Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Layek Abdel-Malek

Second Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das

Third Advisor

Carl Wolf

Abstract

Considering the principles of concurrent engineering, a Decision Support System (DSS) is developed to aid in the equipment selection of robotic manufacturing cells. The objective is to synchronously and simultaneously select proper equipment for the cell to provide efficient performance, subject to operational and budgetary constraints.

The DSS consists of several modules, including a data base that houses the specifications of equipment available in the market place, a first cut selection module, and an optimization engine. In its development, the optimization scheme utilizes analytical models and algorithms that capture different sources of variability in production, such as tolerances, clearances and repeatability, encapsulating them into one index that calibrates the percentage of quality items yielded by the system. Based on the available resources, the cells' equipment are then selected to maximize this index. Although the system introduced here focuses on two of the major components in manufacturing cells, industrial robots, and machining centers, it can be easily extended to cover other devices such as conveyors or feeders.

In addition to the three case studies provided, where the DSS is utilized in various situations, a user's manual is appended to the thesis. Its purpose is to aid practitioners in an easily implementable step by step fashion to choose the proper components of the considered manufacturing cell.

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