GNOSIS Knowledge Systematization: Configuration Systems for Design and Manufacturing
Moriki Toyama and Niall Murtagh
IMS Promotion Section, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation 5-1-1 Ofuna, Kamakura, Kanagawa, 247 Japan
The Gnosis project is founded on the premise that the existing manufacturing paradigm must be improved or altered in order to cope with various problems brought about by modern living. Such problems include those concerned with the environment — resource depletion and generation of pollution and waste — in addition to issues such as international trade friction. The consensus reached by the partners of Gnosis is that new environment-conscious and user-oriented “soft” machines can form the core of the new paradigm; that the intelligent use of systematized knowledge is the key to achieving these new machines; and that supporting technologies such as configuration management systems and reconfigurable production systems are necessary to support the research and implementation of the new paradigm. The Gnosis Test Case, which extended over a one-year period from February 1993, yielded considerable results in a short time and indicated that international collaborative research is both feasible and beneficial. Work is now proceeding on the finalization of a full-scale research proposal based on the Test Case results. This paper summarizes the Test Case formation, research content and results, and it outlines the full scale research proposal.