EPSRC Fellowship in Manufacturing: Controlling Geometrical Variability of Products for Manufacturing

Lead Research Organisation: University of Huddersfield
Department Name: Sch of Computing and Engineering

Abstract

This fellowship will create a academic team to lead a new research theme dedicated to manufacturing the future. It focuses research on geometrical product specification and verification (GPS) systems to control geometrical variability in manufactured products that facilitate emerging industrial requirements in 21st century. For example, geometrical products used in: next generation freeform optics, interfaces in fluid-dynamics (energy-efficient jet engines, aircraft fuselages and wings), long life human-joint implants, microelectronics and MEMS/NEMS devices in nanotechnology applications. The UK frontier industry is seeking next generation of products having much higher functional capabilities with much lower manufacturing costs. This is driving manufactured products to have more integrated properties but more complex geometries. Without the tools to specify, optimise and verify the allowable geometrical variability, the ability to manufacture complex geometries is not possible.

This Fellowship is to explore the mathematical fundaments for the decomposition of geometry (i.e. size, shape and texture) and create ground-breaking technology to control geometrical variability in manufactured products. The novel approach is to link fundamental geometrical mathematics direct to key component's design, manufacturing and verification from different industrial sectors (i.e. aerospace, optics, healthcare and catapult centre). In this case, the different types of geometrical decompositions (at the ultimate causation level via information content) to specified geometrical surface requirements (spectrum, morphological and segmentation decompositions). This fellowship attempts to establish this emerging new theme that has never happened before, that requires sophisticated industrial manufacturing skills with in depth fundamental academic knowledge.

In practice no surface is manufactured perfectly: there is always some variability in the surface. Tolerance zones only control the size of this variability and not its shape. The approach proposed for the Fellowship is to break up (decompose) the surface variability, for each of the symmetry classes, to enable the shape to be controlled. The challenge is to produce a complete range of geometrical decompositions (together with the associated theory and practical algorithms) that will solve the mathematical grand challenge. For example contact (mechanical, electrical, thermal, etc.) requires the surface envelope to be decomposed. Other functions require decomposition into surface features ('hills and dales') at different scales. This system aims to provide the necessary mathematical foundations for a toolbox of techniques to characterise geometric variability: going far beyond simple tolerance zones as currently defined in national and international standards.

The eight letters of support from different sectors: Rolls-Royce, NPL (Engineering Measurement), NPL (Mathematics and Modeling), Taylor Hobson, British Standards Institute, Catapult - Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, UCL (Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science: Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital), Prifysgol Glyndwr (OPTIC) all highlight that there is an urgent need for the proposed technology from a point of view of wide UK industry.

Planned Impact

0-5 years: the lifetime of the proposed Fellowship

The Fellowship will utilise three people for five years: namely the principle investigator (60%) and two research assistants (100%) and 3-5 PhD students sponsored by university and industries. Part of the principle investigator's task is to help train the researchers to successfully carry out the main research programme to the defined workplan, on time, and to cost. Showing all of them also how to manage risk and overcome the challenges that naturally arise in projects. These are skills essential for the future research careers of the research assistants.

The outcome of the research investigations will set up the holistic philosophy and methodology for this new research theme, and generate new knowledge taking the form of a toolkit of practical techniques to decompose geometrical perturbations, linked to surface geometry specification, manufacture, and function, and will include sampling strategies and algorithms to implement the toolkit. Four key case studies will be produced, illustrating the utility of the decomposition toolkit. These will lead industry to solve real problems for their complex geometrical products; demonstrating a saving in cost through improved product specification, less scrap and improved functionality.

3-6 years: ISO standardisation (through BSI)

The next stage is the standardisation of the fundamental toolbox of practical techniques. Within the British standards institute, the PI is convenor of committees TDW4/-/3. Here the results from the Fellowship will be made available for national standardisation, which will help UK industry have a priority to using it. Further, it can finally propose to be a new standard. Since these are for new concepts and can be published quickly for a wide range of industries to try out. Three years after publication technical specifications are reviewed and if found acceptable converted into full ISO standards.

The ISO domain experts will review the Fellowship results, the terms and concepts used and modify for industrial ease of use. They will also internationalise the terminology using wording that can be easily translated into many languages. During this period it is anticipated that there will be more case studies from both the original Fellowship team and also from the ISO domain experts as illustrative examples for the ISO document. Again these will solve real problems from industry; demonstrating a saving in cost through improved product specification, less scrap and improved functionality.

