The co-incident flow of work pieces and cutting tools in a restricted category of flexible machining cells

2018-05-11T10:43:28Z (GMT) by Linda B. McQueen
The work reported in this thesis describes research carried out into the detailed design and operation of Flexible Machining Cells (FMC) incorporating automated work and tool flow, dual flow. Three modes of cell management are considered for dual flow cells, where the author examines both their operational and economic performance. A framework is defined for investigating these dual flow cells, and a structured approach providing a novel and detailed modelling capability is described. The question of how this approach compares to single flow modelling and the additional or alternative requirements for dual flow modelling is examined via the following key areas; the specification of material handling requirements, tool transportation and issue and finally, the control required to examine the interaction between the two flows operating concurrently. The framework is tested for its industrial applicability via an industrial case study. A major aim of this study is to examine the view that a hybrid cell management strategy, competitive management, could outperform the other strategies examined. The aim of this methodology is to provide a solution for the control of FMCs. Emphasis is placed on the ease of control and how the loading and control rules selection can maximise economic enhancement of a cells performance.