Industry 4.0 represents a new philosophy in manufacturing systems, based on networked, intelligent, and cooperative resources. This revolution is necessary to make the cost-effective production of batch-size-of-one customised items in high-value manufacturing domains such as aerospace a reality. However, there exist large numbers of legacy production cells which generate value for enterprises which would ideally become part of a future manufacturing system, but which lack the necessary computational or networking capabilities. This is especially important in the case of small to medium enterprises, where Industry 4.0 is perceived as an expensive endeavour out of reach due to cost. There is a requirement for Industry 4.0 to be brought to existing legacy production cells in a cost effective and standards-compliant manner. This paper describes the technical implementation of an Evolvable Assembly Systems deployment onto an existing legacy manufacturing cell, describing the concepts and technical specif-ics of how to interface a software-based multi-agent system with real manufacturing hardware, and demonstrates how it is possible to make a transformable manufacturing cell which is compliant to the Industry 4.0 ideals in a cost-effective and expedient manner.
Chaplin, J. C., & Ratchev, S. (2018). Deployment of a distributed multi-agent architecture for transformable assembly. In Precision assembly in the digital age (15-28). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05931-6_2