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Computation of supervisors for reconfigurable machine tools

The rapid reconfiguration of manufacturing systems is an important issue in today's manufacturing technology in order to adjust the production to varying product demands and types. In this paper, we study the control of reconfigurable machine tools (RMTs) with the aim of fast reconfiguration and an easy controller implementation. We first formulate a particular reconfiguration problem for RMTs in a discrete event system setting, and then provide a necessary and sufficient condition for its solution. Moreover, we propose a polynomial-time algorithm for the construction of a reconfiguration supervisor as the composition of one modular supervisor for each separate RMT configuration. Each modular supervisor operates in three modes. In the first mode, it tracks the plant state if its corresponding configuration is inactive. In the second mode, it performs a configuration change if its corresponding configuration becomes active and in the third mode, it follows the specified behavior of its corresponding configuration if the configuration is active. An important property of the proposed reconfiguration supervisor is that it performs reconfigurations in a bounded number of event occurrences. In addition, the modular realization of our reconfiguration supervisor enables controller modifications such as adding or removing configurations during run-time. All results presented in the paper are illustrated by an RMT example.