B. Wally, J. Vyskocil, P. Novák, C. Huemer, R. Sindelar, P. Kadera, A. Mazak-Huemer, M. Wimmer: Leveraging Iterative Plan Refinement for Reactive Smart Manufacturing Systems, in IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, Volume 18, Issue 1, 2021, pages 230-243. Doi: 10.1109/TASE.2020.3018402

Industry 4.0 production systems must support flexibility in various dimensions, such as for the products to be produced, for the production processes to be applied, and for the available machinery. In this article, we present a novel approach to design and control smart manufacturing systems. The approach is reactive, that is responds to unplanned situations and implements an iterative refinement technique, that is, optimizes itself during runtime to better accommodate production goals. For realizing these advances, we present a model-driven methodology and we provide a prototypical implementation of such a production system. In particular, we employ Planning Domain Definition Language (PDDL) as our artificial intelligence environment for automated planning of production processes and combine it with one of the most prominent Industry 4.0 standards for the fundamental production system model: IEC 62264. We show how to plan the assembly of small trucks from available components and how to assign specific production operations to available production resources, including robotic manipulators and transportation system shuttles. Results of the evaluation indicate that the presented approach is feasible and that it is able to significantly strengthen the flexibility of production systems during runtime. Note to Practitioners-Smart production is an umbrella for a number of shifts and initiatives that deal with digitization of manufacturing/production systems and related issues and potentials. In this work, we present an approach for utilizing automated planning for creating production plans. This is in contrast to the traditional approach, where recipes are programmed into the production system ahead-of-time. However, automated planning relies on specific languages and tools that are hard to master by nonexperts, which is a factor that strongly limited the utilization of plan-driven approaches for industrial automation in practice. Thus, we propose to generate planning tasks automatically with model-driven engineering techniques. We are utilizing the industrial standard IEC 62264 for the description of the production system, and the academic standard Planning Domain Definition Language (PDDL) for planning. PDDL is handled completely transparent to the user, that is the user is shielded from its complexity by employing the IEC 62264 model as the sole frontend.

Leveraging Iterative Plan Refinement for Reactive Smart Manufacturing Systems