CLOUD MANUFACTURING - TOWARDS RESILIENT AND SCALABLE HIGH VALUE MANUFACTURING

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering

Abstract

UK economic prosperity will increasingly depend on maintaining and further expanding a resilient and sustainable manufacturing sector based on sophisticated technologies, relevant knowledge and skill bases, and manufacturing infrastructure that has the ability to produce a high variety of complex products faster, better and cheaper. In high labour cost economies, manufacturing competitiveness will depend on maximising the utilisation of all available resources, empowering human intelligence and creativity, and capturing and capitalising on available information and knowledge for the total product lifecycle from design, through production, use and maintenance to recycling. It will also require an infrastructure that can quickly respond to consumer and producer requirements and minimise energy, transport, materials and resource usage while maximising environmental sustainability, safety and economic competitiveness.

Building on the latest developments in Informatics, Computer Science, Operations Research, and Manufacturing Systems Science, we will address these needs with a research programme centred on the concept of 'Cloud Manufacturing', which has been defined as ''a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable manufacturing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction''. The research will adopt the methods of cloud computing and crowdsourcing. The 'cloud' allows a range of data sources within design and manufacturing processes to be shared and mined to enable process optimisation and increase responsiveness; the crowds encompass manufacturing partners, designers, logistics partners, and consumers who are sources of potentially valuable data, information and product and process knowledge that can be elicited for optimising complex manufacturing environments. The approach admits new models for open innovation within the manufacturing space, enabling new enterprises to arise without a need for a large capital investment. The research programme is a radical departure from the current philosophy of manufacturing ICT - it will create a framework for participatory contribution of information from the actual manufacturing entities and support services to the consumers and users of products. This transformational approach presents theoretical, technical, practical, ethical and social challenges that we will meet through new fundamental multidisciplinary research.


Whilst there have been some tentative steps taken to harness cloud concepts in manufacturing the theoretical methods, infrastructure and scientific knowledge needed to deliver the full potential of future cloud manufacturing have yet to be established. We aim to develop a holistic framework and understand its role within global manufacturing networks through: seeking the appropriate products, sectors, scales and volumes; identifying the impacted lifecycle stages from design to manufacture, maintenance and re-cycling; understanding how new product design and manufacturing will be influenced by lifecycle data; and finally analysing how future products will be influenced by cloud manufacturing enabling local on-demand supply of components and services. Cloud Manufacturing provides far reaching opportunities but has major research challenges including: understanding the diverse resource base, both in design collateral and production facilities; incorporating and integrating customer/user intelligence; and the representation and processing of information within a secure open service-oriented platform.

Planned Impact

The research will benefit the international research community by establishing a long-term research agenda in Cloud Manufacturing Informatics as a multidisciplinary research theme at the interface between manufacturing engineering, computer science, human factors and operations management. Beyond the interdisciplinary academic beneficiaries, the project will target two key beneficiary groups: the commercial private sector (large OEMs and supply chain organisations) and the wider community. Our work will benefit the national and international commercial private sector, with particular focus on UK manufacturing companies, through supply chain networks who will have the potential to engage with new manufacturing partners, enhancing utilisation of capital infrastructure and contributing to, and exploiting, new integrated resources, knowledge, skills and data sets. Our close collaboration with the industry stakeholders will ensure direct impact across multiple manufacturing sectors. The wider public will benefit from the research by increased ability of organisations to respond to customer needs, reduced product cost due to ability of companies to source optimal supplies in a timely manner, and swifter development of new products that take advantage of emerging advances in science and engineering. Our work will ultimately enable a shortened product life cycle, increased opportunity for new, small and independent members of the supply chain, and selection of optimal and individualised manufacturing data, networks and services. Our approach of building an underlying architecture, using simulated and real-world data to test and populate models, and working closely with industry stakeholders will ensure scalable approaches that will be transferable between different manufacturing sectors.
The research cluster will deliver several limited early industrial pilot demonstrators. Although the focus of the cluster is basic research with a long-term application agenda, some of the results are expected to reach market earlier. Intra-enterprise and strategic supply chain-based applications of Cloud Manufacturing for efficient deployment and utilisation of geographically distributed resources will be demonstrated via the aerospace pilot demonstrator environment targeting the Airbus future aircraft coming in production by 2030. Similar research exemplars will be used to demonstrate future applications in nano-bio and feedstock processing, data and resources crowdsourcing in the automotive supply chain and building the future Cloud Manufacturing IT infrastructure with the support of our partners. Strong industrial engagement will also be ensured via our role in the MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre) and its membership in the HVM Catapult as well as our joint activities with the Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA) who will provide access to more than 200 SMEs for data collection and early piloting of the Cloud Manufacturing in an SME based supply chain environment.
The team will establish close links with PhD projects within the Manufacturing, EFET and Horizon DTCs, and have specific networking and outreach goals to transfer knowledge between different disciplinary perspectives, develop the careers of future research leaders, and debate research issues with a range of stakeholders. A series of knowledge sharing seminars with participation from both research cluster members and other academic and industrial stakeholders will be organised. Early career researchers and PhD students will be encouraged to build research leadership skills, in particular through researcher-led speculative studies.

