The applicability of APT towards meeting control needs in discrete parts manufacturing

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Virginia Tech

For about ten years, Texas Instruments has been developing a software environment of integrated tools for designing, debugging and documenting process control solutions that run on programmable controllers. The product - the Applications Productivity Tool (APT), allows process and control engineers to design and program in a graphical environment that compiles into machine code (relay ladder logic). APT is primarily targeted for the batch manufacturing industry in which engineers combine elements of both discrete and continuous control strategies.

The objective of this research was to determine the applicability of APT in discrete parts manufacturing, using two applications of discrete manufacturing. One of these applications was a Fischertechnik model of a manufacturing system, configured to simulate the production of three distinct parts. The other application was the flexible manufacturing system being assembled in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory (CIM Laboratory), which is equipped to produce models of a robot and a CNC milling machine.