The project will address the use of zero-point modular fixtures as a reconfiguration enabler in FMSs. This class of equipment provides the capability of rapidly reconfiguring the pallets to match the production requirements, without the need of halting the system for a setup, thus providing a strategic tool to manage the joint evolution of products and processes.
The research activities will address the pallet configuration and process planning problem using a non linear and distributed process representation modeling a wide range of alterative operation sequences. Moreover, the problem of pallet checking will be considered using a laser scanning system able to verify the correct configuration and load of the pallet. Finally, the effectiveness and benefits of zero-point modular fixtures will be assessed evaluating their impact on the performance of a FMS and providing managing policies to exploit the available degrees of freedom. All the activities will refer to an industrial case.