Knowledge Driven Configurable Manufacturing (KDCM)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: WMG

Abstract

The proposed research programme will attempt to create self-reconfiguring manufacturing systems that are based on intelligent and highly accurate models of manufacturing processes and the products being manufactured. The goal of the research is to enable a radical change in manufacturing effectiveness and sustainability.
The target type of manufacturing is component-based modular reconfigurable systems, i.e. systems that are built up of various elements and assembled together, in a similar fashion to building with 'lego'. This is a class of manufacturing system that is typically used in assembly and handling applications, where you tend to find families of modular machine components that can be reused and reconfigured as the product, and hence production processes change. Major applications for this are in the automotive and aerospace sectors. One example is in powertrain assembly, as seen in the UK at Ford. If the re-configurability of such production systems can be enhanced, Ford estimate that potential savings of over 30% in costs are achievable with a target of a 50% reduction in the time to build and commission such a system that typically costs £30 million per engine line. The realisation of this research has the potential to help enable the retention of high value engineering activity in the UK by improving the competiveness in the engineering of reconfigurable manufacturing systems.
The capability to achieve this aim is to be built on the foundation of current, internationally leading research at Loughborough University, which has created a method for building reconfigurable systems from reusable components that is currently being adopted in automotive supply chains.
The concepts of flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems are well established; however problems still exist in the effective, efficient, rapid, configuration of such flexible systems, particularly as lifecycle product changes occur, whether such changes are minor or more fundamenal. Many flexible and reconfigurable system examples exist. However, most are designed intuitively and a systematic methodology is still lacking. Additionally, engineering this integration of product and processes is essential in a lifecycle context across the supply-chain, yet this remains largely unaddressed.
Virtual engineering also has a major role to play in that we can simulate production systems and products. However the effectiveness of such simulation design tools for reconfigurable systems remains poor. Such tools need to be able to encompass the full system lifetime and be able to replicate the functions of the production system exactly in the models. These models are key enablers for understanding what might happen throughout a production system's lifecycle and can drive better configuration of the modular manufacturing systems we aspire to create.

Planned Impact

The proposed research programme will attempt to create self-reconfiguring manufacturing systems that are based on intelligent and highly accurate models of manufacturing processes and the products being manufactured. The goal of the research is to enable a radical change in manufacturing effectiveness and sustainability.
The target type of manufacturing in component-based modular reconfigurable systems, i.e. systems that are built up of various elements and assembled together, in a similar fashion to building with 'lego'. This is a class of manufacturing system that is typically used in assembly and handling applications, where you tend to find families of modular machine components that can be reused and reconfigured as the product, and hence production processes change. Major applications for this are in the automotive and aerospace sectors. One example is in powertrain assembly, as seen in the UK at Ford. If the re-configurability of such production systems can be enhanced, Ford estimate that potential savings of over 30% in costs are achievable with a target of a 50% reduction in the time to build and commission such a system that typically costs £30 million per engine line. The realisation of this research has the potential to help enable the retention of high value engineering activity in the UK by improving the competiveness in the engineering of reconfigurable manufacturing systems.
The capability to achieve this aim is to be built on the foundation of current, internationally leading research at Loughborough University, which has created a method for building reconfigurable systems from reusable components that is currently being adopted in automotive supply chains.
The concepts of flexible and reconfigurable manufacturing systems are well established; however problems still exist in the effective, efficient, rapid, configuration of such flexible systems, particularly as lifecycle product changes occur, whether such changes are minor or more fundamenal. Many flexible and reconfigurable system examples exist. However, most are designed intuitively and a systematic methodology is still lacking. Additionally, engineering this integration of product and processes is essential in a lifecycle context across the supply-chain, yet this remains largely unaddressed.
Virtual engineering also has a major role to play in that we can simulate production systems and products. However the effectiveness of such simulation design tools for reconfigurable systems remains poor. Such tools need to be able to encompass the full system lifetime and be able to replicate the functions of the production system exactly in the models. These models are key enablers for understanding what might happen throughout a production system's lifecycle and can drive better configuration of the modular manufacturing systems we aspire to create.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This on-going project focuses on component-based modular reconfigurable systems, i.e., manufacturing systems that are built up from various elements and assembled together, in a similar fashion to building with 'Lego'. The research programme aims to create self-reconfiguring manufacturing systems, where knowledge captured within the system drives future design optimisation in order to enable a radical improvement in manufacturing effectiveness and sustainability. This includes a toolset for process planning and PLC code generation for a wide range of vendor-specific controllers and IoT devices.
Exploitation Route Industrial impact is progressing with a consortium of UK based SME software vendors, UK and EU machine builders, and global end-users. This is expected to grow as the project continues. The tools and methods are now being applied collaboratively on a range of IUK and APC projects in pilot production, e.g., the HVEMS and AMPLIFII projects from 2015/16, and directly at Ford for new engine line automation simulations. In 2017 the tools and methods are now being applied to high-speed fuel cell assembly via the DIGIMAN H2020 project. In 2018 the tools and methods created are being applied to the AMPLIFII 2 and UK-BIC (Battery Industrialisation Centre) advanced electric vehicle manufacturing pro]ects.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

