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Formal model for analysis and control of man-machine integrated manufacturing system

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Document pages: 198 pages

Abstract: In the research related to plant control, two different methods are used - automatic control and human-computer interaction. Although a lot of work has been done in these two areas, cross cutting research in this important integration area is very limited. Human integration into a highly automated manufacturing environment is still troublesome and will lead to system exceptions (crashes and illogical transformations). Due to the nature of these two areas and the tools used, the research in this key integration area may be limited. The proposed research focuses on developing formal models and controllers, using previous work in these two key areas to create an integrated framework for controller modelingd development containing both automatic and human components. The proposal offers a vision of how a human can fit within a computer-control framework so that the system can take full advantage of tasks and activities that humans do well, and those that computers perform more effectively. The specific classes of human activities addressed herein include: 1) dynamic decision making and 2) physical material handling. The environment that is modeled is one that contains CNC machines, robots, automatic storage systems, and humans.To address the central issue of the proposed work, an automata-based system control model is used to control flexible automated equipment on the shop-floor. Hooks for integrating the human into the controller are modeled by creating a descriptive model using finite state methods where a set of possible human activities is developed. An operator function model characterizing the behavior of human in the various shop-floor roles is developed so that a logical partition of activities can be created. Transition methods and software tools that allow the human and computer system to interact seamlessly are developed for a general class of automata and operator function models.It is critical to identify how parts are handled in a system so that a system controller for the human-automation cooperative system can consider possible situations caused by a human operator. For this reason, the impact of human activities on the control complexity from a part states’ view is addressed. The number of possible part flows at a certain state is used to measure the control complexity.Finally, a structure specification of a human-automation interaction and a formal approach to describe the operational features of the structure are presented from a control-theoretic perspective.

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