In the cell control process, a cell controller has to make many off-line and on-line decisions. These decision making processes rely on pre-defined control logic and the static and dynamic information about the cell resources and work in progress. Storage and retrieval of this information requires a comprehensive database which needs to be designed and embedded in the controller. Cell information models assist in getting a structural design of such a database.
This paper presents the design of information models for use in control of flexible manufacturing cells. Three information models are introduced, including a cell configuration information model, a cell layout information model, and a part flow information model. These information models provide the basis for establishing a database for the purpose of the cell control. The hierarchical structures of these information models are described; the description of the attributes of the entities in the models is provided; and the application of these models for establishing the database for cell control is discussed.