Demonstration of Transformable Manufacturing Systems through the Evolvable Assembly Systems Project 2019-01-1363
Evolvable Assembly Systems is a five year UK research council funded project into flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems. The principal goal of the research programme has been to define and validate the vision and support architecture, theoretical models, methods and algorithms for Evolvable Assembly Systems as a new platform for open, adaptable, context-aware and cost effective production. The project is now coming to a close; the concepts developed during the project have been implemented on a variety of demonstrators across a number of manufacturing domains including automotive and aerospace assembly. This paper will show the progression of demonstrators and applications as they increase in complexity, specifically focussing on the Future Automated Aerospace Assembly Phase 1 technology demonstrator (FA3D). The FA3D phase 1 demonstrated automated assembly of aerospace products using precision robotic processes in conjunction with low-cost reconfigurable fixturing supported by large volume metrology. This was underpinned by novel agent-based control for transformable batch-size-of-one production. Finally the paper will introduce Phase 2 of the Future Automated Aerospace Assembly demonstrator - currently in development - that will translate the Evolvable Assembly Systems research to a higher technology readiness level and address the challenges of scalable and transformable manufacturing systems.
David Sanderson, Alison Turner, Emma Shires, Jack Chaplin, Svetan Ratchev