasks that often change. This thesis focuses on a concept called Plug & Produce, which makes it easier to move, add, and remove resources in manufacturing systems. This is done by containing resources in process modules that all have the same physical connectors. To handle the control of the manufacturing system a multi-agent system is considered where each part to be produced for products has a part agent software running that represents that part. Each part agent takes care of their own manufacturing goals by communicating with resource agents that control the resources in the system. In this thesis, a Plug & Produce framework is describedthat consists of a configurable multi-agent system, together with a configuration tool for defining agent behaviours. Methods for identifying the resource that has been connected to a Plug & Produce system are investigated. Communication between agents in Plug & Produce is investigated. Scheduling is described for the presented systems to avoid conflicts when running multiple agents. Also, a pathfinding method for Plug & Produce is presented, which automatically gathers the necessary information for finding paths to transport parts through the manufacturing system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2023. p. 66
Series
Production Tecnology ; 54
Keywords
Flexible Manufacturing, Ontology, Multi-agent system, Automation, Planning, Flexibel tillverkning, Ontologi, Multiagentsystem, Automation, Planering
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
Research subject
Production Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19523 (URN)9789189325425 (ISBN)9789189325418 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-02-01, F131, Gustava Melins gata, Trollhättan, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Paper E and F is to be submitted and not included in the electronic thesis.

Available from: 2023-01-05 Created: 2023-01-05 Last updated: 2024-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Bennulf, MattiasDanielsson, FredrikSvensson, Bo

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