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The TC 5.1 deals with all the applications of automation, information and communication technologies in order to control the manufacturing plant within the e-enterprise.

The TC is addressing the automation scientific challenges and issues raised by the IMS paradigm in order to apply MEMS, MECHATRONICS, MES, MAS, HMS and e-technologies to digitally control with more agility the entire manufacturing chain, from design through manufacturing, to maintenance and service, over the whole product and processes life cycle.
The main topics are:

  • IMS Modeling and Experiments
  • Production & Logistics over Manufacturing Networking
  • Manufacturing Automation over Networks
  • Dependable Manufacturing Systems Control
  • Discrete Event Systems in Manufacturing
  • e-Manufacturing Technologies and Facilities


Working Groups

  • Working Group 1 : Intelligent Manufacturing Systems
  • In the broad manufacturing domain dealing with both technical and organizational issues, intelligent control is only a part, albeit important, of optimal integration and control of intelligent techniques.
    The importance of creating a synergy of efforts aiming at efficient employment of intelligence in global technological development for manufacturing was recognized by the international IMS (Intelligent Manufacturing Systems) initiative. This impact of a technical intelligence embedded in all the components of the Enterprise Systems is growing, from MEMS through MES, APS, SCM, SSM, FSM, ERP, … up to Enterprising Networking.
    Nevertheless, this IMS technology and its scientific foundations are not yet systemized as a whole in any demonstrable or explainable form as originally addressed by Yoshikawa, although the Multi Agents Systems (MAS) and the Holonic Manufacturing Systems (HMS) paradigms are generating a considerable amount of researches and developments.
    The TC 5.1. and its IMS WG contributes to raise up this challenge through sponsoring four consecutive events (IMS'03, IAD'03, INCOM'04, IFAC-WC'05) and through a continuing collaboration with the IFIP TWG 5.7 and a lot of networks involved in the world-wide IMS initiative (European IMS-NOE, Swiss IPLnet, Brazilian MANET, …).
    Chair: Paul Valckenaers

  • Working Group 2 : Dependable Manufacturing Systems
  • Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Networked Manufacturing is raising new concerns on automation engineering and is challenging Control theory.
    The DMS WG is a pending group started by the organization of a session during B'02 which aims through the triennium to emphasize the scientific pertinence of this emergent topic as well as its industrial relevance (T. Johnson, of GE, is actively involved). The next event will be a half-day track during INCOM'04 focusing on:

    • Formal or formalized description techniques for the design, implementation and validation of system components and the communication systems
    • Manufacturing Systems Formal Design Techniques
    • Safe and secure middle ware based on COTS components
    • Dependability in networked automation
    • Safety and security algorithms

    Organized sessions will be also proposed at WC'05.
    The TC will also co-sponsor SAFEPROCESS'06.
    When a core community will be gathered, the TC will propose to IFAC a first workshop on DMS (probably in 2006).
    Chair: Jean-Marc Faure

  • Working Group 3 : Networked Controlled Manufacturing Systems
  • The working group is addressing the general problem of 'automation over and with networks'. This eads to a distributed automation system. The following aspects are addressed:

    • Design, programming, operation and diagnosis of automation behaviour in a distributed environment
    • Industrial informatic methods for automation device and system development
    • System integration models and technologies for communication connected devices (e.g. for configuration and parametrerisation)
    • use of heterogenious (industrial and private) networks, so called Virtual Automation Networks (VAN), to provide automation relevant Quality of Services
    • life cycle aspect for distributed automation systems

    This action will contribute to make TC 5.1 active in this important application field after being active to make FET (Fieldbus systems and their applications) an IFAC event from 2001.
    Chair: Christian Diedrich

  • Working Group 4: Advanced Maintenance Engineering, Services and Technology
  • This recently created working group is addressing the general problem of "maintenance engineering, services and technology". It aims at overcoming the divide situation among maintenance related disciplines and actors. In that way, its main research objectives are to develop a general framework for the maintenance area, to generate perspectives of the future trends in maintenance, to promote Maintenance as a Science and to define a research agenda in the maintenance area. The maintenance topics of interest for this WG are the following:

    • Maintenance strategies, organizational and economical methods, business models
    • Asset and maintenance management
    • Maintenance related services
    • E-maintenance technology and processes
    • Diagnostics, prognostics, reasoning and decision support
    • Condition monitoring, sensors, signal analysis and failure analysis
    • Reliability, statistical approaches

    Chair: Benoit Iung

  • Working Group 5: Design and control of flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems
  • The working group investigates and develops novel design and control solutions for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMS). Indeed, the industry's new requirements for manufacturing systems given the shorter and shorter product runs and the need for more customization. The production systems should be designed to be able to make changes in its physical configuration to answer market fluctuations in both volume and type of product. One of the principal characteristics of RMS is modularity: in a reconfigurable manufacturing system, all the major components are modular (system, software, control, machines and process). Selection of basic modules and the way they can be connected provide systems that can be easily integrated, diagnosed, customized, and converted. An RMS is also supposed to quickly integrate new technologies to improve its efficiency. RMS is assumed to be the perfect tool for the new era of mass customization that requires simultaneously the productivity of dedicated system and the flexibility of agile manufacturing system. The aim of this WG is a review on this topic, more particularly on the challenges of flexibility and reconfigurability for manufacturing systems by study of several problems:

    • Equipment selection and process planning;
    • Production system dimensioning;
    • Assembly line design and balancing;
    • Robotic cell design;
    • Scheduling and planning;
    • Operations management and flow analysis;
    • Robotic system programming;
    • Control system design.
    Chair: Alexandre Dolgui