Presented at the International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM) 23 - 26 June 2015 at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
Customized, on-demand manufacturing is growing through the use of new paradigms and technologies. Agile
Manufacturing, cyber physical systems, and reconfigurable systems are examples of these changes. To provide
high-mix, low-volume production there is a need for dynamic behaviour and manufacturing machines that can
handle a large variety of services. Manufacturing systems can be made more dynamic by using agent-based
technology. However, the reconfigurable aspect of these machines has yet to be explored. This paper investigates
the possibility to adapt, i.e., reconfigure the hardware of manufacturing machines based on the current
manufacturing demand. Using a simulation for a working agent-based platform with reconfiguration capabilities,
this paper validates the effects of reconfigurable hardware to change capacity when producing a variety of products
in a dynamic production environment. The paper continues to investigate required strategies to effectively use
reconfiguration and counter the effects of disturbances that are likely to happen in such systems.