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Some illustrations are given of a comprehensive Swedish R&D program called FIGARMA (Fully Integrated Garment Manufacture). The long-range scope of the program is to solve the problems of automated sequential sewing assembly, generally considered to represent the most complicated area of production technology.
The FIGARMA approach is based on the concept of an auto-adaptive production cell, comprising a new type of highly flexible and interchangeable man/auto work stations as building blocks. The material and information flows of each work station operation are controlled by distributed microprocessors as nodes in an autonomous, dedicated intracell data network of a new type. These new types of system elements will allow for data-driven parallel processing as they are being triggered by fabric parts carrying their own identification, mating and operating instructions. The configuration of a laboratory production cell test-bed for sequential sewing assembly automation is also discussed. An outline is given of a taxonomy of the corresponding, multilevel integrated systems network hierarchy.
“3M” (man/machine/material) interface, endoface, exoface, autoadaptive data-driven production cell, automated sequential sewing assembly equipment, integrated multilevel system networks
Research Associate, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg,