Current Developments in Flexible Manufacturing Cells and Systems, Leading to Complete Computer Integrated Manufacture

  • Graham T. Smith


In previous chapters we have, in the main, been concerned with a discussion about stand-alone turning and machining centre technology and related activities, such as tooling, workholding, and cutting fluids. This final chapter will consider how best to achieve a degree of automation using equipment and looking into the relative merits and drawbacks of such implementations. Prior to discussing the role of currently available FMC/S solutions, it is probably worth defining what we mean by “Flexible Manufacture” - whether one is describing either a cell, or a system. The definition favoured by the author is a modification to that proposed by an early investigation commissioned in America by the US Task Force Study: “Two or more machines coupled to either a robot, or an automatic transfer mechanism for the machining of parts”. This loosely describes, in the most basic terms, the requirements for a flexible manufacturing cell; in fact we must qualify this definition by saying that, according to an FMS builder, such systems must be “as rigidly flexible as possible!”. This means that either a cell or system should have a degree of flexibility within rigid constraints in order to perform in anything like a flexible manner.


Machine Tool Flexible Manufacture System Machine Centre Coordinate Measuring Machine Programmable Logic Controller 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham T. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Technology Research CentreSouthampton InstituteSouthamptonUK

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