A new highly flexible model for data representation has been developed. It is based on using standard form features and information features. The model is implemented in a structural query language (SQL) database and serves as interface between departments. A working prototype, integrated in a control database, has been developed consisting of a design module that allows flexible item design based on form features; a fast module to solve rectangular cutting stock problems; an automatic Ganttchart scheduling module; a generalised module for generating numerical control (NC) code, using form features and a monitoring system, which monitors the status of each activity to be performed on an order including the status of the operations.
TO A HIGHER DEGREE THAN OTHER BRANCHES OF MANUFACTURING, PROGRESS IN THE SHEET METAL COMPONENTS INDUSTRY SUFFERS FROM AN INSUFFICIENT INTEGRATION OF (1) THE DESIGN AND PRODUCTION PREPARATION PROCESS WITH (2) THE PRODUCTION PLANNING AND CONTROL SYSTEM.
A NEW APPROACH IS NEEDED WHICH REPLACES THE OLD EMPHASIS ON IMPROVING THE INTEGRATION OF ENGINEERING DATA FLOW.
INSTEAD, A JUST-IN-TIME (JIT) DELIVERY OF ENGINEERING DATA FOR AUTOMATED PROCESSING IS REQUIRED, WITH DECENTRALIZED INTELLIGENT REAL-TIME CONTROL MODULES SUBSTITUTING FOR THE PAST CENTRAL PROCESSING CONTROL.
THE PROPOSED RESEARCH PROJECT WILL APPLY THIS NEW APPROACH TO THE DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ORDER-ORIENTED SHEET METAL COMPONENT MANUFACTURING SYSTEM WHICH WILL ELIMINATE THE CRITICAL DRAWBACKS OF PRESENT SYSTEMS, IN PARTICULAR THEIR POOR UTILIZATION OF THE FLEXIBILITY OF MODERN MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT AND THEIR VULNERABILITY W.R.T. UNPREDICTABLE EVENTS.EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON DEVELOPING HEURISTICS FOR OPTIMAL GROUPING AND REGROUPING OF COMPONENTS FOR EACH PROCESS PHASE WITH THE HELP OF DECENTRALIZED INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERT SYSTEMS.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts