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Title: A novel architecture for a reconfigurable micro machining cell
Authors: Al-Sharif, R
Makatsoris, C
Sadik, S
Keywords: Micro manufacturing;Reconfigurable manufacturing;Flexible manufacturing system
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Brunel University
Citation: The 6th International Conference on Manufacturing Research (ICMR08), Brunel university, UK, 9-11th September 2008. pp. 437-445
Abstract: There is a growing demand for machine tools that are specifically designed for the manufacture of micro-scale components. Such machine tools are integrated into flexible micro-manufacturing systems. Design objectives for such tools include energy efficiency, small footprint and importantly flexibility, with the ability to easily reconfigure the manufacturing system in response to process requirements and product demands. Such systems find application in medical, photonics, automotive and electronic industries. In this paper, a new architecture for a reconfigurable micro manufacturing system is presented. The proposed architecture comprises a micro manufacturing cell with the key design feature being a hexagonal-base on which three tool heads can be attached to three of its sides. Each such machine-tool head, or processing module, is able to perform a different manufacturing process. These tool heads are interchangeable, enabling the cell to be configured to process a wide range of components with different materials, dimensions, tolerances and specification. Additional components of the cell include manipulation robots and an automated buffer unit. Such cells can be integrated into a manufacturing system via a modular conveyor belt to transfer parts from one cell to another and into assembly. A key consideration of the architecture is a control system that is also modular and reconfigurable; such that when new processing modules are introduced the control system is aware of the change and adjusts accordingly. Further to this coordination, issues between modules and machining cells are also considered. Other design considerations include work-piece holding and manipulation. This paper provides an overview of the architecture, the key design and implementation challenges as well as a high level operational performance assessment by means of a discrete event simulation model of the micro factory cell.
Appears in Collections:Advanced Manufacturing and Enterprise Engineering (AMEE)
Dept of Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Engineering Research Papers

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