|dc.description||Thesis (M.Sc.Eng.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2011.||en
|dc.description.abstract||Mass producing custom products requires an innovative type of manufacturing environment.
Manufacturing environments at present do not possess the flexibility to generate mass
produced custom products. Manufacturers’ rapid response in producing these custom
products in relation to demand, yields several beneficial results from both a customer and
financial perspective. Current reconfigurable manufacturing environments are yet neither
financially feasible nor viable to implement. To provide a solution to the production of mass
customised products, research can facilitate the development of a distinctive hybrid
manufacturing cell, composed of characteristics inherent in existing manufacturing
Distinctive hybrid manufacturing cell research and development forms an environment
where Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) cells operate in a Reconfigurable
Manufacturing environment. The development of this Hybrid Reconfigurable Computer
Integrated Manufacturing (HRCIM) cell resulted in functionalities that enabled the
production of mass customised products. Manufacturing characteristics of the HRCIM cell
were composed of key Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS) features and CIM
This project required hardware to be used in developing an integrated HRCIM cell.
The cell consisted of storage systems, material handling equipment and processing stations.
Specific material handling equipment was enhanced in its functionality by incorporating
RMS characteristics to its existing structure. The hardware behaviour was coordinated from
software. This facilitated the autonomous HRCIM cell behaviour which was derived from
the mechatronic approach. The software composed of HRCIM events that were defined by
its unique programming language. Highlighted software functionalities included
prioritisation scheduling that resulted from customer order input. Performance data, extracted
from each type of equipment, were used to parameterise a simulated HRCIM cell. During
operation, the cell was frequently introduced to an irregular flow of different product
geometries, which required different processing requirements. This irregularity represented
mass customisation. The simulated HRCIM cell provided detailed manufacturing results.
Significant results consisted of storage times, queueing times and cycle times.||en
|dc.subject||Computer integrated manufacturing systems.||en
|dc.subject||Flexible manufacturing systems.||en
|dc.title||A hybrid reconfigurable computer integrated manufacturing cell for mass customisation.||en