Date of Award
Master of Science in Computer and Information Science - (M.S.)
Computer and Information Science
Alexander D. Stoyenko
Factory automation has come a long way since the invention of the automatic flour mill. A workcell is a group of machines (robots) working together to produce a product. In the past workcells have been hard wired using methods such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). To change a part of this system would require reprogramming the entire system.
The Generic Work Cell (GWC) is a dynamic architecture which allows a workcell to be modified on the fly. The architecture enables the generation of new cells with minimal effort, and the modification of the system without reprogramming the entire system. The concept behind the GWC is that in every workcell there are generic parts which are the same for all workcells. For instance, the machine scheduler is an example of a generic piece which is used by all systems. The GWC is also a reactive system This implies that the system is capable of adjusting itself to environmental disturbances, such as machine shutdown or startup.
Murray, Peter A., "Dynamic machine scheduling, expansion, and control of a generic workcell" (1992). Theses. 2332.