fabbrica_evolutiva_riconfigurabileTitle: Product and Process Co-Evolution Management via Modular Pallet configuration

Area: 2 – Evolutionary and Reconfigurable Factory

Call topic: 2.1 – Optimization of the co-evolution of production systems

Coordinating Institute: CNR- Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies “Enrico Magenes”


  • CNR-Institute for Industrial Technologies and Automation
  • CNR-Institute of Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies “Enrico Magenes”
  • CNR-Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies
  • Politecnico di Milano

Industrial Interest Group:

  • MCM S.p.A. (Vigolzone (PC))

Abstract: The project will address the use of zero-point modular fixtures as a reconfiguration enabler in FMSs. This class of equipment provides the capability of rapidly reconfiguring the pallets to match the production requirements, without the need of halting the system for a setup, thus providing a strategic tool to manage the joint evolution of products and processes. The research activities will address the pallet configuration and process planning problem using a non linear and distributed process representation modeling a wide range of alterative operation sequences. Moreover, the problem of pallet checking will be considered using a laser scanning system able to verify the correct configuration and load of the pallet. Finally, the effectiveness and benefits of zero-point modular fixtures will be assessed evaluating their impact on the performance of a FMS and providing managing policies to exploit the available degrees of freedom. All the activities will refer to an industrial case.

Ideas and solutions:

Pro2Evo addresses a set of barriers preventing the use of zero-point clamping as a tool for fast pallet reconfiguration:
A Conceptual Framework to cope with the evolution of products and with a specific focus on the re-configuration of fixtures, setup-planning and system’s performance. Pallet verification and check devices (e.g. a 3D laser scanner) and tools to check the compliance of the pallet with the ideal configuration. A Network Part Program definition providing modular machining processes. A Data Model to support information and data management and the compliance with standards. Management policies to take advantage of the fixture reconfiguration at the operational level.

Follow up:

Pro2Evo gave rise to the prototype project Pro2ReFix (Product and Process Co-Evolution Management via Reconfigurable Fixtures) aimed at demonstrating 1) the use of zero-point clamping to provide fast reconfiguration of pallets and fixtures; 2) how pallet check functionalities can be implemented and work in a realistic environment, 3) the exploitation of process plans available in modular format to provide a fast reconfiguration of the machining processes together with the pallet.


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