Towards an integrated framework for the configuration of modular micro assembly systems

Smale, Daniel M. (2011) Towards an integrated framework for the configuration of modular micro assembly systems. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (Full PhD thesis manuscript)


The future of manufacturing in high-cost economies is to maximise responsiveness to change whilst simultaneously minimising the financial implications. The concept of Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (RAS) has been proposed as a potential route to achieving this ideal. RASs offer the potential to rapidly change the configuration of a system in response to predicted or unforeseen events through standardised mechanical, electrical and software interfaces within a modular environment. This greatly reduces the design and integration effort for a single configuration, which, in combination with the concept of equipment leasing, enables the potential for reduction in system cost, reconfiguration cost, lead time and down time.

This work was motivated by the slow implementation of the RAS concept in industry due, in part, to the limited research into the planning of multiple system reconfigurations. The challenge is to enable consideration of, and planning for, the production of numerous different products within a single modular, reconfigurable assembly environment. The developed methodology is to be structured and traceable, but also adaptable to specific and varying circumstances.

This thesis presents an approach that aims towards providing a framework for the configuration of modular assembly systems. The approach consists of a capability model, a reconfiguration methodology and auxiliary functions. As a result, the approach facilitates the complete process of requirement elicitation, capability identification, definition and comparison, configuration analysis and optimisation and the generation of a system configuration lifecycle.

The developed framework is demonstrated through a number of test case applications, which were used during the research, as well as the development of some specific technological applications needed to support the approach and application.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Ratchev, S.M.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Assembly, Configuration, Capability Modelling
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
ID Code:1926
Deposited By:Dr Daniel M Smale
Deposited On:18 Oct 2011 11:45
Last Modified:18 Oct 2011 11:45

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