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Title: Design and construction of a novel reconfigurable micro manufacturing cell
Author: Al-Sharif, Rakan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 0913
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2012
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Demands for producing small components are increasing. Such components are usually produced using large-size conventional machining tools. This results in the inadequate usage of resources, including energy, space and time. In the 1990s, the concept of a microfactory was introduced in order to achieve better usage of these resources by scaling down the size of the machine tool itself. Several industries can benefit from implementing such a concept, such as the medical, automotive and electronics industries. A novel architecture for a reconfigurable micro-manufacturing cell (RMC) is presented in this research, aiming at delivering certain manufacturing strategies such as point of use (POU) and cellular manufacturing (CM) as well as several capabilities, including modularity, reconfigurability, mobility and upgradability. Unlike conventional machine tools, the proposed design is capable of providing several machining processes within a small footprint (500 mm2), yet processing parts within a volume up to 100 mm3. In addition, it delivers a rapid structure and process reconfiguration while achieving a micromachining level of accuracy. The approach followed in developing the system is highly iterative with several feedback loops. It was deemed necessary to adopt such an approach to ensure that not only was the design relevant, but also that it progresses the state-of-the-art and takes into account the many considerations in machine design. Following this approach, several design iterations have been developed before reaching a final design that is capable of delivering the required manufacturing qualities and operational performance. A prototype has been built based on the specifications of the selected design iteration, followed by providing a detailed material and components selection process and assembly method before running a performance assessment analysis of the prototype. At this stage, a correlation between the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model and prototype has been considered, aiming at studying the level of performance of the RMC when optimising the design in the future. Then, based on the data collected during each stage of the design process, an optimisation process was suggested to improve the overall performance of the system, using computer aided design and modelling (CAD/CAM) tools to generate, analyse and optimise the design.
Supervisor: Makatsoris, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Micro manufacturing ; Micro factory ; Novel design cell ; Reconfigurable machine ; Manufacturing micro machining