TABLE 3.1 Shop Floor and Production Systems

Subject Area

Example of Research Needed

Equipment controls

Appropriate operating systems, languages, data structures, and knowledge bases

Architecture and technology for shop floor equipment and data interfaces

Architecture for control systems

Design for repairability and the ability to work around equipment crashes, including diagnostic software

Better real-time control

The human-machine interface to permit people to interact effectively in this environment


Wireless communication

Generic interface interconnections

Manufacturing control architecture

Dynamic (real-time) scheduling

Dynamic shop floor models with high-speed recompute time and the ability to handle numerous variables

Real-time scheduling tools for the flexible factory and the distributed factory

Presentation tools to facilitate situation assessment and scheduling by the factory manager and operations team

Multilevel understanding of large-scale systems

Means for identifying the relevant measures and quantifying the relative performance of the alternative systems

Tools to support the brokering of priorities and obligations among cooperating entities, based on optimizing transportation, material handling, inventory, capital, and labor costs

Intelligent routing systems

Identify appropriate interfaces among product design, product engineering, manufacturing engineering, and factory floor procedures as they will emerge in computer augmented work groups

Demonstrate the resilience of the intelligent routing system with respect to the vagaries of factory conditions

Smart parts (auto routing)

Identify practical open standards for recording and communicating data among parts, assemblies, subsystems, and their network of makers and maintainers

Find mechanisms for embedding the information cost-effectively and for ensuring access throughout the life of the part

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