The development and evaluation of an Erlang control system for reconfigurable manufacturing systems

Kruger, Karel (2018-03)

Thesis (DEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The dynamic and highly competitive nature of the modern manufacturing environment has introduced a new set of challenges, urging researchers and industry to formulate new and innovative solutions. The concepts of holonic and reconfigurable manufacturing systems showed great promise to address the challenges. While these concepts could not achieve significant industry adoption, they will play an important role in the latest emerging paradigm in manufacturing – the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0, can potentially have a significant impact on all aspects of the manufacturing industry, aiming to enhance individualization of products through highly flexible production, extensively integrate customers and businesses in valueadded processes and link production and high-quality services to deliver hybrid products. To achieve these goals, Industry 4.0 relies on Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPSs) to enhance the connectedness throughout all levels of the manufacturing enterprise. CPPSs aim to enhance the intelligence, connectedness and responsiveness of manufacturing systems. These goals closely resemble those of holonic and reconfigurable manufacturing systems, indicating the relevance of research on these topics to the development and implementation of CPPSs. The objective of this dissertation is to evaluate the suitability of the Erlang programming language as an alternative for the implementation of holonic control in manufacturing systems. The dissertation presents an Erlang-based holonic control implementation for a manufacturing cell. The Erlang implementation is evaluated through a comparison with an equivalent implementation using Multi- Agent Systems (MASs), which is considered as the status quo for holonic control implementation in manufacturing systems research. To accomplish the evaluation of the holonic control implementations, evaluation criteria is formulated. The evaluation criteria focusses on both the development of control implementations and the adoption of the implementations by industry. The criteria identifies a set of quantitative and qualitative performance measures that are indicative of seven critical requirements for holonic control implementations. The Erlang and MAS implementations are evaluated and compared according to these performance measures and requirements. The comparison shows that the Erlang implementation matches the functionality of the MAS implementation and even offers some advantages for the desired characteristics for the holonic control of manufacturing systems. The advantages in availability and supportability can be attributed to the enhanced modularity and fault tolerance of the Erlang implementation. The Erlang implementation also allows for increased development productivity through a reduction in software complexity and simplification of software verification. The findings of the evaluation confirms the inherent suitability of the Erlang programming language for the implementation of holonic control. It is recommended that further research be conducted on the refinement of the architecture and the development of a framework for holonic control implementations in Erlang.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ‘n Nuwe stel uitdagings, wat na vore gebring is deur die dinamiese en hoogskompeterende aard van die moderne vervaardiging omgewing, spoor navorsers en die bedryf aan om nuwe en innoverende oplossings te formuleer. Die konsepte van holoniese en herkonfigureerbare stelsels het beloof om hierdie uitdagings aan te spreek. Alhoewel hierdie konsepte nie beduidende bedryfsaanneming kon behaal nie, het dit ‘n belangrike rol om te speel in die nuutste ontluikende paradigma in vervaardiging – die vierde industriële revolusie, of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 het die potensiaal om ‘n beduidende impak te hê op alle aspekte van die vervaardigingsbedryf, deur die individualisering van produkte te verbeter met hoogs-buigsame produksie, breedvoerig kliënte en besighede in waardetoevoegingsprosesse te integreer en produksie met hoë-kwaliteit dienste te verbind om hibriede produkte af te lewer. Om hierdie doelwitte te bereik maak Industry 4.0 staat op Kuber-Fisiese Produksiestelsels (KFPs) om verbondenheid tussen al die vlakke van ‘n vervaardigingsonderneming te verbeter. KFPs beoog om die intelligensie, verbondenheid en responsiwiteit van vervaardigingstelsels te verbeter. Die doelwitte van KFPs stem ooreen met die van holoniese en herkonfigureerbare vervaardigingstelsels, wat die relevansie van die benaderings op die ontwikkeling en implementering van KFPs aandui. Die doelwit van hierdie proefskrif is om die geskiktheid van die Erlang programmeringstaal, as ‘n alternatief vir die implementering van holoniese beheer in vervaardigingstelsels, te evalueer. Die proefskrif beskryf ‘n Erlang-gebaseerde beheerimplementering vir ‘n vervaardigingsel. Die Erlang implementering is evalueer deur middel van ‘n vergelyking met ‘n ekwivalente implementering wat gebruik maak van ‘n Multi-Agent Stelsel (MAS), wat beskou word as die status quo vir holoniese beheerimplementering in vervaardigingstelsel navorsing. ‘n Evalueringkriteria vir holoniese beheerimplementering is geformuleer om die evaluering te vervul. Die evalueringkriteria fokus op beide die ontwikkeling van beheerimplementerings en die aanneming daarvan deur die bedryf. Die kriteria identifiseer ‘n stel kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe prestasiemaatreëls wat aanduiding gee vir sewe kritiese vereistes vir holoniese beheerimplementerings. Die Erlang en MAS implementerings is ge-evalueer en vergelyk volgens die prestasiemaatreëls en vereistes. Die vergelyking wys dat die funksionaliteit van die Erlang implementering ooreenstem met die van die MAS implementering, en selfs voordele inhou vir die gewenste eienskappe vir holoniese vervaardigingstelsels. Die voordele van Erlang, ten opsigte van beskikbaarheid en ondersteunbaarheid, kan toegeskryf word aan verbeterde modulariteit en fout-verdraagsaamheid. Die Erlang implementering maak ook voorsiening vir verhoogde ontwikkelingsproduktiwiteit, deur die kompleksiteit van die sagteware te verminder en die verifikasie daarvan te vereenvoudig. Die bevindinge van die evaluering bevestig die Erlang programmeringstaal se inherente geskiktheid vir die implementering van holoniese beheer. Dit word voorgestel dat verdere navorsing gedoen word op die verfyning van die argitektuur en die ontwikkeling van ‘n raamwerk vir holoniese beheerimplementering in Erlang.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103780
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