Current manufacturing automation systems (specifically the powertrain sector)
have been facing challenges with constant pressures of globalisation,
environmental concerns and ICT (Information and Communication Technology)
innovations. These challenges instigate new demands for shorter product
lifecycles and require customised products to be manufactured as efficiently as
possible. Manufacturing systems must therefore be agile to remain competitive
by supporting frequent reconfigurations involving distributed engineering
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.