Optimizing the Reconfiguration of Machining Desktop Micro-Factory Based on Scheduling Simulation

Optimizing the Reconfiguration of Machining Desktop Micro-Factory Based on Scheduling Simulation

Roberto Pérez (University of Holguin, Cuba), José Eduardo Márquez (University of Granma, Cuba), Arturo Molina (Centro de Innovación en Diseño y Tecnología Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico), Miguel Ramírez-Cadena (Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico), Ricardo Del Risco (University of Camagüey, Cuba), Oropesa Midiala Vento (Universidad Autónoma Indígena de Mexico, Mexico) and Midiala Oropesa Vento (Universidad Autónoma Indígena de Mexico, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0130-5.ch023
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Today, the micro-factory concept of downsizing production systems is essential to manufacturing small products in sustainable growth. Concerning this, this paper presents the developments accomplished during the recent years at Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) and Holguin University (Cuba) introducing new findings related to the design of reconfigurable micro-factories based-on micro-machine tools. The chapter discusses the proposed framework for the optimizing the development of micro-factories in the context of micro-reconfigurable manufacturing systems based-on micro-reconfigurable machine tools. The novel methodology for optimizing the scheduling of reconfigurable micro-factories were exposed and a scheduling optimization of a reconfigurable micro-factory prototype was designed and tested.
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State Of The Art

Today the miniaturized production systems, i.e. micro and desktop factories, are widely studied in several universities and research centers around the world (Park et al., 2010; Ashida et al., 2010; Endo, 2010; Wang et al., 2013; Chen et al., 2013; Pérez et al., 2014). This trend of development is supported by the commitment of governments and large-scale companies to move towards more environmental friendly production. Mini, micro and desktop factories are expected to decrease the factory space, reduce energy consumption and improve material and resource utilization, which is strongly supporting the new sustainable manufacturing paradigm (Okazaki, 2010).

In Japan in the 90’s in order to economize energy, consumption emerged the concept of a chain of small-scale production called micro-factory. Besides the reduction of space, micro-factories significantly reduce energy consumption. Estimates indicate that a reduction in space by a factor of 10 reduces energy consumption by a factor of 100. The small sizes of micro-machines reduce the inertial forces, movement of material and time of transportation. The concept came true in 1999 in a portable micro-factory (Mishima et al., 2010).

Starting from these early experiences begins a process of diversification, both in research and in practical applications of micro-factory concept. There are a set of investigations related to the architecture of micro-factories, both in terms of production, such as process control (Li et al, 2008). This has led to the development of new types of spindle and actuators (Kato et al., 2010) specific to the micro-machining process. Its application has spread to various areas of the new frontiers of engineering, such as nanotechnology and MEMs (Microelectromechanical Systems) (Wang et al., 2013, Chen et al., 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Desktop Factories (Micro Factories): Refers to a small dimension factory able to produce small dimension products. The term was proposed by the Mechanical Engineer Laboratory (MEL) of Japan in 1990.

Optimization: Is the selection of a best element (with regard to some criteria) from some set of available alternatives.

Modularity: Is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined. Modularity refers to an engineering technique that builds larger systems by combining smaller subsystems

Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS): Is one designed at the outset for rapid change in its structure, as well as its hardware and software components, in order to quickly adjust its production capacity and functionality within a part family in response to sudden market changes or intrinsic system change.

Reconfigurability: Denotes the reconfigurable capability of a system, so that its behavior can be changed by reconfiguration, i. e. by loading different configuration.

Micro Machine Tool: Are micro machine tools that are fabricated in the same general manner as macro machine tools.

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