Reconfigurable Logic Control for High Volume Manufacturing Systems


Professor Dawn Tilbury
Department of Mechanical Engineering

 University of Michigan


Automatic manufacturing systems with dedicated and integrated material handling can produce large quantities of high quality parts rapidly. A discrete event supervisory control system, called a logic controller, coordinates the parallel and synchronized operation of the various machines in the manufacturing system. In current industrial practice, logic controllers are programmed in a low-level language by experienced control engineers.  Although each program is fairly simple at a low level, the complexity can be enormous-it is not uncommon to find systems with 10,000 or more I/O points (events). Half of total time and cost of a new manufacturing system may be attributed to the control system; this cost can be justified if the same product will be produced for ten or more years.  However, as product lifecycles decrease and product varieties increase, new methods for rapidly configuring and reconfiguring high volume manufacturing systems must be developed.  This talk will overview the logic control problem for high volume manufacturing systems, and present some possible solutions using formal methods from discrete event systems. Issues associated with industrial implementation will be discussed, and examples will be drawn from the automotive and shoe manufacturing industries.

Friday, January 17, 2003

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

1500 EECS