Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Holders: Assist. Prof. Vrabič Rok

Subject description


In accordance with the rules in force at UL FS. In order to pass and successfully execute the study obligations and participate in study work, the students are advised to regularly attend the lectures and exercises (at least 80 % participation at exercises is required), to use additional teaching aids, as well as to prepare adequately for laboratory exercises and actively participate during the lectures. In order to consolidate the knowledge, delivered at the lectures and exercises, the students must demonstrate that they are fit to use selected computer technologies on concrete cases.

Content (Syllabus outline):

Introduction: Basic concepts and definitions. Flexible work systems. Computer-integrated manufacturing. An overview of the history of development in the fields of manufacturing paradigms, materials, cutting materials, technological processes, automation and control technologies in the production. Innovation as the key factor of production competitiveness and growth. Manufacturing system as a cybernetic structure – the model of a factory and the model of a manufacturing system.

Information system in the production: Analysing information in design, technology planning and production. Group technology and classification systems. The fundamentals of databases. Information system for production control and monitoring. Integration with the enterprise resource planning system.

Computer-integrated manufacturing: The principle of integration – serial integration and neutral data formats; parallel integration and data repositories; integration in the real-time environment, OPC; data synchronisation. ISO/OSI seven layer communication model, production networks.

NC-technology: Numerical control (NC), computer numerical control (CNC) and programmable logic control (PLC) for machines and devices. Direct numerical control (DNC). Machine tool morphology. Principles of control: machine control, process control, human-machine interface. Controlling motion: from point to point, motion by contour. Impulse, phase and step-wise velocity/position control. Integrating manufacturing systems into flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) and cells (FMC). NC-programming - manual programming, computer-supported programming, CAM-systems.

Rapid prototyping technologies and integration: An overview of additive manufacturing technologies, information flows, integration.

Assembly and integration: Assembly processes: manual, automated and hybrid assembly. Assembly integration. Assembly systems and cells, system planning.

Material flows in the production and integration: Material flow integration, planning flexible manufacturing cells and systems.

Objectives and competences:


The fundamental course goal is to provide the students with in-depth knowledge in the field of computer-controlled machines and devices, and computer-aided technologies for product design and manufacturing. Special attention is paid to structuring the factory as a cybernetic system, and on learning about the building blocks of computer-integrated manufacturing and the ways of connecting them.


The students learn the structure of a factory and its subsystems, and understand the importance of connecting different work systems and technologies into an integrated system. They learn in detail about the manufacturing information systems and about their integration. The students are also acquainted with computer-controlled working machines used to execute the machining processes, rapid prototyping and assembly, and with the aspects of integration. The competences mastered serve as a foundation for the planning, development and operation of computer-integrated manufacturing and flexible work systems.


Intended learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

The students acquire knowledge about modern manufacturing structures with an emphasis on the integration of computer-aided technologies such as CAD, CAM, ERP and similar, and computer-controlled working machines and devices. The students learn about the planning of integration, selection of corresponding elements and realisation of an integrated system. This knowledge is the basis for understanding the importance of modern computer technologies in the production and the integration.


The knowledge attained in the course is a prerequisite for the planning of integrated systems, selection of corresponding technological building blocks, and the realisation and operation of integrated systems.


Based on the theoretical knowledge attained and the experience and discoveries gathered in scope of the laboratory exercises and individual student work in the laboratory, the students are able to:

  • recognise problems and challenges associated with integrating different computer technologies in the production
  • use the knowledge mastered on concrete cases and transfer modern knowledge into industrial environment.

Transferrable skills – related to more than one course

The students learn the principles and effects of computer integration, as well as of integration in general. Above all, they recognise the usability and efficiency of computer-supported tools and technologies, which can be transferred into other working environments.

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