Control Architecture for Plug-and-Play Intelligent Axes within Fast Reconfigurable Manufacturing Equipments
A new perspective on a control architecture, capable to increase the overall performance of the manufacturing equipment by endowing it with distributed intelligence, thus providing short ramp-up times, plug-and-play capability, great integrability and scalability, together with cost reduction, is presented in this paper. The architecture concept, based on the outcome of applying specific problem solving methods, shows an intelligent axis equipped with a network of smart sensors and units controlled and supervised by a master control unit. The proposed solution is based on both electronic and software designs in order to expand equipment performances and take a step forward in supporting manufacturing systems towards reconfigurability. An experimental testing bench has been constructed around a mechanical axis for exploring control architecture performances and intelligent axis concept feasibility. Results have shown that the proposed control architecture is functional, highly reconfigurable, cost effective, and the concept of intelligent axis is feasible.
Keywordsintelligent axis reconfigurable system control architecture smart units distributed intelligence
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