The focus of any manufacturing operation is to establish better yields, reduced cycle times, increase quality, and handle dynamic demand/resource fluctuations. Over the past few years many manufacturing companies have implemented Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and they have proved themselves to be successful in achieving these goals. However, real-time data is required in order to portray an accurate account of the day-to-day and/or hourly product manufacturing operations. Retrieval of this real-lime data is a challenging task. A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a real-time information system that improves the performance of the shop floor operations by linking business planning, order entry, material management, purchasing and accounting to the controls on the factory equipment. Siemens' PC-based automation technology is an emerging technology that appears to provide a robust architecture for integrating all elements of the manufacturing environment. Applications that range from simple control to distributed control and full-fledged MES can be developed using Siemens' architecture. The primary focus of this thesis is applied research to facilitate the development of a Manufacturing Execution System to control a flexible manufacturing system, CAMCELL, using Siemens' PC-based automation technology and Microsoft's database technology. CAMCELL contains two CNC machining centers, assembly robots, and a vision system, all of which are interlinked by a material handling system. The software architecture of the CAMCELL is based on NIST's five level hierarchy. Specifically, it contains functional modules for order entry, scheduling, and routing. In addition to these functional modules, there are various support modules. In this study, we have developed software architecture to achieve vertical integration of the process control layer, the MES layer and the ERP layer. Using Siemens' WinCC software, real-time process data was collected and integrated into an MES database. The study demonstrates how order information stored in a high-level database is converted into useful information for the control layer. The study also demonstrates the ability of WinCC and Visual FoxPro to update the production data into the MES database. Various Operator interface and database screens are proposed for CAMCELL.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer integrated manufacturing technology; Flexible manufacturing systems--Software; Flexible manufacturing systems

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Paidy, Sudhakar

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Ramkumar, S. Manian


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