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Proceedings of CAD'15, 2015, 354-359
Zero-point Fixture System as a Reconfiguration Enabler in Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Marcello Urgo, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
Walter Terkaj, Claudio Cenati, Stefania Pellegrinelli, CNR-ITIA, Milano, Italy
Franca Giannini, Marina Monti, CNR-IMATI Genova, Italy

Abstract. The choice of the best manufacturing system architecture is deeply affected by the customer requirements in terms of demand volume, part mix heterogeneity, frequency of product modifications, level of customization, and length of the product lifecycle. Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) have demonstrated to be a proper system solution to cope with a demand characterized by at least a subset of the following properties: low-mid demand volumes, mid-high variety of the part mix, short product lifecycle, mid-high customization. An FMS consists of machine tools capable of executing a wide range of machining operations on workpieces that are blocked on pallets equipped with fixtures. The flexibility of an FMS may derive from the intrinsic flexibility of its elements and/or from enablers that allow to integrate its elements. The use of pallets and fixtures is of key importance in an FMS because they decouple the setup operations from the machining center activity. Indeed, the flexibility of an FMS can be fully exploited only if the pallet configuration and management is able to quickly answer to the needs of the system every time a new part type must be put into production, or an already existing part type is modified or must be machined in a different way, or the throughput of a part type must be changed.

Keywords. Zero-Point pallet, Process planning, Pallet inspection, Ontology-based data model

DOI: 10.14733/cadconfP.2015.354-359