Special Issue "Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation"

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A special issue of Machines (ISSN 2075-1702).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Valeriy Vyatkin

Institute for Manufacturing, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: software for automation; distributed systems; programmable logic control; intelligent automation; flexible reconfigurable systems; smart machines

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Manufacturing automation has gone through several technological revolutions, currently being highly information intensive and software driven. The new frontiers are faced for example at the macro scale integration and nano scale operation, in the design complexity and costs and energy limitations, as well in coexistence of fully automated and manual operations. The purpose of this special issue is to reflect the state of the art in challenges faced by automation systems developers and present the most important and relevant advances to overcome the challenges.

This special issue invites papers that cover the following topics of interest (but not limited to these):

  • Computation and communication challenges of manufacturing automation
  • System engineering concepts
  • Pervasive sensing, monitoring and decision making infrastructures
  • Novel software architectures for automation
  • Decentralised control concepts
  • Intelligent machines and smart mechatronic components
  • Asset management, intelligent products, track and trace
  • Knowledge management in automation
  • Dependability, safety and security
  • Modelling, verification and validation of automation systems
  • Energy-aware green automation
  • Emerging automation concepts

Position papers and state of the art reviews are especially welcome.

Prof. Dr. Valeriy Vyatkin
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Machines is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle A Cyber Physical Interface for Automation Systems—Methodology and Examples
Machines 2015, 3(2), 93-106; doi:10.3390/machines3020093
Received: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 May 2015 / Published: 14 May 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1643 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cyber physical systems (CPS) in a manufacturing and automation context can be referred to different manufacturing process, including design, simulation, control, and verification. However, for data analytics, the concept of CPS is relatively new, and a standard methodology is lacking on how to
[...] Read more.
Cyber physical systems (CPS) in a manufacturing and automation context can be referred to different manufacturing process, including design, simulation, control, and verification. However, for data analytics, the concept of CPS is relatively new, and a standard methodology is lacking on how to incorporate this type of interface for automation applications. This study discusses a modeling methodology for a cyber physical interface and presents the five levels of information for a cyber physical system, that range from the data connection level to the system configuration level. In order to achieve this awareness and health state of the machine and system, a technical approach that uses adaptive health monitoring algorithms is presented. Lastly, an experimental study on a machine tool ball screw is highlighted, in which a predictive model and a cyber physical interface is developed for this application. The outcomes from this study demonstrate that machine health state awareness is feasible, and the core technologies can aim mechanical systems systematically develop its CPS. This can lead to additional product revenue for the manufacturers, and also a potential competitive edge in the market place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)
Open AccessArticle Extrusion Roller Imprinting with a Variotherm Belt Mold
Machines 2014, 2(4), 299-311; doi:10.3390/machines2040299
Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 13 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 18 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although many precision fabrication techniques have demonstrated the ability to produce microstructures and micro-devices with sub 100 nm accuracy, we are yet to see a scalable manufacturing process for large-area production. One promising solution to scalable micro- and nanofabrication is thermal roller imprinting.
[...] Read more.
Although many precision fabrication techniques have demonstrated the ability to produce microstructures and micro-devices with sub 100 nm accuracy, we are yet to see a scalable manufacturing process for large-area production. One promising solution to scalable micro- and nanofabrication is thermal roller imprinting. However, existing investigations on thermal roller imprinting revealed poor pattern transfer fidelity, especially for high aspect ratio features. The standard roller imprinting process suffers from the lack of an effective holding and cooling stage so that the adverse effects from the viscoelastic nature of polymers are not managed. To rectify this problem and further improve the production rate, a new extrusion roller imprinting process with a variotherm belt mold is designed, and its prototype was established at a laboratory scale. The process testing results demonstrate that a 30 μm sawtooth pattern can be faithfully transferred to extruded polyethylene film at take-up speeds higher than 10 m/min. The results are promising in that microfeatures or even nanofeatures may be successfully replicated by a robust and scalable industrial process suitable for large-area, continuous production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)
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Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation of Bidding-Based Multi-Agent Scheduling Algorithms for Manufacturing Systems
Machines 2014, 2(4), 233-254; doi:10.3390/machines2040233
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 September 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Artificial Intelligence techniques have being applied to many problems in manufacturing systems in recent years. In the specific field of manufacturing scheduling many studies have been published trying to cope with the complexity of the manufacturing environment. One of the most utilized approaches
[...] Read more.
