(MES Software Design Specification)

This describes the functions of a MES for an adaptive manufacturing plant. This plants assembly stations may reconfigure or be able to make outputs in more than a single form. For example, the process areas of this plant are 3D printers, CNC mills, plasma cutters, metal benders and a variety of other "adaptive" assembly machines.


  • Receives orders of products and defines the process to make them.
    • So this means it takes a product file (described below) and defines the flow of parts for that product between machines retroactively, giving human operators or machines instructions along the way.
    • Executes processes to make parts in a manner to most efficiently use the plants machines and energy to make the maximum number of parts in a given time.
  • Inspects the quality of parts
    • reclaims or recycles failures.

So next I think this will sort of get the mental juices flowing for anyone reading this. 

Products, Parts and Assembly instructions

Make this into an XML file??

  • A product consists of parts and is realized though assembly instructions.
    • A product is a part
    • A tool is considered a part
      • A tool is not integrated into end products.
        • A tool has characteristics
        • a tool characteristic is usable life and how much it has used of that
  • A part can consist of other parts
  • A part can have Assembly instructions.
    • Assembly instructions define how parts combine to make other parts or products, and what type of assembler will act on the inputted parts.
      • Assembly instructions can have several formats - Gcode for machines and also maybe a PDF for a person to follow.
      • Assembly instructions may specify the state of a machine, that would be specific to the machine and process controller. for example, an instruction for a 3d printer might specify what nozzle size it is supposed to use.
      • Assembly instructions can be batch or continuous, which is more applicable to chemical products.
  • A part has characteristics
    • A characteristic of a part is a picture depicting it in every relevant view.
    • A characteristic of a part part is physical features.
      • Physical features have tolerances
      • Physical features can have inspection instructions
        • Inspection instructions list what machine does the inspection, and how to do it. maybe those instructions are both digital and human readable.
        • Inspection instructions output Metrology information that is consumed by the MES. Pass or fail decisions can be made on a part based on this.