Manufacturing Systems Integration is the progressive linking and combination of the various components of the system to merge their functional and technical characteristics into a comprehensive interoperable unit. It requires one to work with different hardware and software. There are a number of vendors providing a large number of products. Integrating these varieties of products provides a greater value than the sum of the value provided by the individual products. What hinders the effective integration of these components is the diversity in the design and the use of these products. Systems Integration is eased by well-established standards in data communication, programming languages, application development environments and computer operating systems. Many vendors have attempted to come up with standards that are relatively open. However, when one has to integrate data among multiple vendors' architecture, a new set of challenges emerge. The Siemens' PC-based automation technology is an emerging technology that appears to provide robust architecture for integrating all elements of the manufacturing environment. Applications ranging from simple control to distributed control and full-fledged Manufacturing Execution Systems can be developed using Siemens' architecture. The primary focus of this applied research work is to develop a Manufacturing Execution System to control a flexible manufacturing system using Siemens PC-based automation technology. This technology is implemented in a Flexible Manufacturing cell named the CAMCELL. The CAMCELL consists of two CNC machining centers, assembly robots, and a vision system, all of which are interlinked by a material handling system. The software architecture of the CAMCELL is based on NIST's five level hierarchy, discussed briefly in the report. Specifically it contains functional modules for order entry, scheduling and routing. In addition to these functional modules, there are various support modules such as order entry module, scheduler, router etc, two of which named the Inquire and the Pallet Controller that are implemented in this study. Siemens' Step 7 and WTNCC software are used for the control and monitoring of the cell.
Palsule, Adwait, "Systems integration using Siemens' PC based automation technology" (2002). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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