Reconfigurable Equiplets Operating System A Hybrid Architecture to Combine Flexibility and Performance for Manufacturing

Authors Tommas Bakker, John-Jules Meyer, Erik Puik, Daniël Telgen, Leo van Moergestel
Published in International Journal on Advances in Software
Publication date 19 December 2015
Research groups Smart Systems for Healthy Living
Type Article


Author supplied: Abstract—The growing importance and impact of new technologies are changing many industries. This effect is especially noticeable in the manufacturing industry. This paper explores a practical implementation of a hybrid architecture for the newest generation of manufacturing systems. The papers starts with a proposition that envisions reconfigurable systems that work together autonomously to create Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS). It introduces a number of problems in this area and shows the requirements for an architecture that can be the main research platform to solve a number of these problems, including the need for safe and flexible system behaviour and the ability to reconfigure with limited interference to other systems within the manufacturing environment. The paper highlights the infrastructure and architecture itself that can support the requirements to solve the mentioned problems in the future. A concept system named Grid Manufacturing is then introduced that shows both the hardware and software systems to handle the challenges. The paper then moves towards the design of the architecture and introduces all systems involved, including the specific hardware platforms that will be controlled by the software platform called REXOS (Reconfigurable EQuipletS Operating System). The design choices are provided that show why it has become a hybrid platform that uses Java Agent Development Framework (JADE) and Robot Operating System (ROS). Finally, to validate REXOS, the performance is measured and discussed, which shows that REXOS can be used as a practical basis for more specific research for robust autonomous reconfigurable systems and application in industry 4.0. This paper shows practical examples of how to successfully combine several technologies that are meant to lead to a faster adoption and a better business case for autonomous and reconfigurable systems in industry.

Language English
Published in International Journal on Advances in Software
Year and volume 8 3 & 4
Key words Flexible Manufacturing Systems, Multi-agent systems, Autonomous agents, Reconfigurable architectures
Page range 309-326

Erik Puik

Smart Systems for Healthy Living