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Title: An integrated framework for developing generic modular reconfigurable platforms for micro manufacturing and its implementation
Author: Sun, Xizhi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 1506
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2009
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The continuing trends of miniaturisation, mass customisation, globalisation and wide use of the Internet have great impacts upon manufacturing in the 21st century. Micro manufacturing will play an increasingly important role in bridging the gap between the traditional precision manufacturing and the emerging technologies like MEMS/NEMS. The key requirements for micro manufacturing in this context are hybrid manufacturing capability, modularity, reconfigurability, adaptability and energy/resource efficiency. The existing design approaches tend to have narrow scope and are largely limited to individual manufacturing processes and applications. The above requirements demand a fundamentally new approach to the future applications of micro manufacturing so as to obtain producibility, predictability and productivity covering the full process chains and value chains. A novel generic modular reconfigurable platform (GMRP) is proposed in such a context. The proposed GMRP is able to offer hybrid manufacturing capabilities, modularity, reconfigurablity and adaptivity as both an individual machine tool and a micro manufacturing system, and provides a cost effective solution to high value micro manufacturing in an agile, responsive and mass customisation manner. An integrated framework has been developed to assist the design of GMRPs due to their complexity. The framework incorporates theoretical GMRP model, design support system and extension interfaces. The GMRP model covers various relevant micro manufacturing processes and machine tool elements. The design support system includes a user-friendly interface, a design engine for design process and design evaluation, together with scalable design knowledge base and database. The functionalities of the framework can also be extended through the design support system interface, the GMRP interface and the application interface, i.e. linking to external hardware and/or software modules. The design support system provides a number of tools for the analysis and evaluation of the design solutions. The kinematic simulation of machine tools can be performed using the Virtual Reality toolbox in Matlab. A module has also been developed for the multiscale modelling, simulation and results analysis in Matlab. A number of different cutting parameters can be studied and the machining performance can be subsequently evaluated using this module. The mathematical models for a non-traditional micro manufacturing process, micro EDM, have been developed with the simulation performed using FEA. Various design theories and methodologies have been studied, and the axiomatic design theory has been selected because of its great power and simplicity. It has been applied in the conceptual design of GMRP and its design support system. The implementation of the design support system is carried out using Matlab, Java and XML technologies. The proposed GMRP and framework have been evaluated through case studies and experimental results.
Supervisor: Cheng, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: axiomatic design ; multiscale simulation ; simulation of EDM process ; design support system ; reconfigurable machine tools