Towards a Holistic Development Approach for Adaptable Manufacturing Paradigms A Case Study of Evolvable Production Systems
Abstract: Increasing global competition, market uncertainties and high product variance are a few of the factors posing challenges to the existing manufacturing industry. Having a quick response to market fluctuations and adapting to changing customer demands while maintaining shorter lead times and low costs are a few of the major challenges. The main focus of this thesis is on Evolvable Production Systems, which is one of the promising solutions to deal with the emerging manufacturing challenges by changing the conventional manufacturing systems towards a more flexible, intelligent and adaptable approach.Although promising, further research is needed in several directions for a wider industrial acceptance of EPS. The directions include but are not limited to methodological aspects, tool support, etc. throughout the development lifecycle.This thesis aims to provide a basis for a holistic model-based development methodology for evolvable production systems. One of the main contributionsof this work is the identification of major architectural elements (i.e stakeholders,concerns, viewpoints and views) and their dependencies on each other.This work shall serve as a basis for establishing a well-defined architectural framework for EPS.The second important contribution of this thesis is the development of a domain specific modeling language (EPS- DSL) based on the existing EPS ontology. The DSM platform does not only store the domain knowledge in the form of models but also provides support for the re-use of these models, i.e. enables utilization of the domain ontology during system development. Moreover, the automatic code generation support for the module library presented in this work, significantly reduces the risks of information discrepancies when transferring data from one abstraction level to another. The existing EPS ontology is also evaluated from a holistic perspective and resulted in contributing a few improvement suggestions for achieving a seamless model-based development approach.Evaluation of Simulink/SimEvents as a modeling and simulation tool for EPS is the third main contribution of this thesis. One of the main advantages of evaluating this tool for EPS is the opportunity to analyze the complete system behavior on a single modeling platform. The integration of agent-based system behavior (discrete event) with dynamic system behavior (continuous & discrete time) provides a holistic modeling approach and implies less information inconsistencies.
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