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An Application of Context-sensitive Computing for Flexible Manufacturing System Optimization

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles

Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3956-5
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3934-3
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2017
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
Volume1468
ISSN (Print)1459-2045

Abstract

Recent advancements in embedded systems, computing, networking, WS and SOA have opened the door for seamless integration of plant floor devices to higher enterprise level applications. Semantic web technologies, knowledge-based systems, context-sensitive computing and associated application development are widely explored in this regard. Ubiquitous and pervasive computing are the main domains of interest among many researchers so far. However, context-sensitive computing in manufacturing, particularly, relevant research and development in a production environment like FMS is relatively new and growing.

Dynamic job (re)scheduling and dispatching are becoming an essential part of modern FMS controls. The foremost drive is to deal with the chaotic nature of the production environment while keeping plant performance indicators unaffected. Process plans in FMS need to consider several dynamic factors, like demand fluctuations, extreme product customizations and run time priority changes. To meet this plant level dynamism, complex control architectures are used to provide an automatic response to the unexpected events. These runtime responses deal with final moment change of the control parameters that eventually influences the key performance indicators (KPIs) like machine utilization rate and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). In response, plant controls are moving towards more decentralized and adaptive architectures, promoting integration of different support applications. The applications aim to optimize the plant operations in terms of autonomous decision making, adaptation to sudden failure, system (re) configuration and response to unexpected events for global factory optimization.

The research work documented in this thesis presents the advantages of bridging the mentioned two domains of context-sensitive computing and FMS optimization, mainly to facilitate context management at factory floor for improved transparency and to better respond for real time optimization through context-based optimization support system.

This manuscript presents a context-sensitive optimization approach for FMS, considering machine utilization rate and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) as the KPIs. Runtime contextual entities are used to monitor KPIs continuously to update an ontology-based context model, and subsequently convert it into business relevant information via context management. The delivered high level knowledge is further utilized by an optimization support system (OSS) to infer: optimal job (re) scheduling and dispatching, keeping a higher machine utilization rate at runtime. The proposed solution is presented as add-on functionality for FMS control, where a modular development of the overall approach provides the solution generic and extendable across other domains. The key components are functionally implemented to a practical FMS use-case within SOA and WS-based control architecture, resulting improvement of the machine utilization rate and the enhancement of the OEE at runtime.

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