Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems

Due to excessive application-specific challenges, there is no universal recipe for design of Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems. Therefore, in our work we focus on two major application fields, Computerized Numerical Control (CNC), and Sequential Control, which underly the majority of industrial systems.

Reconfigurable and fully-distributed CNC testbed

Reconfigurable Computerized Numerical Control


We illustrate the use of our design framework for reconfigurable machine tools through design of modularized and distributed Computer Numerical Control (CNC). Specifically, we focus on design challenges for Plug-n-Play automation systems, where new system functionalities, (such as adding new degrees of freedom-axes) in existing CNC units, can be introduced without significant reconfiguration efforts and downtime costs. We propose a fully distributed motion control architecture realized through a network of individual axis control modules. Reconfiguration of motion control systems based on this architecture can be achieved by only presenting the controller on each axis with information about machine configuration and the type of axis. This effectively enables modularity, reconfigurability, and interoperability of the machine control system. By distributing the conventionally centralized control kernel, we decouple high-level planning from low-level control. In this architecture, the higher-level process planning and manufacturing task scheduling can be performed on the edge or in the cloud by a controller that need not know the specifics on how manufacturing resources are controlled, but only what capabilities they offer. On the other hand, networked low-level controllers integrated with smart manufacturing resources (i.e., each axis) perform real-time motion control, synchronize among each other, and receive commands from the planner during execution.


 Video emphasizing Plug&Play aspects coming soon...

Reconfigurable Sequential Control Systems

Details coming soon...