ROBOCUT Scheduling and Configurator

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Dan Gadensgaard
  • Jonathan Skovhus Andersen
4. term, Manufacturing Technology, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis is a part of the ROBOCUT research project. The project’s vision is
to develop a revolutionary new laser cutting technology, ROBOCUT, which relies on
a multi-beam principle, where the cutting process is performed with a complex laser
beam pattern rather than a traditional single round laser beam.
The thesis focuses on two separate parts. Part I focuses on scheduling of the laser
cutting process, while Part II defines a methodology for modularizing a production
unit and preparing it for configuration.

Scheduling of the laser cutting process

The RLC problem is researched based on a roll formed part from Ib Andresen. A
solution of the scheduling problem using the basic dispatching rules is attempted first,
however as they are only able to construct a path in terms of a single objective they do
not yield some feasible solutions. In an effort to improve the solutions, it is attempted
to combine the basic dispatching rules into composite dispatching rules that are able
to handle multiple objectives. Doing so does increase the performance of the obtained
solutions, however the composite dispatching rules prove to be difficult to compose in
a way that will yield consistent results across different problem instances. In addition
these methods did not guarantee an optimal solution.
In order to achieve optimal solutions, a combinatorial optimization scheduler is
explored and implemented next. The implementation uses branch and bound to find
the optimal solutions. This can be done for up to 25 nodes with a computation time
around 6 minutes. The solutions obtained through combinatorial optimization is then
analyzed in terms of the fastest obtainable on-the-fly cutting of the example part. From
this it is concluded that an on-the-fly cutting of the example part using the remote laser
cutting can be carried our at a speed of around 200 mm/s.
To ease the use of the scheduler, an interface for the CAD application Autodesk
Inventor 2011 is developed. This allows a user to easily define the cutting tasks for
scheduling, then carry out the scheduling using the developed scheduler and then
finally to get a visual presentation of the results. This demonstrates a possible solution
to an integrated planning and scheduling system, using the existing applications that
the users are accustomed to.

Development of a ROBOCUT Configurator

With the overall objective of developing a configurator for the remote laser cutting
and welding production unit, the second part starts with the identification of a
modular architecture. As the idea of developing a configurator for a production
has seemingly not been done before, a method for the identification and design of
modular products is adapted to fit the modularization of a production unit. By
applying this method a modular architecture is identified based on five possible
application scenarios of the remote laser cutting and welding technology. The
modular architecture is however lacking in terms of fully defining and limiting the
number of possible combinations of modules.
Finally, the identified modular architecture is used as a basis for the development of
an online configurator. The configurator allows a costumer to specify the requirements
for the process, and based on this the configurator presents a number of suitable
solutions. In the end, the developed configurator is assesed to function well and
according to specifications, however it still needs a further development.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date7 Jun 2011
Number of pages120

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