Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

ix Preface The environment of the manufacturing industry has changed impressively during this half century. New theories and technologies in the field of computers, networks, distributed computation, and artificial intelligence are extensively used in the manufacturing area. Integration and intelligence have become the developing trends of future manufacturing systems. These inform the concept of manufacturing change from the narrow sense of fabrication technique to the broad sense of extensive manufacture, that is, from the transformation of raw materials into finished goods, to the whole process of the prod- uct life cycle involving product design, fabrication, planning, managing, and distribution. Intelligent manufacturing will become one the most promising manufacturing technologies in the next generation of manufacturing industries. Manufacturing Intelligence (MI), as a new discipline of manufacturing engineering, focuses on sci- entific foundations and key technologies for developing, describing, integrating, sharing, and processing intelligent activities in the process of manufacturing. It mainly covers intelligent-control theory and technology for manufacturing equipment, intelligent management and decision making for the manu- facturing process, intelligent processing of manufacturing information, representation and reasoning of manufacturing knowledge, as well as intelligent surveillance and diagnosis for manufacturing equipment and systems. Clearly, MI is different from Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is one aspect of theoretical research led by the requirements of mimicking human intelligence. It mainly focuses on exploring the mechanism of the process of human intelligent activities and emphasizes general theories, which highlight explorations of theory, as well as having serious logicality and reasoning. By contrast, MI mainly studies the mimicry of human intelligence to solve issues with intelligent computers (including software and hardware), and is a type of foundational research led by the requirements of applications in the manufacturing field. Although these two disciplines are different, they are related each other. AI is one of the main founda- tions of MI and the development of MI and the solution to the issues unsolved by AI will accelerate the development of AI. This book consists of four parts with fourteen chapters which include engineering background, founda- tions, technologies, applications, implementations, case studies, trends of intelligent manufacturing, and prospects for manufacturing intelligence. Part I contains one chapters, viz. chapter 1, which introduces manufacturing intelligence, the development of intelligent manufacturing, and the features of intelligent activities in the process of manufacturing. Part II and Part III including twelve chapters constitute the main part of this book. In these two parts, scientific foundations, key technologies and pragmatic appli- cations of manufacturing intelligence are analyzed. Among them, chapters 2 to 8 composing the Part II offer an extensive presentation of the engineering scientific foundations in manufacturing intelligence. Chapter 2 describes knowledge-based systems which mainly details general approaches for knowledge representation, acquirement, and general techniques for searching and reasoning. Chapter 3 presents