Interface for Distributed Remote User Controlled Manufacturing: Manufacturing and Education Sectors Led View

Interface for Distributed Remote User Controlled Manufacturing: Manufacturing and Education Sectors Led View

Vesna K. Spasojević Brkić (University of Belgrade, Serbia), Goran D. Putnik (University of Minho, Portugal), Zorica A. Veljkovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia) and Vaibhav Shah (CGIT Research Centre, School of Engineering, University of Minho, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0435-1.ch015
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Abstract

Recent economic crisis has shown that classical approach to individual and local product oriented company is not sustainable in modern economic reality. Possible solution lies in high degrees of both specialization and flexibility product oriented small and medium-sized interchangeable production systems. According to that new wave, the main idea is based on exploring and testing of new possible designs and ways of control of human-computer interfaces for remote control of complex distributed manufacturing systems. Herein, the proposed remote system with Wall interface, video beam presentation mode and using group work enables producers in manufacturing sector to offer a product, through outsourcing manufacturing process and system in a global chain, utilizing ubiquitous computing systems and virtual and networked enterprises concepts, for anywhere-anytime control and give benefits to education sector, too, since students can dynamically interact with a real process to get a remote experimental practice, guaranteeing the availability of lab resource.
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Introduction

In order to remain competitive in a growing global marketplace, product manufacturers today are forced to find new solutions to satisfy their customers. Recent economic crisis has shown that classical approach to individual and local product oriented company is not sustainable in modern economic reality (Falkenberg et al., 1998). The solution for the process of globalization and free movement of goods between the markets of countries around the world lies in high degrees of both specialization and flexibility product oriented small and medium-sized interchangeable production systems.

Those systems must be successfully merged and their work well synchronized with the lowest possible costs. More than 5 million manufacturing and construction enterprises operating in Europe (99.6%) are SMEs (Gagliardi et al., 2012), while more than 80% of them in the manufacturing sector are micro industrial companies with less than 10 employees, with employment of 39% European workforce employment (Gagliardi et al., 2012). Those small companies do not have resources for large marketing activities and it results with a low usage of their production capacities. On the other hand, the Standish Group Int.`s report (Eveleens & Verhoef, 2009; Rubinstein, 2007) for IT projects success rate has shown less than 40% rate, with the conclusion that human factors issues and other soft factors that dominate over technical factors have not been resolved to the present day. The most recent way in the transition of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) manufacturing companies, with the objective to sustain competitive advantage on market is to shift to third generation ubiquitous manufacturing (Dubey, Gunasekaran & Chakrabarty, 2015).

According to this new type of solutions, the main idea herein is based on exploring and testing of new possible designs and ways of control of human-computer interfaces for remote control of complex distributed manufacturing systems, such as the one given by Putnik, Shah, Castro and Cunha (2011). In those systems that enable manufacturing of a product, each component of the outsourced manufacturing process is with a system that can be remotely controlled in decentralized manufacturing process. In that way, integration of resources and stakeholders in a global chain that utilizes ubiquitous computing systems and virtual and networked enterprises concepts for anywhere-anytime control is possible and highly efficient.

Within this new framework of the remote control presented in (Putnik et al., 2011), user interfaces represent “multiple channels” for human-computer interaction (Shah, Putnik & Castro, 2012) that give possibilities for effective and efficient employment and higher production capacities usage. The key components for remote control functionality are:

  • 1.

    Control panel for remote machine controls (e.g. to move axes, start/stop spindle, upload and run a machine program etc.).

  • 2.

    Communications controls.

  • 3.

    Panel to see absolute and relative positions of each axis, i.e. the feed-back information from the machine movements.

  • 4.

    Video frame to get live video feeds from the machines.

This innovation can also be used as 'Distributed and Remote Lab' that enables paradigm shift to interdisciplinary, real-world problem solving in engineering education with the main goal to emphasize the importance of practical experiences in the development of competences in the fields of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

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Problem Background

This part emphases the theoretical explanation of the problem, and outlines statistical methodology that was used in analysis of experimental data.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Index of Interdependence: Index of interdependence is a measure of the number and strength of correlations for observed measures, regardless of the type of correlation, based on p -values for nonparametric testing or values of criteria for correlation strength for parametric testing, depending of the used method.

Interface Usability Measures: Interface usability measures herein describe the extent to which an interface for distributed remote control of manufacturing system achieves specified goals as context dependent tool shaped by the interaction between tools, problems and people.

Type of Work: Individual or group work used for manufacturing control of distributed remote user controlled manufacturing system.

Wall Interface: Wall interface shows the live video feed from the remote cell on wall panel on the interface, and the human “client” operator is watching the remote cell through on wall while controlling the remote CNC machine(s).

Distributed Manufacturing Systems: Manufacturing system that consists of decentralized manufacturing practices located in different geographical areas and coordinated using information technology.

Window Interface: Window interface shows the live video feed from the remote cell inside a window panel on the interface, and the human “client” operator is watching the remote cell through a window while controlling the remote CNC machine(s).

Type of Display: Refers to desktop and video beam display modes for manufacturing control.

Remote Control of Manufacturing Systems: Control of machine from a distance by visual control of data and production, using user interfaces as a “channels” for human-computer interaction.

Representational Fidelity Measures: Representational fidelity measures describe the fidelity of the representation important for interactivity available within the environment.

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