In the European manufacturing industry, production batches are decreasing, resulting in an increase in required changeovers. Companies are pushed to respond quickly and cost-efficient to changing markets. One way for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to become more agile, is to incorporate industrial robots in their production processes; larger enterprises already use this versatile piece of equipment for large batch sizes. To do so, a new perspective and approach is required, tailored to dynamic manufacturing systems in which production systems and components can be easily reconfigured, altered, swapped or replaced. A modular system architecture was developed within project SInBot upon which challenges in dynamic cooperation between robots and humans were projected. The developed system uses decentralized control and distributed intelligence, linked through an extensible, flexible, and fault-tolerant communication architecture. The rapidly growing complexity of traditional systems is compared to its decentralized counterpart to illustrate some of the many advantages of this new system architecture. A manufacturing scenario analogue is discussed and the approach to verify the performance of inner-system components, as well as the benefits of this approach. Key challenges that are encountered in implementing the cooperation into the current industrial environments are identified and projected upon the verification system.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2016|