Publications

10 25 50
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Fisher O (2018) Cloud manufacturing as a sustainable process manufacturing route in Journal of Manufacturing Systems

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Felli P. (2018) Composite capabilities for cloud manufacturing in Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS

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Felli P. (2017) Process plan controllers for non-deterministic manufacturing systems in IJCAI International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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De Silva L. (2016) Realisability of production recipes in Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications

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De Silva L. (2017) Synthesising industry-standard manufacturing process controllers in Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS

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De Silva L (2019) Synthesising process controllers from formal models of transformable assembly systems in Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing

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Crabtree A (2018) Building accountability into the Internet of Things: the IoT Databox model. in Journal of reliable intelligent environments

 
Description The Cloud Manufacturing Research programme defines Cloud Manufacturing as an approach for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of manufacturing resources, software, and capabilities that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. The Cloud Manufacturing project provides a concept, facilitating architecture, underlying theoretical model, user interface for deployment, and business models for adoption by SMEs and larger companies. It offers multiple levels of instantiation, including a local 'factory' cloud internal to an organisation focusing on internal manufacturing capability provision and data analysis, a 'local network' cloud which enables SMEs to pool resources and collaborate more closely to emulate the capabilities of a larger company, and a 'global' cloud focusing on capability advertising and manufacturing instantiation on a large scale.

A key achievement within the Cloud Manufacturing programme has been the definition of the Cloud Manufacturing Architecture, which facilitates the other key developments in this section. The architecture is based on the Cloud Manufacturing Environment and Conceptual Model which was defined early in the research programme. The conceptual model is a layered approach to the implementation of a Cloud Manufacturing ecosystem and consists of the following decoupled layers:

• Factory Floor (physical layer): the lowest level, this covers the modelling and monitoring of hardware and software equipment, personnel, material resources and physical assets.
• Factory Registration (virtualisation layer): abstracting the previous layer, the virtual factory model describes the available physical resources to the cloud whilst protecting intellectual property.
• Advertising (services layer): makes available the capabilities of a manufacturer to be advertised to the cloud. These capabilities can then be searched, matched, combined, and configured against the requirements of a customer.
• Interfaces (access layer): offers interfaces for management, effective provision and control.

The model is based on the notion of capabilities, to fill the gap between the process specifications (which are equipment-independent) and the available facilities/machines. The model has a rigorous and formal mathematical foundation to ensure the correctness of the matching process, both to ensure participants in the cloud platform have confidence in its approach and to protect against the cost of incorrect matching.

The architecture contains software and hardware concepts which have been used to facilitate other research aims in the project. Notable achievements with this architecture include:

• The extraction of manufacturing capabilities from the facilities within the Cloud, modelling the collective capabilities of the facility by combining the capabilities of individual resources, while simultaneously hiding detailed information about process capabilities.
• The assessment of manufacturability of a given product against the available manufacturing capabilities that have been advertised to the manufacturing Cloud.
• The automated computation of the process that needs to be executed as a capability.

The Cloud Manufacturing architecture has been implemented as a software prototype strictly following the conceptual model and architecture to prove its feasibility, and to provide an analysis of usability of the platform for manufacturing company adoption by hiding the complexity of the underlying model and guiding users though the processes.

A substantial body of work has been undertaken to consider data in the cloud, including data collection, mining, processing and optimisation. This work has been based around the instantiation of a factory cloud, considering elements of data capture and presentation, data aggregation and visualisation, data analytics and management, and data object footprint analysis within a single manufacturing enterprise. This approach enables manufacturing companies to collect operation data from the shop floor and utilise elastic and on-demand cloud computing provision and cloud-based analysis apps to derive insights from the collected data and make optimum decisions.

Work has also been undertaken around the business and economic models for Cloud Manufacturing. The focus of the work has been forecasting the potential futures of Cloud Manufacturing from a business perspective and investigating the most likely business models by which Cloud Manufacturing services will be offered. The research has identified three hybrid business models which are be applied to Cloud Manufacturing - 1) online and offiline; 2) internal and external; 3) combination of online/offline and internal and external.

Based on these models, work has been undertaken to identify and understand possible triggers that enable these hybrid business models and potential scenarios for these business models. Linked to this, the research has investigated customers' and suppliers' motivations, benefits, challenges, concerns, constraints and capabilities in Cloud Manufacturing context to identify how Cloud Manufacturing could be adopted in the future. This has also highlighted which organisations might be potential owners of Cloud Manufacturing platforms inline with the identified levels of instantiation (factory, local, global). Collectively, this research has highlighted how Cloud Manufacturing may disrupt traditional manufacturing in terms of reformed manufacturing vale chains; trust and IP protection; and new features for better interaction between cloud participants.
Exploitation Route We intend to complete our instantiation of our Cloud Manufacturing framework on the assembly demonstrators at the University of Nottingham. Further plans include
• building a fully-fledged platform for networking between SMEs and customers, to advertise and discover manufacturing capabilities.
• building a platform for cloud-based data analytics and machine learning. Funding through the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA, see Narrative Impact) will support this activity.

The work around the business and economic models for Cloud Manufacturing is continuing following the end of the project, with the researcher appointed for this work transitioning to an academic post. Specifically, he will undertake research to assess the readiness of the Cloud Manufacturing service delivery and evaluate the implementation of Cloud Manufacturing business models.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Description The initial phase of the Cloud Manufacturing research programme involved mapping user requirements to build a framework that addresses both the research and industrial challenges from the perspectives of informatics and manufacturing at multiple levels of instantiation. This, together with further discussions and activities in partnership with industry has allowed the project to build a roadmap of the needs and requirements of UK manufacturing which has been used to guide this project, and is expected for inform subsequent projects and proposals. We have engaged with multiple companies throughout the project, including our industry partners. The companies come from a broad range of sectors, notably aerospace, automotive, food, pharmaceutical and the IT sector. The Cloud Manufacturing conceptual model and general architecture has attracted a substantial amount of interest from industry who are keen to see it developed. Unlike the partner project Evolvable Assembly Systems - which has a more constrained focus on the manufacturing shop floor and complements existing manufacturing approaches - the Cloud Manufacturing concept has a wider scope and offers a broad and sizeable shift in manufacturing business models and approaches to the supply chain. As a result, the results of the research are more disruptive to fundamental business practises and require focused development with higher-TRL follow-up projects before the results can be further demonstrated and implemented in industrial pilots. The research around business and economic models will support this shift by demonstrating the benefits of the cloud manufacturing architecture and approach. The data analytics and visualisation research undertaken within the project is likely to achieve the earliest impact. An EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award (IAA) and feasibility study based on this research have recently been confirmed and will commence April 2019, and certain elements of the work will be translated to recently funded aerospace projects. The IAA award will explore the commercial application of this research, specifically the development of a cloud based data analysis platform focussing initially on tool wear monitoring and assembly gap measurement. The project will also explore further potential applications. The feasibility study, which will be undertaken with a major manufacturer, will explore the use of the data analytics in a different factory environment. It is expected that a larger R&D project will emerge from this feasibility study, assuming a successful outcome. In addition, the two researchers responsible for the data analytics and visualisation research within the project are now associated with the EPSRC funded Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring project and will use the knowledge gained within the Shoestring project. The project has also helped articulate the need for training in the area of Digital Manufacturing and Nottingham now lead an ERASMUS+ project to develop an open access on-line training platform for Digital Manufacturing (with accompanying e-book) which focusses on the needs of SMEs and we are exploring opportunities to develop MSc and CPD courses with training programmes for apprentices as a longer term goal.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Retail,Transport
 
Description Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Leadership Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Membership of Aerostructures of the Future Specialist Advisory Group of Aerospact Technology Institute
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description "DiManD": Digital Manufacturing Training Network
Amount € 60,634,512 (EUR)
Funding ID 814078 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2023
 
Description Aerospace Growth Partnership
Amount £979,817 (GBP)
Funding ID Application No. 38279-263183 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2016
 
Description Computer Integrated Device for Assembly Gap and Tool Wear Diagnosis (EPSRC IAA)
Amount £50,579 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2020
 
Description ConnectedFactories CSA - Industrial scenarios for connected factories (Call: H2020-IND-CE-2016-17 (Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy))
Amount € 1,919,391 (EUR)
Funding ID 723777 
Organisation European Commission 
Department Horizon 2020
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2019
 
Description Digital Manufacturing Training System for SMEs (Digit-T)
Amount € 333,920 (EUR)
Funding ID 2017-1-UK01-KA202-036807 
Organisation erasmus + 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2020
 
Description Digital Manufacturing on a Shoestring [Digital Shoestring]
Amount £1,667,134 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R032777/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account
Amount £9,348 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K503800/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2015 
End 09/2015
 
Description FA3D: Strategic Development Fund
Amount £1,600,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 03/2016
 
Description Future Automated Aerospace Assembly Demonstrator Phase 2 (FA3D2)
Amount £3,800,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 98322-263277 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2022
 
Description MC-SUITE
Amount € 241,865 (EUR)
Funding ID 680478 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2018
 
Description Network Plus: Industrial Systems in the Digital Age
Amount £1,003,586 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P001246/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 08/2019
 
Description SMARTER - Space Manufacturing, Assembly and Repair Technology Exploration and Realisation
Amount £516,025 (GBP)
Funding ID 104057 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description Variance Aware Determinate assembly Integrated System (VADIS)
Amount € 1,699,987 (EUR)
Organisation Clean Sky 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Title Cloud Manufacturing Layered Conceptual Model 
Description A layered approach to Cloud Manufacturing, the conceptual model defines how participants in the cloud interact and offer services. It is split into four levels; •- Factory Floor (physical layer): the lowest level, this covers the modelling and monitoring of hardware and software equipment, personnel, material resources and physical assets. •- Factory Registration (virtualisation layer): abstracting the previous layer, the virtual factory model that abstracts and describes the available physical resources to the cloud whilst protecting intellectual property. -• Advertising (services layer): makes available the capabilities of a manufacturer to be advertised to the cloud manufacturer capabilities. These capabilities can which can then be searched, matched, combined, and configured against the requirements of a customer. -• Interfaces (access layer): offers interfaces for management, effective provision and control. Together, this model formally defines the notion of Cloud Manufacturing, the interfaces between layers, and the interaction patterns between participants, allowing for implementation of requires services within each layer. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The model defined in Cloud Manufacturing offers a complete architecture for participation in the cloud, and a common framework in which other research and developments in this domain can be placed within. It enables future research in cloud manufacturing to be more focused and specific rather than broad and disruptive. 
 
Title Process Plan Controller Generation Algorithms for Cloud Manufacturing 
Description With Cloud Manufacturing comprising manufacturers advertising their capabilities, and customers advertising their needs in the form of product requirements, there exists a need for the automated matching of the two, so that customers can be matched to manufacturers capable of producing their products. What's more, the process also requires the generation of control routines, enabling the automated execution of the manufacturing process in addition to just matching. The process plan controller generation algorithms produced as part of the Cloud Manufacturing project achieve this, demonstrating a formal approach to determining the combined capabilities of a manufacturing company, definition of product requirements, matching the two and producing the sequence of steps required to execute the process in an industry standard controller format. The method used is related to but distinct from the process used in Evolvable Assembly Systems, as it abstracts from the specifics of a manufacturer's capabilities to a higher level composite approach, both facilitating cloud manufacturing by removing excess low-level data not necessary to the matching process, and protecting the IP and specific capabilities of a manufacturer. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The development of controller synthesis algorithms in the Cloud Manufacturing project were implemented and validated in the Cloud Manufacturing platform software, and used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Cloud Manufacturing approach. The algorithms (and related algorithms developed in the Evolvable Assembly Systems project) continue to be an active area of development, with several papers submitted or in progress, and the algorithms are being used in multiple follow up projects. 
 
Description Development of EngD project in Manufacturing Technologies with Laing O'Rourke 
Organisation Laing O'Rourke
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Through extensive discussions on the research concepts associated with EPSRC Cloud Manufacturing, a potential EngD topic in the application of manufacturing informatics by Laing O'Rourke was agreed by all stakeholders. The collaboration came to fruition following extensive discussions between the EPSRC Cloud Manufacturing Project Team and Engineering Doctorate Centre in Manufacturing Technologies at the University of Nottingham with Laing O'Rourke (Manufacturing Excellence). The first tangible outcome has been the sponsorship of an EngD student (4 year programme commenced 01 Oct 2014). Project Title: Smart Manufacturing for Smart Buildings Project Outline: Laing O'Rourke delivers single source solutions to its clients and strives to construct all projects using a DfMA approach. The majority of the building construction takes place off site in a modular format and is then transported to site. The current production line aims to automate as many processes as possible in order to reduce waste of materials, improve efficiency and safety. It is in the progress of increased automation where many EngD projects lie. Furthermore, a new, ambitious manufacturing facility is planned alongside the existing capability, and the research will explore evolvable manufacturing systems which adapt to component/product variation. This may well include scope for the development of plug and play equipment infrastructure where parts of the line could be added or removed on an as needed basis in order to reconfigure the production line to adapt for different products. The research will also explore opportunities for a step change in the use of manufacturing informatics and may eventually be adapted to work within a cloud infrastructure to be synonymous with other smart systems.
Collaborator Contribution Partnership in intensive four-year postgraduate research programme to address key challenges in advanced manufacturing engineering and transform the latest manufacturing research results into industrial technologies (provision includes sponsorship, industrial leadership and access to facilities).
Impact The EngD engineer withdrew from the programme prior to completing his studies.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Development of PhD project with Siemens 
Organisation Siemens AG
Department Siemens plc, Keele
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Discussions with Siemens on research concepts associated with the Cloud Manufacturing project led to identification of an EPSRC iCASE topic.
Collaborator Contribution Partnership is a 4 year postgraduate PhD programme, including studentship sponsorship, industrial leadership and access to data and facilities.
Impact Journal and conference papers are currently being generated as part of this research programme.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Industry survey exploring current trends and ambitions surrounding Digital Supply Chain and Operations 
Organisation PA Consulting
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Bring academic research and current insights on the topic of DSC&O from the University of Nottingham's research portfolio and other academic and non-academic sources, advise on the broader survey and contribute to the development of a PA Consulting Insight report.
Collaborator Contribution Create survey, enroll participants into the survey and lead compilation of Insight report
Impact This partnership has recently started, outputs are expected to be recognized at the end of 2019.
Start Year 2018
 
Title Cloud Manufacturing Capability Abstraction and Product Definition Platform 
Description A front-end for the models and architecture developed in the Cloud Manufacturing project, the platform guides users through either the process of offering manufacturing capability or defining a product to be manufactured in the cloud. For manufacturers, the platform guides the user through the process of defining their manufacturing capabilities, and abstracting and combing them into a formally defined and advertisable form. For customers, it guides the user through the process of defining the process steps required to manufacture a product such that the requirements can be matched to available capabilities. The platform also features a prototype implementation of the model and matching algorithms to match proposed products to one or more manufacturers, and hence validate the process. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The platform offers an easy to understand overview of the cloud manufacturing concept and a demonstration of how a manufacturer or customer would use the platform. Due to the significant change in business model cloud manufacturing proposed, if cloud manufacturing is to be considered the benefits and approach must be adequately demonstrated. The platform was used to present cloud manufacturing to industrial partners including the Cloud Manufacturing project industrial advisory board, and the Nottinghamshire Manufacturers Network. 
 
Title Cloud to Edge Computing Demonstrator 
Description A tool wear assessment prototype has been developed which exploits information captured by sensors in real time, analyses it and provides on-screen information to the machine operator. The development arose from the data analytics elements of the programme and has been used to demonstrate a factory cloud environment. The analysis uses both edge and cloud computing, showing how processing can occur at different levels. The current version consists of monitoring infrastructure that collects sensor signals during machining and a data acquisition system (DAQ). The DAQ connects to a bespoke computing architecture comprising data collection and data pre-processing together with royalty free libraries for advanced analytics. 
Type Of Technology New/Improved Technique/Technology 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact This software and technical product are still in development, and will be supported by an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award starting 1 April 2019 for 12 months which will combine specific technical developments from the Cloud Manufacturing project and Evolvable Assembly Systems project. 
 
Description (Do not use - in Keynotes) 23rd International Symposium on Logistics:Big Data Enabled Supply Chain Innovations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation on "tbc" by Prof svetan Ratchev
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.isl21.org/
 
Description 1-1 industry meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The project and results of the project has been presented in multiple meetings with different companies, especially within the aerospace, food, automotive and IT sector. These discussions are ongoing, but have in part led various follow-on funding proposals including many listed within this report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018
 
Description 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE), Barcelona, Spain (1-5th October, 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented to an international audience, with questions and discussion throughout conference. This conference is held every 4 years and highly prestigious. Reference - Oliver Fisher, Nicholas Watson, Rachel L Gomes (2017) Cloud manufacturing as a sustainable process manufacturing route, 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (WCCE), Barcelona, Spain (1-5th October, 2017). Abstract - Cloud Manufacturing (CM) is a service oriented business model to share manufacturing capabilities and resources on a cloud platform. Manufacturing is under pressure to achieve cost and environmental impact reductions, while manufacturing products and services become more integrated and complex. Cloud manufacturing offers a solution, as it is capable of making intelligent decisions to provide the most sustainable and robust manufacturing route available. Although CM research has progressed, there is still lacking a consensus on the concepts within CM as well as applications and scope beyond discrete manufacturing. The aim of this paper is to show how CM offers a more sustainable manufacturing future to the industry as a whole, before focusing specifically on processing manufacturing (PM) (e.g. food, pharmaceuticals and chemicals). This paper provides a review of the definitions, characteristics and architectures of CM. From this the fundamental aspects of the CM concept are identified, along with an analysis of how the concept has progressed since its initial inception. The differences between discrete manufacturing and PM are defined in order to understand how CM characteristics uniquely complements PM to enhance sustainability. Figure 1 draws out the main leading themes from CM definitions to date. However, with a focus on discrete manufacturing, the true capability of CM with respect to design and innovation for sustainable manufacturing is not communicated. Three key methods of how CM increases sustainability are identified: (1) greater automation; (2) increase in process resilience; (3) enhanced waste reduction, reuse and recovery. The first key method (1) is common in both discrete and process manufacturing, however key methods (2) and (3) are more PM specific and application of CM has yet to be fully considered. Waste is an important consideration in manufacturing, with strong sustainability implications. The current focus has been on using CM for waste minimisation; however, PM offers waste as a resource (valorisation opportunities from diversifying co-products, reuse, recycle and energy recovery). Exploring CM potential to characterise and evaluate alternative process routes for the valorisation of PM waste is considered for the first time.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://wcce10.org/index.php/wcce10-ecce11-ecab4/welcome
 
Description Advanced Manufacturing Summer School 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The Advanced Manufacturing Summer School was a joint event organized by the EPSRC funded Manufacturing Technology EngD Centre and EPSRC funded Evolvable Assembly systems and Cloud Manufacturing projects. The overarching theme of the school was manufacturing informatics and included speakers from Siemens, HP and the MTC. The 3-day Summer School aimed to train students in creative problem solving. Led by Prof Simon Mosey from the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Nottingham University Business School, the summer school took the students through the Ingenuity Process, a framework which embeds innovation activities in creative problem solving and decision making.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Business model for cloud manufacturing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact OR59 is the UK's biggest conference of O.R. and analytics professionals, academics and practitioners. The three-day conference included 32 themed stream sessions and workshops, plus some 300 presentations, aimed at sharing knowledge, sparking new ideas, and making new connections. Authors: Zhang, G., MacCarthy, B.L., Pawar, K.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/Conferences/OR59/OR59.aspx
 
Description Centrally organised company visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact A large number of companies and government departments (e.g. BEIS, EPSRC) have visited the university over the duration of the project. These have been centrally organized and covered a wide range of university activities. The project has been presented as part of these visits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016,2017,2018
 
Description Collaboration in the Digital Supply Chain 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Financial Times Future of Manufacturing Summit, 3 October 2017. The aim of the event was to bring together the key stakeholders from Global Manufacturing Industries. Prof Ratchev participated in the panel discussion "Collaboration in the Digital Supply Chain". The purpose of this discussion was that supply chains are being reinvented as digital technologies open the way to new forms of collaboration and more integrated approaches. How are organisations leveraging business networks to create partnerships and increase efficiency in the supply chain? What successful collaboration models are emerging between young, dynamic firms and large, established businesses? In which way are they creating value? What are the best practices in exchanges of physical products and how is it being extended to encompass innovations, data, talent and financial flows? How are companies taking advantage of synergies to disseminate innovation and achieve scale? What initiatives are aiming for further strengthening of collaboration between actors in the value chain?
The discussion panel comprised: David Ingram, European Vice President Supply Chain, Unilever; Ivanka Janssen, Vice President Supply Chain, Europe, Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, PepsiCo; Andrew McCreath, Director, Enterprise Field Development, Equinix; Svetan Ratchev, Cripps Professor of Production Engineering, Director of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing, The University of Nottingham. Moderated by: Michael Pooler, Industry Reporter, Financial Times
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://live.ft.com/Events/2017/FT-Future-of-Manufacturing-Summit
 
Description Digital Technologies for Manufacturing Innovation: Embracing Industry 4.0 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This event was organised by the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IfAM) at Tthe University of Nottingham, with support from EPSRC and Innovate UK. This was the first time the UK's industrial and academic community was brought together on such a large scale to showcase the UK's world-leading research and provide an open forum for charting future directions in developing the UK's strategy in this rapidly evolving area. The two day event included presentations from policymakers and industrialists, together with EPSRC and Innovate project presentations, culminating in a panel discussion on UK opportunities for Industry 4.0 and how to make this happen.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description EPSRC Projects Annual industrial meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact To inform project partners and other industrial collaborators of progress within the EPSRC Cloud Manufacturing and Evolvable Assembly Systems projects, and obtain feedback on progress to date and future directions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description European Scenario Building Workshop 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Organised by EFFRA as part of the ConnectedFactories project, the purpose of the workshop was to build scenarios for Digital Manufacturing within Europe
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Factories of the Future Consultation Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact To contribute to the scoping of forthcoming H2020 Factories of the Future funding calls
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IPAS 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This is the 8th edition of the seminar series which had a specific focus on informatics and digital technologies for precision assembly. Originally conceived by the micro-assembly community, the seminar has now grown to include a wide scope of assembly processes and applications from micro products to large aerostructures where precision, efficiency and quality are of critical importance. The event included several presentations arising from EPSRC Evolvable Assembly Systems and Cloud Manufacturing projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ipas-seminar.com/
 
Description Industry 4.0 with ConnectedFactories 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The purpose of this activity was to bring together academia and industry with an interest in Industry 4.0. The second day included a workshop to understand the needs of SMEs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Industry requirements workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Requirements workshop held with project partner to contribute to the Cloud Manufacturing project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Manufacturing in the Cloud: Exploring Future Platform-based Manufacturing Scenarios", 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Twentyfirst International Working Seminar on Production Economics. The purpose of this seminar is to provide an opportunity for research scientists and practitioners to meet, present and develop their ideas on subjects within the field of Production Economics. Papers submitted will be distributed to all participants in the form of Pre-Print volumes when registering.
A discussant is appointed for each paper. The intention is, that models and methods presented, and the discussion of them, will result in concrete ideas for future research and developments in this area. Presenter: Zhang G; Authors: Zhang, G., MacCarthy, B.L., Pawar, K, Ratchev, S.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.medifas.net/IGLS/Index.htm
 
Description Official opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Buliding 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The official opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Building took place in December 2018. The building was officially opened by Siemens UK CEO, Juergen Maier. The event included tours of the building and the project and associated follow-on projects formed part of the projects promoted.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/engineering/newsevents/newslist/advanced-manufacturing-building-opens-o...
 
Description Realisability of production recipes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The biennial European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI) is Europe's premier venue for presenting scientific results in AI. Supported by the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI), the ECAI conference provides an opportunity for researchers to present and hear about the very best research in contemporary AI. Presenation by Lavindra de Silva; authors de Silva, Felli, Chaplin, Logan, Sanderson, Ratchev
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ecai2016.org/
 
Description Research Prioritisation Exercise (Industry & Academia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact The Prioritisation Exercise sparked significant discussion. There is a distinction between those aspects of both the Cloud Manufacturing and Evolvable Assembly Systems projects that are perceived as being essential for groundwork and early success. Legacy, IP and security and reconfigurable assembly systems were perceived as being more important at the outset. Looking at the detail of comments, these outputs could be classed as 'enablers' of later project outputs. On the other hand, customisation / personalisation and data analysis, which were perceived as more relevant later in the project, could be perceived as 'applications'.

There was general agreement between industrialists and academics during the Prioritisation Exercise. However, there were two notable differences. Firstly, industry was very concerned with a strategy for legacy, particularly in the early stages of the projects, contributing all of the responses that fell under this theme, which also formed the second priority theme for industry. This clearly reflects a need to understand how to continue to draw from value from existing capital expenditure, and to evolve systems rather than replace. Related feedback reflected the importance of integration, legacy, and exploring and extending existing capabilities.

Secondly, while there were a high number of both short and long term objectives attributed to self-learning and adapting assembly from the group overall, cyber-physical systems arose as the most prominent category. This reflects an acknowledgement that rather than a pure research concept of totally autonomous assembly, industry stakeholders are conscious of how technology will be used in combination with human supervision and integration.

