Toward an Intelligent Machine Tool for Flexible Manufacturing
Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
The need to manufacture accurate and inexpensive components in small batches has spurred the development of flexible manufacturing systems (FMSs). This paper reviews the basic components of FMSs and describes efforts currently underway at Carnegie-Mellon University to create an autonomous machine tool for the factory of the future. The machine tool would operate under computer control for part handling (manipulation), part fixturing, and metal cutting. This work argues for model-based engineering approaches integrated with expert systems that attempt to encapsulate the craftsmanships skills of human expert machinists.