Control of the feeder for a reconfigurable assembly system

Kruger, Karel (2013-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis documents the research conducted into the control of the feeder subsystem of a Reconfigurable Assembly System (RAS). The research was motivated by a new set of modern manufacturing requirements associated with an aggressive and dynamic global market. The motivation can be more specifically attributed to the need for selective automation, through the installation of reconfigurable systems, in the South African manufacturing industry. The objective of the research was to implement and evaluate Multi-Agent Systems (MASs) and IEC 61499 function block systems as potential control strategies for reconfigurable systems. The control strategies were implemented for the control of the feeder subsystem of an experimental RAS at Stellenbosch University. The subsystem's hardware consisted of a singulation unit with a machine vision camera, part magazines and a six DOF pick-'n-place robot. The structure of the control strategies is based on the ADACOR holonic reference architecture. The mapping of the subsystem holons to the structures of the control strategies is explained. The development and implementation of the control strategies, along with the accompanying lower level software, is described in detail. A system reconfigurability assessment was performed and the results are discussed. The assessment was performed at two levels – the Higher Level Control (HLC) (where the control strategies were implemented) and the low level control and hardware. The assessment was done through four reconfiguration experiments. The evaluation of the HLC was done through both quantitative and qualitative performance measures. The implications of the reconfiguration, involved in each of the respective experiments, on the low level software and hardware are discussed. The experimental results show that agent-based control adds more reconfigurability to the feeder subsystem than IEC 61499 function block control, and that agents have more advantages regarding customizability, convertibility and scalability than IEC 61499 function blocks. Also, the ability of agent-based control to implement reconfiguration changes during subsystem operation makes it more suitable to the case study application.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis dokumenteer die navorsing gedoen in die beheer van die voerder sub-stelsel vir 'n herkonfigureerbare monteringstelsel. Die navorsing was gemotiveer deur „n nuwe stel vereistes vir moderne vervaardiging wat met 'n aggresiewe en dinamiese globale mark geassosieer word. Die motivering kan meer spesifiek toegeskryf word aan die behoefte tot selektiewe outomatisasie, deur middel van die implimentering van herkonfigureerbare stelsels, in the Suid-Afrikaanse vervaardigingsnywerheid. Die doel van die navorsing is om multi-agent stelsels en IEC 61499 funksie-blok stelsels, as potensiële beheerstrategiëe vir herkonfigureerbare stelsels, te implementer en evalueer. Die beheerstrategiëe was geïmplementeer vir die voerder sub-stelsel van „n eksperimentele herkonfigureerbare monteringstelsel by Universiteit Stellenbosch. Die hardeware behels „n skeier-eenheid (singulation unit) met „n masjienvisie kamera, onderdeelmagasyne en „n ses-vryheidsgraad gearktikuleerde optel-en-plaas robot. Die struktuur van die beheerstrategiëe is gebaseer op die ADACOR holoniese verwysingsargitektuur. Die afbeelding van die sub-stelsel holons na die struktuur van die beheerstrategiëe word verduidelik. Die ontwikkeling en implementering van die beheerstrategiëe, asook die gepaardgaande laer-vlak programmatuur, word in detail beskryf. Die stelsel se herkonfigureerbaarheid was geassesseer en die resultate daarvan word bespreek. Die assessering was op twee vlakke gedoen – die hoër-vlak beheer (waar die beheerstrategiëe geimplementeer was) en die lae-vlak beheer en hardeware. Die assessering was gedoen deur middel van vier herkonfigurasie eksperimente. Die hoër-vlak beheer was geëvalueer deur beide kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe metings. Die implikasies van die herkonfigurasie, betrokke by die onderskeie eksperimente, op die lae-vlak beheer en hardeware word beskryf. Die eksperimentele resultate wys dat agent-baseerde beheer meer herkonfigureerbaarheid tot die voerder sub-stelsel toevoeg as IEC 61499 funksie-blok beheer. Dit is geïdentifiseer dat agente meer voordele inhou ten opsigte van aanpasbaarheid, skakelbaarheid en skaalbaarheid as IEC funksie-blokke. Agent-baseerde beheer laat ook toe dat herkonfigurasieveranderinge tydens sub-stelsel werking geïmplimenteer kan word – dus is dit meer geskik vir aanwending in die gevallestudie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80154
This item appears in the following collections: