DMOC: Distributed Manufacturing for Off-site Construction



Distributed Manufacturing for Off-site Construction (DMOC) proposes a system to extract manufacturing information from an enhanced Building Information Model (BIM) and automatically dispatch production tasks to multiple facilities based on, among other factors, process capabilities, capacity and geographic location.

DMOC enhances existing Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) approaches, including those for Platforms, by embedding manufacturing process data in digitally designed components and assemblies. This data can be converted directly to machine toolpaths, effectively automatically programming robots. This removal of manual programming is critical to enabling automation for small batch production typical of the construction supply chain.

The DMOC solution will include a hybrid-cloud orchestrator which will communicate with connected production cells to efficiently distribute all authorised workloads which have been submitted to it. The orchestrator will also handle reassigning tasks should any faults occur at a production facility adding supply-chain robustness, guaranteeing business continuity, increasing manufacturing efficiency and improving planning for just-in-time (JIT) delivery.

DMOC production cells will each include an embedded edge-compute device which will handle communication between the orchestrator and robotic hardware controllers, simulate tasks to ensure safe execution and prepare machine code for that specific cell's mechanical configuration.

Successful execution of the project will lower the barrier to entry of automation by simplifying programming, increasing utilisation of machinery and reduce the requirement for capital investment by leveraging existing facilities. It will also grow automated MMC capacity, improve building performance through tighter tolerances and increase productivity in construction processes by up to 40% supporting the goals of the _Construction Sector Deal_.

The project consortium will bring together experts in a number of fields to deliver a solution that would not be feasible without their combined skillsets. aLL Design has expertise in DfMA and have developed modular housing designs using a Platforms approach. Hoare Lea has significant experience with modular construction, BIM and off-site manufacturing. Together they provide the construction experience required to successfully deliver the project. Robotic software SME, HAL Robotics will provide the integration of manufacturing processes with BIM, machine simulation and procedure validation, and communication with industrial machines. Konica Minolta will build upon previous work on their Distributed Cloud Intelligence (DCI) platform to integrate hardware and production process requirements into its orchestration capabilities creating the automated link between BIM and manufacturing cells.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

ALL DESIGN LONDON LIMITED £191,375 £ 114,825


WE DESIGN FOR LTD £33,955 £ 23,769
HAL ROBOTICS LTD £232,220 £ 162,554


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