Cloud Manufacturing Concept as a Tool of Multimodal Manufacturing Systems Integration
The following article deals with a novel approach to manufacturing in the context of the increasing demand for system and process integration. This integration chiefly applies to concrete facets of manufacturing tasks which must be taken into consideration in the stage of planning and preparation for complex production processes. Those facets are primarily exemplified by order types (such as production, service and cooperative commissions etc.), production models (e.g. discrete and process modeling), product categorization based on established criteria (e.g. production technology, complexity level, used materials and extras, weight, etc.) as well as many other aspects that hold great significance in the automatization of manufacturing processes. When more advanced orders are to be realized, one of the main challenges posed by this situation is the need to accomplish multiple operations which due to their different nature, scope and scale (e.g. varied processing types: heat and plastic treating, machining etc.) have to be conducted by different contractors. In order to address those key problems and reduce the negative impact of multimodality, the author proposes a manufacturing cloud (also known as cloud manufacturing) which is a variant of a groundbreaking, yet well-established concept - cloud computing. This paper presents the chief notions of this method created specifically with integrated multimodal systems and production processes. The author also highlights key problems that should be addressed before this solution can be used in practice. (original abstract)
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