It has become evident in recent years that due to the complexity and diversity of
computer applications in manufacturing environments, not only will previously
established 'islands of automation' continue to exist, but new islands will emerge as
a result of system expansion and technical renovation. Therefore, it is vitally
important that systems integration methods are capable of supporting pre-existing
manufacturing application systems as well as incremental system growth. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.
MSI Research Institute. CVCP (Committee of Vice-Chancellors and
Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom), ORS (Overseas
Research Student) award.