The integration of human workers as resource holons in a holonic manufacturing cell.

Leuvennink, Johannes Cornelius (2018-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: This thesis documents research conducted into the integration of human workers as resource holons in a holonic manufacturing cell. The research is motivated by the need to develop manufacturing systems that allow smaller enterprises in developing countries, such as South Africa, to be competitive in a global market, without contributing to unemployment. These systems must be selectively automated, so that the critical processes are automated while the other processes retain the use of manual labour. The objectives of this research are to develop architectures for human integration in holonic manufacturing systems and to evaluate and compare these architectures. To this end, holonic control strategies and the proposed architectures for human integration were implemented with a testbed manufacturing cell at Stellenbosch University. The structure of the holonic control strategies is based on the PROSA reference architecture and the mapping of the testbed cell components to holons is explained. The holonic control system for the testbed cell was implemented as a multi agent system using the JADE platform. The higher level control and lower level control of the subsystems of the cell are described in detail. Two architectures for human integration in holonic systems were developed, namely the interface holon architecture (IHA) and the worker holon architecture (WHA). The IHA makes use of a fixed interface to communicate with a worker that is assigned to a specific workstation by a human supervisor. The WHA makes use of a mobile interface, dedicated to a specific worker, to communicate with the worker. The WHA also makes use of an automated supervisor software agent that manages the workers on the factory floor instead of a human supervisor. These architectures, as well as their implementation and integration with the holonic control system of the testbed cell, is described in detail. A series of experiments were devised to evaluate the two architectures for human integration. The experiments were performed and the results are analysed and discussed. The results show that the WHA is superior to the IHA since it results in higher productivity as well as more flexibility and reconfigurability.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis dokumenteer navorsing wat gedoen is oor die integrasie van menslike werkers as hulpbron holons in 'n holoniese vervaardiging sel. Die navorsing word gemotiveer deur die behoefte vir die ontwikkeling van vervaardigingsstelsels wat dit vir kleiner ondernemings, in ontwikkelende lande soos Suid-Afrika, moontlik maak om mededingend te wees in 'n globale mark, sonder om tot werkloosheid by te dra. Hierdie stelsels moet selektief geoutomatiseer wees, sodat die kritieke dele van prosesse geoutomatiseer word terwyl die ander dele die gebruik van handearbeid behou. Die doelwitte van hierdie navorsing is om argitekture vir menslike integrasie in holoniese vervaardigingstelsels te ontwikkel en hierdie argitekture te evalueer en te vergelyk. Tot hierdie doeleinde, is holoniese beheerstrategieë en die voorgestelde argitekture vir menslike integrasie geïmplementeer in 'n toetsbed vervaardiging sel by die Universiteit Stellenbosch. Die struktuur van die holoniese beheerstrategieë is gebaseer op die PROSA verwysingsargitektuur en die kartering van die toetsbed-selkomponente tot holons word verduidelik. Die holoniese beheerstelsel vir die toetsbed sel is geïmplementeer as 'n multi-agentstelsel deur van die JADE-platform gebruik te maak. Die hoër vlak beheer en laer vlak beheer van die substelsels van die sel word in detail beskryf. Twee argitekture vir menslike integrasie in holoniese stelsels is ontwikkel, naamlik die koppelvlak holon argitektuur (IHA) en die werker holon argitektuur (WHA). Die IHA maak gebruik van 'n vaste koppelvlak om te kommunikeer met 'n werker wat deur 'n menslike toesighouer aan 'n spesifieke werkstasie toegewys is. Die WHA maak gebruik van 'n mobiele koppelvlak, toegewy aan 'n spesifieke werker, om met die werker te kommunikeer. Die WHA maak ook gebruik van 'n outomatiese toesighouer sagteware agent wat die werkers op die fabrieksvloer bestuur in plaas van 'n menslike toesighouer. Hierdie argitekture, sowel as die implementering daarvan en integrasie met die holoniese beheerstelsel van die toetsbed sel, word in detail beskryf. 'n Reeks eksperimente is ontwerp om die twee argitektuure vir menslike integrasie te evalueer. Die eksperimente is uitgevoer en die resultate word ontleed en bespreek. Die resultate toon dat die WHA beter is as die IHA, aangesien dit hoër produktiwiteit sowel as meer buigsaamheid en herkonfigureerbaarheid tot gevolg het.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103813
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