A reconfigurable manufacturing system for thermoplastic fibre-reinforced composite parts : a feasibility assessment

Claassen, Marius (2015-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African manufacturing industry plays a pivotal role in the growth of its local economy. Modern manufacturing requirements include the ability to respond quickly to product variability, fluctuations in product demand and new process technologies. The reconfigurable manufacturing paradigm has been proposed to meet the demands of the new manufacturing requirements. In order to assess the feasibility of incorporating automated, reconfigurable manufacturing technologies into the production process of thermoplastic fibre-reinforced composite parts, a system, based on the thermoforming process, that implements these technologies was developed and evaluated. The assessment uses a seat pan for commercial aircraft as case study. Aspects that were addressed include the architecture, configuration and control of the system. The architecture and configuration addressed the sheet cutting, fixturing, reinforcing, heating, forming, quality assurance and transportation. The control, implemented using agents and based on the ADACOR holonic reference architecture, addresses the cell control requirements of the thermoforming process. An evaluation of the system’s reconfigurability and throughput is performed using KUKA Sim Pro. The evaluation of the system’s throughput is compared to the predicted throughput of the conventional technique for manufacturing thermoplastic fibre reinforced composite parts in a thermoforming process. The evaluation of the system’s performance show that the system designed in this thesis for the manufacture of a thermoplastic fibre-reinforced composite seat pan sports a significant advantage in terms of throughput rate, which demonstrates its technical feasibility. The evaluation of the system’s reconfigurability show that, through its ability to handle new hardware and product changes, it exhibits the reconfigurability characteristics of modularity, convertibility, integrability and scalability.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse vervaardigingsbedryf speel 'n sentrale rol in die groei van die plaaslike ekonomie. Moderne vervaardiging vereistes sluit in die vermoë om vinnig te reageer op die produk veranderlikheid, skommelinge in die produk aanvraag en nuwe proses tegnologieë. Die herkonfigureerbare vervaardiging paradigma is voorgestel om te voldoen aan die nuwe produksie vereistes. Ten einde die uitvoerbaarheid van die integrasie van outomatiese, herkonfigureerbare vervaardiging-tegnologieë in die produksieproses van veselversterkte saamgestelde onderdele te evalueer, is 'n stelsel, gebaseer op die termo-vormingsproses, wat sulke tegnologieë implementeer, ontwikkel. Die assessering gebruik 'n sitplek pan vir kommersiële vliegtuie as gevallestudie. Aspekte wat aangespreek is sluit in die argitektuur, konfigurasie en beheer van die vervaardigingstelsel. Die argitektuur en konfigurasie spreek aan die sny, setmate, versterking, verwarming, vorm, gehalteversekering en vervoer van n veselversterkte saamgestelde sitplek pan in 'n termo-vormingsproses. Die beheer, geïmplementeer deur die gebruik van agente en gebaseer op die ADACOR holoniese verwysing argitektuur, spreek die selbeheervereistes van die termo-vormingsproses aan. 'n Evaluering van die stelsel se herkonfigureerbaarheid en deurvoer word gedoen met die behulp van KUKA Sim Pro. Die evaluering van die stelsel se deurvoer word vergelyk met die deurvoer van die konvensionele vervaardigingsproses vir termoplastiese vessel-versterkte saamgestelde onderdele in 'n termo-vormingsproses. Die evaluering van die stelsel se prestasie toon dat die stelsel wat in hierdie tesis ontwerp is vir die vervaardiging van 'n termoplastiese vessel-versterkte saamgestelde sitplek pan, hou 'n beduidende voordeel, in terme van deurvloeikoers, in wat die stelsel se tegniese haalbaarheid toon. Die evaluering van die stelsel se herkonfigureerbaarheid wys dat, deur middel van sy vermoë om nuwe hardeware en produk veranderinge te hanteer, die stelsel herkonfigureerbare einskappe van modulariteit, inwisselbaarheid, integreerbaarheid en skaalbaarheid vertoon.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97045
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