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Mechatronics approach to computer integrated decoration of scale models

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posted on 28.11.2013, 12:30 by Luis G. Trabasso
Much European manufacturing industry is heavily dependent on manual labour and therefore vulnerable to Far Eastern competitors, who have the advantage of lower labour costs. Automation is Europe's best hope of beating off this oriental challenge. This thesis describes a research programme to assess the benefits of automation to a particular industrial process, that of decoration of scale models of cars. The aim of the project is to replace a traditionally manual series of operations by flexible automation to provide the base for higherproductivity and a greater degree of responsiveness to product change, leading to just-in-time manufacture with reduced work-in-progress, while still retaining the high quality associated with the product. A proof-of-concept cell has been designed and commissioned using the Mechatronics approach. This means that all mechanical, electronic and computing possibilities have been taken into account and integrated from the first stage of the design process. The configuration of the proof-of-concept cell consists of five stations which provide the necessary functions for loading the modeis from the moulding machine into the cell, identifying the models and their positions, decorating and inspecting the models and finally, palletising them for assembly. The results of this Mechatronics approach to design and manufacture are two fold: (a)the efficiency of the cell is enhanced because its functions are allocated, in an optimal fashion, to three different but integrated technological fields, Mechanical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Computer Science; (b)the cell can be rendered easily flexible by re-programming facilities embedded in its components.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Luis Gonzaga Trabasso

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.



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