[Glue!] Software systems for work-cell management

Functionality of manufacturing work-cells

In order to implement highly intelligent autonomous flexible manufacturing systems, the functions which the manufacturing work-cells should have are categorized as followings:

Required abilities of work-cell controller software system

The manufacturing work-cell controller software systems should have abilities to realize the following:
Work-cell model database
Contains information about the manufacturing work-cell itself, such as abilities, characteristics, configurations and operations of the machine tools in the work-cell.
Autonomous task selection
Finds a task worth doing, using the information in the work-cell model database and one from other work-cells.
Task decomposition
Divides the selected task into multiple simpler tasks, and schedules those sub-tasks.
Device control data generation
Prepares the device control data or the programs for the abstracted manufacturing devices.
Dynamic task dispatching
Balances the load of each device within the work-cell.
Work-cell monitor
Checks the operating status of the machine tools continuously and takes proper actions for unexpected events.
Information updating
Acquires the task and system information, such as operating status, resulting state of each tasks executed, current status of the work-pieces in process e.t.c., and provides others with the collected information.

These abilities should be implemented in the work-cell controller software systems.

Data handled in the work-cell controller software system

The data to be handled in the work-cell controller software systems consist of the following:

It is important to use these various data freely and in a timely manner. And, these data should not have any contradiction at any instant.

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