1. Preface


I have been involved in teaching laboratory based integrated manufacturing courses since 1993. Over that time I have used many textbooks, but I have always been unsatisfied with their technical depth. To offset this I had to supply supplemental materials. These supplemental materials have evolved into this book.


This book is designed to focus on topics relevant to the modern manufacturer, while avoiding topics that are more research oriented. This allows the chapters to focus on the applicable theory for the integrated systems, and then discuss implementation.


Many of the chapters of this book use the Linux operating system. Some might argue that Microsoft products are more pervasive, and so should be emphasized, but I disagree with this. It is much easier to implement a complex system in Linux, and once implemented the system is more reliable, secure and easier to maintain. In addition the Microsoft operating system is designed with a model that focuses on entertainment and office use and is incompatible with the needs of manufacturing professionals. Most notably there is a constant pressure to upgrade every 2-3 years adding a burden.


The reader is expected to have some knowledge of C, or C++ programming, although a review chapter is provided. When possible a programming example is supplied to allow the reader to develop their own programs for integration and automation.