URL http://www.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/research/automation/
 
Description Progressively being used and evaluated via the projects industrial and academic partners. E.g., at Ford in powertrain assembly systems modelling and deployments and on the HVEMS and AMPLIFII projects from 2015/16 onwards on industrial pilot-plant systems. Being applied in 2017 to high-speed assembly of fuel cells on the DIGIMAN project. Being applied in 2018 to the AMPLIFII 2 electrification project and the UK-BIC (Battery Industrialisation Centre) digital twin.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Leadership Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Advisory group related to digital manufacturing feeding into future government policy and funding priorities.
 
Description Digital Manufacturing Forum
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Practice and strategy steering related to digital manufacturing and the HVM Catapult.
 
Description Member of National D4I (Digital for Industry) Leadership Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Influence and guide government policy related to Industrial Digitalisation including the 2018 Made Smarter report.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/made-smarter-review
 
Description AMPLiFII (Automated Module-to-pack Pilot Line for Industrial Innovation)
Amount £4,639,125 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2015 
End 11/2017
 
Description Amplifii II - Industrial Research
Amount £10,693,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2020
 
Description Arrowhead
Amount € 319,960 (EUR)
Funding ID Grant Agreement 332987 
Organisation Artemis SA 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2014 
End 02/2016
 
Description Augmented Manufacturing Reality
Amount £210,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 28755-208237 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2016
 
Description Future landing gear - phase 1
Amount £276,872 (GBP)
Funding ID 113042 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2016
 
Description High Volume Electric-Machine Supply
Amount £11,000,000 (GBP)
Organisation Advanced Propulsion Centre 
Sector Private
Country Unknown
Start 03/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description Horizon 2020
Amount £3,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 736290 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2020
 
Description Material and process development for low cost 1-10kW UK fuel cell stack manufacturing
Amount £279,998 (GBP)
Funding ID 101980 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 06/2017
 
Title VueOne Toolkit 
Description Toolkit for process planning 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Utilised by Jaguar Land Rover and others in new R&D projects related to digital modelling and simulation of manufacturing systems. 
URL https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/capitalprojects/mlp/
 
Title WMG engineering toolkit for PLCs 
Description Methods for configuring Programmable Logic Controllers 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact More efficient PLC code generation 
 
Description Collaboration with Contron 
Organisation Contron Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Automated control system software code generation
Collaborator Contribution Structured software development for demonstration machine at WMG and JLR
Impact New structure software applicable to JLR, Honda and other automotive companies
Start Year 2015
 
Description Ford advanced powertrain assembly research and development 
Organisation Ford Motor Company
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Make-like-production control software and entering tools for next generation automation. KDCM tools used to model production automation systems to Ford Panther and Puma programmes
Collaborator Contribution Access and time on live production machines. Free issue of control system hardware and software. Expensive support from expert engineers.
Impact Use of engineering tools and methods at Ford. Now directly feeding commercial exploitation.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Horizon Instruments Collaboration 
Organisation Horizon Instruments Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Helping to establishing Horizon Instruments as a key UK supplier of a new generation of pilot production assembly machines for battery module and electric-machine manufacture.
Collaborator Contribution Prototype machine design and implementation engineering for the KDCM Automation Systems Workbench
Impact A new generation of pilot production assembly machines for battery module and electric-machine manufacture
Start Year 2016
 
Description Lear Corporation - Reconfigurable AI-based automotive seat manufacturing automation and finishing 
Organisation Lear Corporation
PI Contribution Configurable control system and AI-based quantity control and finishing system.
Collaborator Contribution £480K investment in collaborative spin-out project.
Impact AI, robotics, control, big data. Control and finishing system prototype under factory evaluation by Lear Corporation, Coventry UK. Follow-on project valued at over £1M with £480k cash input from Lear begins in spring 2018 for three years.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Machine builder collaboration group 
Organisation Dexcom
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution PLC based control software for new modular automation systems support.
Collaborator Contribution Control hardware, supply of production machines and mechanisms.
Impact Automation systems workbench in the WMG Machine Hall, University of Warwick. A modular facility for full-scale automation system innovation and test.
Start Year 2014
 
Description SME Group Collaboration 
Organisation Contron Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Building the capabilities of UK automation systems SMEs.
Collaborator Contribution Advanced control techniques and training provided to the university research team
Impact New control systems software Collaboration on new grant applications Collaboration of the AMPLIFII IUK project
Start Year 2014
 
