Simulating for ‘resource optimization’ in robot‐assisted automatic assembly

2009-06-09T12:32:07Z (GMT) by Homer Rahnejat
In most manufacturing systems emphasis is now given to resource flexibility in operation. The aim is to respond swiftly to changes in product mix and/or market demands. Discrete event computer simulation is seen as a tool in defining a suitable system configuration at the preliminary design stage. Furthermore, simulation in dynamic form can represent the interactions between the system components and provide a detailed prediction of its performance. Although many existing computer simulation packages have reached a good level of general purpose modelling, by and large they lack the required versatility to deal with some specific features of manufacturing systems. One such important area is the robot‐assisted automatic assembly where minimization of non‐productive activities in the product assembly cycle is of vital interest. The paper introduces a flexible modelling technique which identifies the resource utilization and optimization levels during the individual processes of a product assembly cycle. Within the working constraints of an assembly system, an ‘optimal’ robot sequential cycle is obtained by implementing this modelling technique in GPSL (general purpose simulation language).