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Adaptive integrated manufacturing enterprises: information technology for the next decade

Abstract

A new vision effecting adaptiveness in integrated manufacturing enterprises for the next decade is formulated. This vision has been developed on the basis of intensive research over the past nine years in Rensselaer's industry-sponsored Computer Integrated Manufacturing Program. Built from existing results in both the scientific community and industry, the proposed research agenda calls for new fundamental information technology to enable Adaptive Integrated Manufacturing Enterprises (AIME). It focuses on four major problems: (1) Management of multiple systems that operate concurrently over a widely distributed network without a central controller; (2) Achievement of an open systems architecture that can accommodate legacy systems as well as add new systems; (3) Exploitation of object-oriented technology in production systems with the crucial ability to manage heterogeneous views and propagate changes between views; and (4) Modeling of enterprise information requirements for inspection and the utilization of inspection information to create a feedback loop from production to design. These problems are analyzed and approaches to their solution developed in this paper. Together, they constitute a new research agenda developing solutions that include an AIME information architecture with attendant techniques (the first two problems), an extended object-oriented technology for an AIME software environment (the third problem), and modeling of AIME information requirements for in-process verification and inspection (the fourth problem). An extended effort on AIME based on this vision is currently underway that involves significant participation from industrial corporations.

 

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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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