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Proposes a flexible assembly system, where autonomous manufacturing devices and production management agents communicate with one another to accomplish production tasks. This architecture allows the system to arrange manufacturing devices independently of the type of products assembled and to assemble multiple products in parallel and asynchronous progress. This system also supports plug and produce, a system function that realizes easy reconfiguration. Thus, the system can return quick responses to breakdowns and changes in production quantities. This paper also presents an index for the general evaluation of reconfigurable manufacturing systems. With this index and the plug-and-produce function, the system can be reconfigured appropriately to adapt to changes in the manufacturing environments.
Date of Publication: June 2003