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A Classification of Different Levels of Flexibility in an Automated Manufacturing System and Needed Competence
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW iAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5986-8099
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW iAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6604-6904
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW iAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7683-7662
University West, Department of Engineering Science, Division of Production Systems. (PTW iAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8878-2718
2021 (English)In: Towards Sustainable Customization: Bridging Smart Products and Manufacturing Systems: Proceedings of the 8th Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual Production Conference (CARV2021) and the 10th World Mass Customization & Personalization Conference (MCPC2021), Aalborg, Denmark, October/November 2021 / [ed] Ann-Louise Andersen, Rasmus Andersen, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Maria Stoettrup Schioenning Larsen, Kjeld Nielsen, Alessia Napoleone, Stefan Kjeldgaard, Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH , 2021, p. 27-34Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Mass customization has become more attractive but requires a transformation towards more flexible solutions in contrast to dedicated manufacturing systems. Flexibility includes complex tasks such as the introduction of new products or new manufacturing processes as well as to efficiently handle daily balancing. The main challenge when it comes to flexibility in manufacturing is to be able to handle the technical aspects and still be competitive. In this article we consider the cost for flexibility to include two main things; (1) setup time, e.g., time for planning, design, programming and configuration, installation, ramp-up, scrapping of old equipment, preparation of facility, hardware installation, and (2) need of competence, inhouse knowledge, external competence, or external expert competence. This article presents an overview of available solutions and the level of flexibility and the level of competence that is needed for a reconfiguration one can expect out of a specific solution. Further, most of the existing solutions found do not consider or address the full problem of flexibility. However, we describe a possible future of industrial concept: Plug & Produce, which can address flexibility within manufacturing more completely and sustainably over time. Methods for configuration instead of programming are developed by University West. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH , 2021. p. 27-34
Keywords [en]
Plug & Produce, Flexibility, Re-configurability, Automation Competence
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Control Engineering
Research subject
Production Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-17889DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-90700-6_2Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85119450410ISBN: 978-3-030-90700-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-17889DiVA, id: diva2:1622521
Conference
8th Changeable, Agile, Reconfigurable and Virtual Production Conference (CARV2021) and the 10th World Mass Customization & Personalization Conference (MCPC2021), Aalborg, Denmark, October/November 2021
Available from: 2021-12-22 Created: 2021-12-22 Last updated: 2023-10-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Human-centric process planningfor Plug & Produce: Digital threads connecting product design withautomated manufacturing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human-centric process planningfor Plug & Produce: Digital threads connecting product design withautomated manufacturing
2023 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Adaptations to a fluctuating market and intensified customer demands for unique products are a challenge for manufacturers. Manual manufacturing is still the most flexible, nevertheless, automation ensures stable quality, minimizes wear and tear of the operators, and contributes to a safer and better working environment as the distance between the operator and the process can be increased and screened off. Hence, the manufacturing industry is searching for human-centric automation solutions that are flexible enough to handle these challenges. Conventional automation is tailored for one or a few similar variants of products, in addition, increased flexibility implies increased complexity to handle. This licentiate thesis demonstrates a flexible Plug & Produce automated manufacturing concept where the complexity is redirected to focus on the products and manufacturing processes by utilizing artificial intelligence. Together with digital threads that connect the product design to automatic manufacturing that enables manufacturing companies to manage new production scenarios with their in-house knowledge. Data is picked directly from the computer-based design of the products and process knowledge that normally exists within the manufacturing company is added through graphical user interfaces. The graphical configuration tools visualize the flow of sequential and parallel manufacturing operations together with process-bound information. Plug & Produce relies on pluggable process modules with re-cyclical manufacturing resources that can be plugged in and out as needed. As an example, a module with a robot can be plugged in to help an existing robot and thereby balance the production capacity. In Plug & Produce resources start working and cooperate with other resources automatically when they are plugged in. To achieve this, the resources are provided with distributed artificial intelligence together with intelligent products that know how to be finalized. In this concept, everything is digitally configurable by the in-house knowledge of the manufacturing companies. A Plug & Produce test bed was built to verify the concept in cooperation with industrial representatives.

