A component-based approach to human–machine interface systems that support agile manufacturing

2018-07-02T11:00:52Z (GMT) by Edward W. Mellor
The development of next generation manufacturing systems is currently an active area of research worldwide. Globalisation is placing new demands on the manufacturing industry with products having shorter lifecycles and being required in more variants. Manufacturing systems must therefore be agile to support frequent manufacturing system reconfiguration involving globally distributed engineering partners. The research described in this thesis addresses one aspect within this research area, the Human Machine Interface (HMI) system that support the personnel involved in the monitoring, diagnostics and reconfiguration of automated manufacturing production machinery. Current HMI systems are monolithic in their design, generally offer poor connectivity to other manufacturing systems and require highly skilled personnel to develop and maintain them. The new approach established in the research and presented in this thesis provides a specification capture technique (using a novel storyboarding modelling notation) that enables the end users HMI functionality to be specified and rapidly developed into fully functional End User HMI's via automated generation tools. A novel feature in this HMI system architecture that all machine information is stored in a common unified machine data model which ensures consistent accurate machine data is available to all machine lifecycle engineering tools including the HMI. The system's run-time architecture enables remote monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to be available to geographically distributed engineering partners using standard internet technologies. The implementation of this novel HMI approach has been prototyped and evaluated using the industrial collaborators full scale demonstrator machines within cylinder head machining and engine assembly applications.