MICROFACTORY CONCEPT WITH BILEVEL MODULARITY
Emrah Deniz Kunt
Mechatronics, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2012
Prof. Dr. Asif Şabanoviç (Thesis Supervisor), Assoc. Prof. Mahmut Faruk Akşit,
Assoc. Prof. Kemalettin Erbatur, Asst. Prof. Ayhan Bozkurt,
Asst. Prof. Gönen Eren (Galatasaray University)
Date &Time: January 31st, 2012 - 10:00
Place: FENS G032
Keywords: Microfactory, Miniaturization, Modularity, Parallel Robots
There has been increasing demand for miniaturization of products in the last decades; miniaturization and micro systems have become an important topic of research. As the technologies of micro manufacturing improve and are gradually introduced to the market, new devices have started to emerge in to the market. However, the miniaturization of the products is not paralleled to the sizes of the equipment used for their production. The conventional equipment for production of micro-parts is comparable in size and energy consumption to their counterparts in the macro world. The miniaturization of products and parts is slowly paving the way to the miniaturization of the production equipment and facilities that produce these parts, enabling efficient use of energy for production, improvement in material resource utilization and high speed and precision which in turn will lead to an increase in the amount of product produced more precisely. These led to the introduction of the microfactory concept which involves the miniaturization of the conventional production systems with all their features trying to facilitate the advantages that are given above.
The aim of this thesis is to develop a module structure for production and assembly to be cascaded in order to form a layout for the production of a specific product and the layout can be changed in order to configure the microfactory for the production of another product. This feature brings flexibility to the system in the sense of product design and customization of products. Each module having its own control system is able to perform its duty with the equipment placed into it. In order to form different layouts using the modules, each module is equipped with necessary interface modules for the communication with the other process modules in order to build up a complete production chain. The concept of process oriented modules with bilevel modularity is introduced for the development of microfactory modules.
The first phase of the project is defined to be the realization of an assembly module and forms the content of this thesis. The assembly module contains parallel kinematics robots as manipulators performing an assigned operation, firstly planned as pick place operations. The assembly module is a miniaturized version of the conventional factories (i.e. an assembly line) in such a way that the existing industrial standards are imitated within the modules of the microfactory. So that one who is familiar with the conventional systems can also be familiar with the construction of the realized miniature system and can easily setup the system according to the needs of the application. Thus, this is an important step towards the come in to use of the miniaturized production units in the industry. In order to achieve that kind of structure, necessary control hardware and software architecture are implemented allowing easy configuration of the system according to the processes. The modularity and reconfigurability in the software structure also have significant importance besides the mechanical structure.
The miniaturization process for the assembly cell includes the miniaturization of the parallel manipulators, transportation system in between the assembly nodes or in between different modules and the control system hardware. Visual sensor utilization for the visual feedback is enabled for the assembly process at the necessary nodes. The assembly module is developed and experiments are realized in order to test the performance of the module.