Artificial Intelligence techniques have being applied to many problems in manufacturing systems in recent years. In the specific field of manufacturing scheduling many studies have been published trying to cope with the complexity of the manufacturing environment. One of the most utilized approaches is (multi) agent-based scheduling. Nevertheless, despite the large list of studies reported in this field, there is no resource or scientific study on the performance measure of this type of approach under very common and critical execution situations. This paper focuses on multi-agent systems (MAS) based algorithms for task allocation, particularly in manufacturing applications. The goal is to provide a mechanism to measure the performance of agent-based scheduling approaches for manufacturing systems under key critical situations such as: dynamic environment, rescheduling, and priority change. With this mechanism it will be possible to simulate critical situations and to stress the system in order to measure the performance of a given agent-based scheduling method. The proposed mechanism is a pioneering approach for performance evaluation of bidding-based MAS approaches for manufacturing scheduling. The proposed method and evaluation methodology can be used to run tests in different manufacturing floors since it is independent of the workshop configuration. Moreover, the evaluation results presented in this paper show the key factors and scenarios that most affect the market-like MAS approaches for manufacturing scheduling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)
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Open AccessArticle Robotized Surface Mounting of Permanent Magnets
Machines 2014, 2(4), 219-232; doi:10.3390/machines2040219
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 17 September 2014 / Published: 22 October 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (588 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using permanent magnets on a rotor can both simplify the design and increase the efficiency of electric machines compared to using electromagnets. A drawback, however, is the lack of existing automated assembly methods for large machines. This paper presents and motivates a method
[...] Read more.
Using permanent magnets on a rotor can both simplify the design and increase the efficiency of electric machines compared to using electromagnets. A drawback, however, is the lack of existing automated assembly methods for large machines. This paper presents and motivates a method for robotized surface mounting of permanent magnets on electric machine rotors. The translator of the Uppsala University Wave Energy Converter generator is used as an example of a rotor. The robot cell layout, equipment design and assembly process are presented and validated through computer simulations and experiments with prototype equipment. A comparison with manual assembly indicates substantial cost savings and an improved work environment. By using the flexibility of industrial robots and a scalable equipment design, it is possible for this assembly method to be adjusted for other rotor geometries and sizes. Finally, there is a discussion on the work that remains to be done on improving and integrating the robot cell into a production line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)
Open AccessArticle Calculating Restart States for Systems Modeled by Operations Using Supervisory Control Theory
Machines 2013, 1(3), 116-141; doi:10.3390/machines1030116
Received: 21 September 2013 / Revised: 4 November 2013 / Accepted: 12 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (582 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a supervisory control theory based offline method for calculating restart states in a manufacturing control system. Given these precalculated restart states, an operator can be given correct instructions for how to resynchronize the control system and the manufacturing resources during
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a supervisory control theory based offline method for calculating restart states in a manufacturing control system. Given these precalculated restart states, an operator can be given correct instructions for how to resynchronize the control system and the manufacturing resources during the online restart process. The proposed method enables restart after unforeseen errors. It is assumed that the control system is modeled by operations and that possible operation sequences emerge through dependencies between the operations. The paper shows how reexecution requirements may be included in the calculation to obtain a correct behavior for the restarted system. In addition, it is shown how to filter out restart states that require less effort for the operator during the online restart, and how to adapt the nominal production to always enable restart in desired restart states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)
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Open AccessArticle Six-Degrees-of-Freedom (6-DOF) Work Object Positional Calibration Using a Robot-Held Proximity Sensor
Machines 2013, 1(2), 63-80; doi:10.3390/machines1020063
Received: 30 May 2013 / Revised: 31 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 August 2013 / Published: 23 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial automation has been recognized as a fundamental key to build and keep manufacturing industries in developed countries. In most automation tasks, knowing the exact position of the objects to handle is essential. This is often done using a positional calibration system, such
[...] Read more.
Industrial automation has been recognized as a fundamental key to build and keep manufacturing industries in developed countries. In most automation tasks, knowing the exact position of the objects to handle is essential. This is often done using a positional calibration system, such as a camera-based vision system. In this article, an alternative six-degrees-of-freedom work object positional calibration method using a robot-held proximity sensor, is presented. A general trigonometry-based measurement and calculation procedure, which, step-by-step, adjusts a work object coordinate system to the actual work object position, is explained. For suitable robot tasks and work object geometries, the benefits with the presented method include its robustness, large work area and low investment cost. Some drawbacks can be longer cycle time and its limited capacity to handle unsorted and complicated objects. To validate the presented method, it was implemented in an experimental robot setup. In this robot cell, it was used to calibrate the position of a stator section work object, which is used in the Uppsala University Wave Energy Converter generator. Hereby the function of the positional calibration procedure was validated. Sufficient positioning accuracy for the stator winding task was achieved and theoretically validated based on the experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Challenges in Manufacturing Automation)

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