EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Hewlett Packard Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.

Professor Dawn Tilbury

Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Michigan


Reconfigurable Logic Control for High Volume Manufacturing Systems




Automatic manufacturing systems with dedicated and integrated material handling can produce large quantities of high quality parts rapidly. A discrete event supervisory control system, called a logic controller, coordinates the parallel and synchronized operation of the various machines in the manufacturing system. In current industrial practice, logic controllers are programmed in a low-level language by experienced control engineers. Although each program is fairly simple at a low level, the complexity can be enormous-it is not uncommon to find systems with 10,000 or more I/O points (events). Half of total time and cost of a new manufacturing system may be attributed to the control system; this cost can be justified if the same product will be produced for ten or more years. However, as product lifecycles decrease and product varieties increase, new methods for rapidly configuring and reconfiguring high volume manufacturing systems must be developed. This talk will overview the logic control problem for high volume manufacturing systems, and present some possible solutions using formal methods from discrete event systems. Issues associated with industrial implementation will be discussed, and examples will be drawn from the automotive and shoe manufacturing industries.


Dawn M. Tilbury received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1989, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992 and 1994, respectively. In 1995, she joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she is currently an Associate Professor. For her work in web-based software tutorials (the Control Tutorials for Matlab), she received an Undergraduate Computational Engineering and Science Award from the US Department of Energy in 1995 and the EDUCOM Medal (jointly with Professor William Messner of Carnegie Mellon University) in 1997. An expanded version, Control Tutorials for Matlab and Simulink, was published by Addison-Wesley in 1999. She received an NSF CAREER award in 1999, and is the 2001 recipient of the Donald P. Eckman Award of the American Automatic Control Council. She is a member of ASME, IEEE, and SWE, and co-chairs the ASME-DSCD technical panel on Computers, Communication, and Control. Her research interests include distributed control of mechanical systems with network communication, logic control of manufacturing systems, performance management and control of computing systems, and trajectory planning for nonlinear systems. During her sabbatical leave in 2001-02, she was an Academic Visitor at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center and a Visiting Professor at ITIA-CNR in Milan, Italy.