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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.20 n.2 Pretoria  2009


Modular reconfigurable machine tools: Design, control and evaluation



J. PadayacheeI; G BrightII; I. MasekamelaIII

ISchool of Mechanical Engineering, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
IISchool of Mechanical Engineering, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
IIICouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa




The reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) paradigm encapsulates methodologies that enable manufacturing systems to cope effectively with market and product changes. This research presents the design and evaluation of modular reconfigurable machine (MRM) tools as a novel machining solution within the scope of RMS. Mechanical and control designs are presented, outlining the development of this novel machining system. The property of hardware modularity displayed by MRMs enables an adjustment of system functionality and the synergistic redistribution of system resources between production streams, thus facilitating inter-process capacity scaling. Scalable production capacity and adjustable system functionality are the key objectives of reconfigurable manufacturing.

Index terms: Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems, Modular Reconfigurable Machines, Open Architecture Control, Modular Machine Control


Die paradigma van 'n herkonfigureerbare vervaardigingstelsel (HVS) bevat metodologieë waarmee vervaardigingstelsels kan tred hou met mark- en produkveranderings. Die navorsing hou die ontwerp en evaluering van modulêre masjiengereedskap voor as 'n nuwerwetse oplossing vir die herkonfigurasievraagstuk. Meganiese- en beheerontwerpe word voorgestel vir die ontwikkeling/ontplooiing van nuwe masjineringstelsels.
Die modulêre eienskappe van 'n HVS werk stelselplooibaarheid in die hand via 'n sinergistiese herdistribusie van stelselbronne aan produksievloeie om sodoende verlangde proseskapasiteit tegemoet te kom.



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