Description SME Group Collaboration 
Organisation Horizon Instruments Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Building the capabilities of UK automation systems SMEs.
Collaborator Contribution Advanced control techniques and training provided to the university research team
Impact New control systems software Collaboration on new grant applications Collaboration of the AMPLIFII IUK project
Start Year 2014
 
Description WMG - Chalmers Collaboration 
Organisation Chalmers University of Technology
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Virtual modelling tools for manufacturing process planning, automatic code generation,
Collaborator Contribution Tools integration and Virtual commissioning
Impact Working on project proposal
Start Year 2013
 
Description WMG - Eden/Leer collaboration 
Organisation University of Applied Sciences Emden / Leer
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Joint R&D projects to fast-track key aspects of the work to prototypes. All project target a practical project output, plus published papers and master thesis level reports.
Collaborator Contribution Researchers to join us for between three and six months.
Impact Master thesis level project reports and associated hardware/software outputs: · Steffen Backhaus (2013), "Virtual engineering and commissioning of automatic systems" · Johannes Watermann (2013), "Self configurable human machine interface screens for component-based automation systems" · Sergey Konstantinov (2014), Investigating OPC UA Connectivity for Runtime Simulation of Automation Systems"
Start Year 2013
 
Description WMG - TUT collaboration 
Organisation Tampere University of Technology
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Product, Process and Resource modelling for Knowledge driven reconfigurable automation
Collaborator Contribution Ontologies and semantic modelling of data
Impact Three conference papers and 1 journal papers are published jointly.
Start Year 2014
 
Description WMG - Technische Universität München (TUM) 
Organisation Technical University of Munich
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Approach for product, Process and Resource Modelling for assembly automation systems
Collaborator Contribution Approach for product, Process and Resource Modelling for assembly automation systems
Impact Student exchange, working on H2020 project proposal, Working on joint publications
Start Year 2015
 
Description WMG JLR Advanced Manufacturing Technology Group 
Organisation Jaguar Land Rover
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution - Maintenance application for JLR automation systems - Advanced control templates for automation - Lean manufacturing studies in both powertrain and body-in-white
Collaborator Contribution EngD sponsorship Control software and equipment donations to an advanced Industry 4.0 demonstrator at WMG
Impact Prototype maintenance applications at JLR In research projects AMPLIFII and HVEMS with JLR using KDCM tools and methods
Start Year 2014
 
Title Engineering tool for reconfigurable automation - PLC code mapping and deployment 
Description Prototype engineering tool for reconfigurable automation - PLC code mapping and deployment 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact More efficient design, deployment and verification of PLC code. Has the potential to radically improve the efficiency of the engineering supply chain in the automation sector. 
 
Title Fault Tracker 
Description An application developed to support maintenance of production systems. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact This software has a potential to significantly reduce the down time of production systems by alerting the technicians and providing them all relevant information regarding the fault and the equipment. 
 
Title LiveView 
Description This software is designed to be used as a virtual showroom for machine builders and for offline operator trainings. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact This software is still in development phase. 
 
Title Runoff Tool for Manufacturing Automation System Validation 
Description Software to validate machine control system by analysing their output against predefined validation criteria 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Already in use at Jaguar Land Rover's powertrain manufacturing plants 
 
Title vueOne 
Description Modelling tool for virtual process planning of manufacturing systems 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact This tool is being used for virtual modelling and validation of assembly systems at a number of industries (such as Ford and JLR) 
 
Description Industry 4.0 Deloitte Video plus Event Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Industry 4.0 Filming and Dinner
Background
The Manufacturing practice at Deloitte is developing a series of events and activities to raise awareness of 'disruptive technologies' that are shaping the future of the industry. The first event was a productive seminar on Additive Manufacturing held in November 2014.
This will be the second event in the series and will focus on Industry 4.0. Using global, industry and academic connections we will share best practice examples of how organisations are dealing with the rapid advancement of connected technologies, discuss the future developments and challenges in this area and help attendees think about this in a way that resonates with their organisation and growth strategies.
Format
To allow a wider audience to access the information on this topic we will create a film of the guest speakers: Brian Holliday, Managing Director - Digital Factory, Siemens plc
Professor Robert Harrison, Professor of Automation Systems, Warwick Manufacturing Group
Mark Cotteleer, Global Research Director, Deloitte
This will be followed by a private dinner held in central London for senior manufacturing executives where guest speakers will address the room and take part in a lively and insightful discussion over dinner.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://play.buto.tv/x3nKP
 
Description "Robotics - Rise of the Machines" - Young engineers' national conference/event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Event aimed to enable students to discover more about our rapidly changing world, with six diverse invited speakers exploring topics ranging from medical robots to Star Wars.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.warwicktechnologyconference.co.uk
 
Description Opening Keynote, IEEE INDIN Conference , 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited conference opening keynote address "A Pathway to Industrial Digitalisation" at the recent IEEE Industrial Informatics Conference INDIN 2017 in Germany
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.indin2017.i2ar.de