Title: Applicability study of system architectures in discrete manufacturing domain
Subject: Computer science,Software engineering,Embedded systems,Robotics
Level: Advanced
Description: Digitalization in the manufacturing industry is the process of using advanced technologies to monitor and control the production. In discrete manufacturing the final products are distinct countable items, such as cars in the automotive industry, as in contrast to the continuous production in process industry where output could be a liquid like oil. Because buffers are difficult to manage in process industry, process industry have adopted a very proactive approach with operator stations overlooking the production, able to give early warnings and taking action before a failure. In contrast much monitoring and control in manufacturing is done locally and often with a human in the loop. Information exists but are stored in isolated islands, in “cells” and devices and systems are not connected.

The goal of digitalization is to increase the performance of manufacturing in terms of flexibility, quality of products and throughput of production using new technologies. Technologies, such Cloud Computing, Simulation and Data Analytics promise to deliver these benefits. So there’s an almost endless amount of opportunities opened up with digitalization of the discrete manufacturing domain. However most industrial production has legacy systems that are not easily exchanged and strict requirements, much tougher than for consumer product, creating multiple challenges when it comes to implementation. Although the end goal is to have a complete overview of the discrete manufacturing process – similar to how it is done in process industry - a stepwise approach, first providing the overview for selected sections or even only functions is advisable.

One step towards achieving the above mentioned end goal (digitalization in discrete manufacturing) is to build a system and software architecture that can provide possibilities to use technologies such as simulation, cloud computing and data analytics. This architecture describes how the technologies relate and connect with the production equipment on the factory floor. Currently there are few solutions with no generic industry accepted solution. Also, there is no many implementation. This thesis aims at investigating the available solutions and find the applicability of them on different companies. In particular, ABB Corporate Research and ABB Control Technology in Västerås proposed an architecture in this domain within a project (PADME), where its applicability should be investigated as well. Steps towards reaching the thesis goal is as follows:

1- Study to find, understand and characterize proposed system architectures in the digitalization of the discrete manufacturing domain (in particular the one by ABB)
2- Comparison study of selected solutions using the identified characteristics in analysis of the applicability of the solutions.
3- Evaluate the selected solution using simulation/implementation and show the applicability of the solution for a specific feature in a selected reference company.
4- Write a thesis report

The students are expected to collaborate closely by the team of PADME project (MDH, ABB CT, ABB CRC). Moreover, the students will be paid within the project. For more information, contact the supervisor.
Start date: 2018-01-11
End date:
Prerequisites: Possible for 2 students from Software Engineering or Embedded Systems.
IDT supervisors: Mohammad Ashjaei
Comments: The students will get an award after finalizing the thesis with good results.