Abstract [sv]

Denna licentiatavhandling påvisar ett koncept för att öka flexibiliteten och samtidigt rikta om komplexiteten i automatiserade produktionssystem hos tillverkande företag på ett sätt så att deras interna personal på egen hand kan ställa om tillverkningen mot nya produkter. Anpassningar till marknadens fluktuationer och efterfrågan av nya unika produkter är en ständigt pågående process. Alltmer av produktionen flyttas tillbaka till Sverige och övriga Europa vilket ökar efterfrågan på flexibel och omställbar automation. Automation håller nere prisnivån då arbetskraften är dyr, säkerhetsställer jämn kvalité, minimerar förslitningsskador på de anställda och bidrar till säkrare och trevligare arbetsmiljö då distansen mellan operatör och process kan ökas och avskärmas. Produktion som flyttas till hemmamarknaden från låglöneländer ersätter ofta högflexibel och anpassningsbar manuell tillverkning vilket är en stor utmaning för industrin. Ett Plug & Produce koncept för automatiserad tillverkning utvecklas och beskrivs i denna avhandling där automationen enkelt kan ställas om av den interna personalen och anpassas till nya produkter. Omställning med hjälp egen personal möjliggörs genom att så mycket information som möjligt utvinns från produktens datorbaserade design. Processkunskap som normalt besitts inom det tillverkande företaget adderas därtill med hjälp av grafiska användarinterface som visar flödet av tillverkningsoperationer tillsammans med processpecifika uppgifter såsom mått, bearbetningshastigheter, temperaturer och färg. Plug & Produce system är uppbyggda kring processmoduler med tillverkningsresurser som kan pluggas in och ut efter behov. Till exempel kan en modul med en robot pluggas in för att avlasta befintlig robot och därmed öka produktionshastigheten. Specialdesignade resurser kan pluggas in för att öka effektiviteten och minimera energikonsumtionen. För att den inpluggade processmodulen självmant skall börja jobba och samarbeta med de andra modulerna är den försedd med egen lokal artificiell intelligens. Dessa processmoduler kan tack vare sin intelligens pluggas in i olika Plug & Produce system och är därmed återvinningsbara i nya system. Intelligensen kan vara lokalt placerad i en dator på resursen eller i datormolnet kopplat till resursen. På samma sätt kan produkterna förses med intelligens och kallas då för smarta produkter. Dessa produkter har som mål att bli färdigproducerade genom delmål i form av tillverkningsoperationer. Denna intelligens förses med kunskap och erfarenheter av personalen inom det tillverkande företaget genom användarvänliga interface. När användarvänligheten Plug & Produce testbädd har byggts upp tillsammans med representanter frånprefabricerade trähusindustrin. Tillverkning av prefabricerade trähus är i idag ihög grad manuell då existerande automationslösningar inte är flexibla nog eftersom husen är i hög grad är kundanpassade. Arbetet som beskrivs i denna avhandling gynnar trähusindustrin och därmed klimatet då trä binder kol för en lång tid framåt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West, 2023. p. 80
Series
Licentiate Thesis: University West ; 44
Keywords
Plug & Produce, Digital Threads, Industrial Manufacturing, Process Planning, Multiagentsystem; Processplanering, Plug & Produce, Digitala kedjor, Industriell Tillverkning, Flexibel Automation
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
Research subject
Production Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20872 (URN)978-91-89325-58-6 (ISBN)978-91-89325-57-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2023-11-16, F131, Gustava Melins gata, Trollhättan, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Paper A is not included in the digital licentiate thesis due to copyright . 

Available from: 2023-11-16 Created: 2023-10-30 Last updated: 2024-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, AndersDanielsson, FredrikBennulf, MattiasSvensson, Bo

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