Software-Defined Control (SDC) is a novel approach that uses a global view of the entire manufacturing system, including all its physical and cyber components. The components of a smart manufacturing system are tightly coupled in both time and space. Using this temporal-physical coupling together with high-fidelity models of the system allows any anomaly that changes the behavior of the system to be detected and classified. Once a disruption has been identified, the Software-Defined Controller will automatically compute new routes for the parts through the plant, avoiding the affected locations. These new routes will be directly downloaded to the low-level controllers that communicate with the machines and robots, and will keep production operating (albeit at a reduced level). Importantly, these same algorithms can be used to redefine the production routes (and machine programs) when a new part is introduced, or the desired production volume is changed, to maximize profitability.
Researchers: Felipe Lopez