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Specification of a Generic Programming Language for the Control of Flexible Manufacturing Cells
Akkineni, Vamsi Krishna
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The Flexible Manufacturing Cell (FMC) represents an important and widely utilized constituent of hierarchically structured automated manufacturing systems. The control of FMCs is therefore of great importance in automated manufacturing. However, there are few tools and methodologies available for specifying and developing the control logic. The few tools that do exist have proven to be impractical due to their requirements for compatibility by the constituent equipment. Therefore, this research focuses on the development of a solution to the control of FMCs through the development of a programming language that provides a methodology and capabilities for developing the supervisory control applications. Accordingly, a programming language was developed in which the control logic is specified in modules, each of which control an equipment or resource in the cell. These modules interact with each other according to well defined models of interaction to achieve the control. The language provides features to enable this modularity and the interaction between the modules. The process plan of the parts that are produced in the cell drive the control logic and are also the means of communication between the modules. Additionally, several features required for control such as the detection of deadlocks, part information and so on are also developed. In the proposed language, the communication problem is separated from the logic specification. Guidelines and requirements are developed for a language implementation system that will enable the communication with the cell devices and that works with the language structure.