Collaborative Industrial Automation: Toward the Integration of a Dynamic Reconfigureable Shop Floor into a Virtual Factory

Collaborative Industrial Automation: Toward the Integration of a Dynamic Reconfigureable Shop Floor into a Virtual Factory

Armando Walter Colombo (Schneider Electric P&T HUB, Germany) and Ronald Schoop (Schneider Electric P&T HUB, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-955-7.ch041
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Abstract

This chapter summarizes our latest results concerning the development and the industrial application of the emerging “collaborative industrial automation” technology and its powerful meaning for facilitating the integration of a dynamic reconfigurable shop floor into a virtual factory. It argues, in this respect, that having a conglomerate of distributed, autonomous, intelligent, fault-tolerant, and reconfigurable production units, which operate as a set of cooperating entities, is one promising platform to achieve both local and global manufacturing objectives. Furthermore, the authors hope that understanding the underlying scientific and technological background through the development and industrial application of the collaborative automation paradigm will not only inform the academic, research, and industrial world of an emerging control and automation paradigm, but also assist in the understanding of a new vision of the manufacturing system of the 21st century [a mix of collaborative units, i.e., people, software systems, processes, and equipment (hardware), integrated into a virtual factory].

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