Papers by Author: R.H. Weston

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Authors: J.O. Ajaefobi, R.H. Weston
Abstract: To cope with high levels of complexity, competition and change requirements, manufacturing enterprises (MEs) need to continuously improve their process and resource system performances. Enterprise Modelling (EM) is considered a prerequisite for enterprise integration and performance improvement because it can be used to capture relatively enduring knowledge about any specific business environment in which production systems will be deployed. With this prerequisite in mind, EM principles were deployed to capture and develop ‘static’ models of an SME. This provided detailed descriptions of enterprise production operations and their precedence relationships. A discrete event simulation tool was then used to develop time dependent ‘dynamic’ models of selected process segments of the specific case Enterprise Model. This allowed the computer execution of alternative production system designs to be assessed under SME specific changing scenarios and enabled suggestions for potential improvements to be made.
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Authors: J.O. Ajaefobi, R.H. Weston
Abstract: Over more than two decades the authors and their research colleagues have investigated different ways of using enterprise, simulation and workflow modelling techniques to structure and support decision making during organisation design and change projects. This has involved collaborative research with large and small scale manufacturing enterprises [1]. The investigations have demonstrated and advanced the potential to use enterprise models that ‘externalise and share knowledge about enterprise processes and systems’. By so doing, enhanced understanding of enterprise structures, processes and resource systems can be obtained and used to improve the interactions between system components so as to realise desired business performance and constrain unwanted behaviours.
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Authors: R.H. Weston
Abstract: With increased product dynamics world-wide, the average economic lifetime of production systems is falling. Industrial robots are widely assumed to be inherently flexible and therefore that they can function as a programmable building block of response production systems. This paper reviews common capabilities of contemporary industrial robotic systems and investigates their capability to extend the useful lifetime of production system by coping with different types of product dynamic. Also considered are relative capabilities of conventional programmable robots and an emerging generation of programmable and configurable component-based machines.
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