Advances in manufacturing are expanding manufacturing systems’ adaptability, flexibility and intelligence and evolutionary developments of hardware such as multi-axis machine tools and interactive robotics and advanced systems, control and information technologies. In this talk, we first review a brief history of key technologies based on the concept of "Flexible Automation" including artificial/computational intelligence, which paved the way for what we call intelligent manufacturing. We then evaluate the positive and negative aspects of such technologies by taking insights from the past, and by focusing on decision-making processes involving human-machine interaction in the planning and execution phases of manufacturing systems. Some of the Speaker’s industrial projects related to IoT and AI technologies and the current situation in Japan’s manufacturing industries are also discussed in this talk.
Haruhiko Suwa is a full professor at Setsunan University in Japan. He has been a faculty member since 1997, and currently serves as the head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has been a Visiting Scientist at the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Suwa received his B. Eng., M. Eng. and Ph.D. in Engineering degrees from Kobe University, respectively in 1992, 1994 and 1997. His research areas include systems engineering, manufacturing engineering and production management. He is interested in optimization of green manufacturing systems, processes and energy-efficient planning/scheduling. He was awarded the Academic Award from the Scheduling Society of Japan in 2007, and the Annual Best Paper Award from the Institute of Systems, Control and Information Engineers in 2017.