Overall, the thematic analysis points to a need to demonstrating capabilities and essential enablers early in both projects, moving to applications later in the project timescales.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Showcase for Future Automated Aerospace Assembly Demonstrator 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The event was to showcase the University's new £1.5 million Future Automated Aerospace Assembly Demonstrator to the aerospace sector. This included plans for how the demonstrator would be used by the EPSRC Evolvable Assembly Systems and Cloud Manufacturing projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Synthesising industry-standard manufacturing process controllers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact AAMAS is the largest and most influential conference in the area of agents and multiagent systems. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers and practitioners in all areas of agent technology and to provide a single, high-profile, internationally renowned forum for research in the theory and practice of autonomous agents and multiagent systems.

AAMAS is the flagship conference of the non-profit International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems
Presenter: Lavindra de Silva; authors: de Silva, Felli, Chaplin, Logan, Sanderson, Ratchev
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.aamas2017.org/
 
Description Synthesising provably correct controllers for manufacturing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Lavindra de Silva. This was given as part of the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) Seminar Series, Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/94054
 
Description The Digitisation of Industry: Business Summit at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Extract from press release: "The Times Cheltenham Science Festival is holding its first Science and Business Summit for business leaders and senior Government, research and policy representatives in the UK to consider the "Fourth Industrial Revolution".

Hosted by Emma Tucker, Deputy Editor of The Times and Juergen Maier, Chief Executive of Siemens, 'The Digitisation of Industry' will examine the role of industry leaders in shaping the future of technology and innovation - from smart factories to the Internet of Things.

Alongside the Chair Emma Tucker and principal speaker Juergen Maier will Dr Mark Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at Cambridge Judge Business School and Neil Rawlinson Director, Strategic Development, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Svetan Ratchev, Cripps Professor of Production Engineering at the University of Nottingham

Emma Tucker said: "The evolution of digital technology in the past 20 years has been more rapid and potentially more disruptive than the original industrial revolution. The exciting question for the UK is how far the fourth industrial revolution will revive British industry."

Juergen Maier said: "The UK has an opportunity to be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, called 'Industry 4.0', improving productivity through digital manufacturing to create growth and new jobs in the economy.

"To succeed, we must inspire the next generation to be interested in science, technology, engineering and maths - especially in computer sciences and analytics, which are essential skills for our future engineering workforce.

"This fantastic opportunity is in front of us and we need to have the ambition and skills to grasp it."


More Information for Editors

The Digitisation of Industry Science and Business Summit is an invitation-only event. It will be held on Wednesday 8 June
4.00-4.30pm - Welcome tea/coffee at The Queens Hotel
4.30-6.15pm - Science & Business Summit
6.30-7.30pm - Drinks reception & networking, Space Dome, Imperial Square"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://pressdispensary.co.uk/releases/c994071/The-Digitisation-Of-Industry:-Business-Summit-At-The-...
 
Description Towards Future Transformable Production Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Welcome to Manufacturing Performance Days 2017 was an executive and visionary industrial renewal summit. The event brought together manufacturing industries, researchers as well as technology and service providers from all around the world to meet and exchange views in Tampere Hall Finland. In 2017 more than 600 participants were expected to attend which offered views of top class invited speakers from leading industry and academia on different aspects of outcome economy as well as the topical Industrie 4.0 and Industrial Internet as enablers for new efficiency, productivity and business gains. Presenter: Atanas Popov
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://mes.eventos.fi/uploads/735b967/MPD2017_Programme_Final_Full_160517-3708.pdf
 
Description Towards Industry 4.0: the future automated aircraft assembly demonstator 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 8th edition of the IPAS seminar had a specific focus on informatics and digital technologies for precision assembly. Originally conceived by the micro-assembly community, the seminar has now grown to include a wide scope of assembly processes and applications from micro products to large aerostructures where precision, efficiency and quality are of critical importance. Presenter: Dave Sanderson; Authors: Sanderson, Drouot, Zhao, Irving, Ratchev
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ipas-seminar.com/
 
Description Towards a cloud-based analytics framework for assembly systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The 8th IPAS Seminar had a specific focus on informatics and digital technologies for precision assembly. Originally conceived by the micro-assembly community, the seminar has now grown to include a wide scope of assembly processes and applications from micro products to large aerostructures where precision, efficiency and quality are of critical importance. Presentater: de Silva; Authors: Terrazas, de Silva, Ratchev
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.ipas-seminar.com/
 
Description Towards process control from formal models of transformable manufacturing systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 50th CIRP conference. Presenter: Chaplin; Authors Chaplin, Bakker, de Silva, Felli, Sanderson, Logan, Ratchev
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.cirp-cms2017.org/index.php