Reconfigurable Process Plans For Responsive Manufacturing Systems
This keynote paper focuses on the process plans and planning functions as the important link between the features of generations of products/product families and the features, capabilities and configurations of manufacturing systems and components throughout their respective life cycles. The challenges presented by the paradigm shift in manufacturing systems and their increased flexibility and changeability require corresponding responsiveness in all support functions. Process planning is part of the “soft” or “logical” enablers of changeability in this new environment. New perspectives on process planning for Flexible (FMS) and Reconfigurable (RMS) manufacturing systems in integrated digital manufacturing enterprises are presented. Process plans reconfiguration and their pre-requisites, characteristics, modeling and solution approaches, potential automation, and integration with both products and systems models as they evolve are discussed. New concepts of “Evolving Products Families” and “Reconfigurable Process Plans” are introduced and their ramifications for process planning approaches are outlined. The distinguishing features of process plans and planning methodologies in flexible, reconfigurable and changeable manufacturing systems, for both planned and un-planned products changes, are highlighted. Future research directions and challenges in process planning, being one of the enablers for changeable and responsive manufacturing systems, are presented.
KeywordsProcess Planning Manufacturing System Product Family Part Family Cylinder Block
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