5-50 years: Testing and establishing the paradigm

Arising from the publication of the ISO technical specification it is expected that there will be knowledge transfer to companies that have needs and can see the potential benefit of the standardised toolbox. Training course in the use of the standardised toolbox will be developed for these individual companies. This initial stage industry will be testing the utility of the paradigm. Once the paradigm has been accepted by industry worldwide there will general training courses, books, and software packages available. Research into better specification of product function and using the toolkit will continue to add to the knowledge base. The economic impact will increase through cheaper products through reduced waste and more efficient manufacture and also higher quality greener products through increased functionality. Society will benefit through improved healthcare products, more efficient lighter engines (automotive, aerospace), less material in photonic devices, and cheaper consumer goods. It is anticipated that the benefiting industries will now include all industries that generate geometrical products.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description 1/ A Smart Database for surface texture that can be automatically interfaced to CAD. This is for use by Designers, Manufacturers and Metrologists and provides a common language for them to communicate with each other.
This database was bespoke; we are now developing a language (category ontology language) in which future databases will be built automatically.
A more generic mathematical definition of measurement. this will be used as a foundation from which further work in the project can be built upon.

2/ a series of sampling schemes for all of the geometrical invariance classes: plane, sphere, cylinder, prism, revolute, helix, and freeform classes. The latter we have found efficient sampling schemes for the sub-class of tensor product freeforms: this sub-class are the ones that are defined in CAD systems. Relating to the sampling schemes are methods to interpolate between the samples to recover approximately the original continuous surface/profile with very small error.

3/ The mathematical foundations for decomposition. All decompositions can be embedded into a complete lattice and a scale for the different levels of the decomposition defined.
Exploitation Route The Smart Database can be used by Designers, Manufacturers and Metrologists of Engineered geometrical products. It can also be used for educational purposes as a teaching aid.

The efficient sampling and interpolation schemes can be used by other metrologists.

The foundations of decomposition can be used to design geometrical decompositions with associated scales. Also It can be used to structure machine readable knowledge for smart systems.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Education,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

 
Description A special version of the Smart Database has been created for Rolls Royce which encapsulates some of their internal standards on gas washed surfaces. Some of the results of the project have already been fed into International Standards in the field of Geometrical Product Specification. Research Finished started case studies. first case study on additive manufacturing is near completion. Second case study on structured surfaces now part of an European project. Third case study on optics just started,
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Title Foundations of decomposition 
Description Developed the mathematical foundations of decomposition using category and lattice theory. Using the connection between decomposition and filtration discovered that they could be described (using category theory) as a join-semilattice. Then using the Dedekind-MacNeille Completion these can be embedded into a complete lattice. The generators of the complete lattice now form a scale for the decomposition. This is a universal result not only for geometries but also for things like Formal Concept Analysis which can be used in structuring Knowledge to make then knowledge machine readable for smart systems. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Present the findings at the Mathematics for Metrology Conference 2017 in Glasgow. 
 
Title Metrology as an inverse problem 
Description Measurement as an inverse problem treats measurement procedures as forward mappings from the measurands to the observed data. In indirect measurement the observed data is always proxy data and so an inverse mapping is required back to the measurands to obtain the required measurement information. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The approach is being extended to irregular networks of sensors for manufacturing. 
 
Title SMARTSURF 
Description Smart database (based on category theory) for geometrical product specification and verification 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Rolls Royce are currently testing this database for internal use 
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Celoplás - Plastics Industry, S.A
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Contour Fine Tooling Ltd
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC)
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation European Research Services GmbH
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Formatec Technical Ceramics B.V.
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Country Hong Kong 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation NIL Technology ApS
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Polyoptics GmbH
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Rank Taylor Hobson Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation TE Connectivity Inc
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation Technical University of Denmark
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation University of Bremen
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation University of Huddersfield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Horizon 2020: Call H2020-IND-CE-2016-17: Proposal number 767589: ProSurf 
Organisation University of Leuven
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Specification (WP1), measurement, and characterisation (WP5) of six demonstration components with structured surfaces (WP6); dissemination and exploitation (WP6). Will use decomposition of structured surfaces to achieve the specification and characterisation.
Collaborator Contribution WP1 Surface Specification; WP2 Advanced manufacturing technologies; WP3 Replication for mass production; WP4 Areal surface metrology for micro and nano structures; WP5 Demonstration work; WP6 Dissemination and exploitation; WP7 Management.
Impact None too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Strathclyde co-operation 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Strathclyde responded to a feasibility call from the EPSRC CIM in advanced metrology concerning metrology as an inverse problem. We are currently putting together a joint proposal for EPSRC funding on the subject area.
Collaborator Contribution Started to put together a joint proposal for EPSRC funding on metrology as an inverse problem. University of Strathclyde never finished this joint proposal (Strathclyde just stopped answering communications) though they did produce some proposals for themselves (Huddersfield were not included in these proposals) based on this concept developed at Huddersfield.
Impact None
Start Year 2015
 
Title SMARTSURF 
Description Smart database (based on category theory) for geometrical product specification and verification. for use as an add-on to CAD software 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Rolls Royce are currently testing this software for internal use 
 
Description International Standards 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I take active part in ISO TC213 (geometrical product specification). I am convener of two working groups WG15 (filtration and extraction) and AG12 (mathematics for GPS). I am also an active member (UK principle expert) of WP16 (surface texture). I am a member of TC213's strategic board (AG1) and its final editing board AG2). I have been project leader of 23 ISO standards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
URL http://isotc213.ds.dk/