SUNConferences, Southern African Institute of Industrial Engineering 2013

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Distributed Manufacturing Systems And The Internet Of Things: A Case Study
Peter Butala, Rok Vrabič, Gert Adriaan Oosthuizen

Last modified: 2013-06-25


In order to stay competitive in today's global market, manufacturing companies need to be flexible. To ensure flexible production, shorten processing times and reduce time-to-market, companies are utilizing the distributed manufacturing system paradigm, wherein geographically distributed, local resources are used for product development and production. In this context, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as a concept which uses existing communication technologies, such as local wireless networks and the Internet to ensure visibility of anything from anywhere and at any time. In this paper, a case study of applying the IoT to the manufacturing domain is discussed. A distributed agent-based system for virtual monitoring and control of 3-axis CNC milling machine tools is designed and developed. The machines' 3D models and process states are shown through a web interface in real-time. The potential and challenges of implementing this system and the basic building blocks for decentralized value creation are discussed.

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