A modularity framework for concurrent design of reconfigurable machine tools
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In response to the need for cost-effective systems than can be quickly adapted to changes in product design and manufacturing processes, the next generation of machine tools should be reconfigurable and intelligent. Reconfigurability allows for the reduction of machine design lead time, machine set-up and ramp-up time. The principal characteristics of the Reconfigurable and Intelligent Machines are modularity, convertibility, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. This paper applies a concurrent design reference model to Reconfigurable Machine Tool development. A methodology for this purpose is introduced, and the bottlenecks in the process are identified, namely, the procedure to design modules. In response, a technique for the development of modules that are consistent with the product portfolio of the machine tool builder is outlined. © Springer-Verlag 2004.