The project’s main objective is the development of a range of Reconfigurable Machines, essentially based on a modular components, suitable for the manufacture of some families of wood and board pieces.
This project is carried out between two industrial companies (HURTADO RIVAS and INTOREX), and two Technological Institutes (INESCOP and AIDIMA).
The project development will take place between 2011 and 2013, and its results will be:
– A specific methodology for the design of reconfigurable machines, supported by a design tool developed in a software application.
– A range of reconfigurable prototyping machine for the manufacture of wooden and board furniture.
– A design methodology for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems, in order to offer complete solutions to industrial companies.
The reconfigurable manufacturing systems are a new manufacturing paradigm that arose in response to emerging problems related to the rapid introduction of new products (wide variety), and the increase in customization (low turnover). This type of system is based on manufacturing agility in order to produce several families of products in succession, by changing the functionality of the machines. The use of flexible machines for general purpose has an high cost and have low productivity, but reconfigurable machines with customized flexibility fitted for a few families of products, may have lower cost and higher productivity. Obviously, a key of reconfigurable manufacturing is this kind of machines, which are able to have some flexibility without sacrificing high productivity.
Currently it is not easy to find machines that fit this type of construction, so the DIREM project aims to develop prototypes of machines based on mechatronic modules, which can be configured to suit the needs of each company.
Because the design of this type of machine can follow different methodologies that have been provided in several research papers, we must select the most appropriate and adapt it to the specific type of machinery to develop. One of the tasks of the project is to design a tool to facilitate the custom design of each machine.
As important support for the sale of machinery, there must be a mechanism whereby the potential customer can assess the impact of introducing a new machine in his production system, or redesign its manufacturing system. So we shall work on the design methodology of these systems, to provide an advisory service to potential buyers of this technology.
Research Centre of Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems
Reconfigurable machine prototype developed by Yoram Koren and his team at the Engineering Research Centre of Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems