Manufacturing companies in the 21st Century will face unpredictable, high-frequency market changes driven by global competition. To stay competitive, these companies must possess new types of manufacturing systems that are cost-effective and very responsive to all these market changes. Reconfigurability, an engineering technology that deals with costeffective, quick reactions to market changes, is needed. Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS), whose components are reconfigurable machines and reconfigurable controllers, as well as methodologies for their systematic design and rapid ramp-up, are the cornerstones of this new manufacturing paradigm.
Automation of certain processes in assembly systems used to be too expensive for SMEs, but thanks to small, lightweight robots, there is now a new cost-effective option. The new robots make it possible to work without security barriers, thereby opening up new approaches for work design, especially in manual assembly systems.
Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretical and practical challenges to achieve reconfigurable production system designs. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The empirical material of this paper includes a multiple-case study with an embedded design (Yin) including four cases, where each case represents a production system design project. The consideration of reconfigurability and its characteristics in the production system design projects was studied. To enhance validity, two real-time studies were combined with two retrospective studies (Leonard-Barton). Findings ‐ For more than a decade foresight reports have pointed out the need for responsiveness to change through reconfigurability in production system design. In order to achieve reconfigurable production systems, three challenges were identified: to use a structured design methodology, to gain knowledge in reconfigurability and its characteristics, and to include the reconfigurability knowledge in a structured design methodology. Still there is no comprehensive support available for reconfigurability in the production system design process. Research limitations/implications ‐ Limitations are mostly related to the chosen methodology approach, and additional empirical studies to establish generic results are required. Practical implications ‐ By combining knowledge from the production system design field with the reconfigurable manufacturing system field a potential of meeting identified challenges is pointed out. Originality/value ‐ This paper adds to current knowledge by pointing out three main challenges to achieving reconfigurable production systems. The paper also contributes with ideas on how to respond to these challenges.
For highly flexible and agile assembly systems, installation of manufacturing devices is indispensable technology. In this paper, we propose a “Plug & Produce” concept. It is a methodology to introduce a new manufacturing device into a manufacturing system easily and quickly. It can also remove the device easily from the system. It is designed by analogy of Plug & Play concept in computer world. A holonic assembly system is installed using proposed Plug & Produce architecture. The validity of the proposed architecture is verified by experiments with robots and a belt conveyor. A robot will be installed to an existing cell in a short time. The proposed concept can enhance the agility of assembly systems greatly.
Product architecture is the scheme by which the function of a product is allocated to physical components. This paper further defines product architecture, provides a typology of product architectures, and articulates the potential linkages between the architecture of the product and five areas of managerial importance: (1) product change; (2) product variety; (3) component standardization; (4) product performance; and (5) product development management. The paper is conceptual and foundational, synthesizing fragments from several different disciplines, including software engineering, design theory, operations management and product development management. The paper is intended to raise awareness of the far-reaching implications of the architecture of the product, to create a vocabulary for discussing and addressing the decisions and issues that are linked to product architecture, and to identify and discuss specific trade-offs associated with the choice of a product architecture.
Legolike reconfigurable machining system-New perspecives to optimize production capacity
D M Bruzzone
D'Addona, D. M., Bruzzone, A. A. G., 2017, "Legolike reconfigurable machining system-New
perspecives to optimize production capacity", 2017