Through-life performance: From science to instrumentation

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Aerospace, Transport & Manufact

Abstract

The proposed research is part of a long-term research agenda to develop High Value Manufacturing (HVM) products with
longer functional life and lower whole life cost. The research will deliver to the recently published national strategy on
'engineering services' and a 2025 vision - achieving our goal of 20% reduction in whole life cost with 20% increase in
availability during the life of a product across more than £20bn of UK manufacturing sector output. A White Paper
on 'Making Things Work. Engineering for life - developing a strategic vision' (Cranfield University, 2015), recognised that the UK has a declining 5% share of a rising global market in 'service and support' that currently exceeds £490 billion. Over 50% of the revenue comes from export. The global market will grow to £710 billion by 2025 [IBISWorld Industry report on Global Engineering Services, 2015]. Despite this there are around 107,000 people working in the "sector" in the UK with
average wages 1.5 times those in wider manufacturing [Office of National Statistics (ONS) Data, Dec 2014]. Today more
than 50% of revenue in the aerospace and defence sectors comes from the service contracts. For example the Rolls-
Royce 'Total Care' contracts and related support activities. The contracts would never have been so successful without
underpinning 'through-life performance' research. Both the Foresight Report on 'The Future of Manufacturing: A new era of
opportunity and challenge for the UK' (The Government Office for Science, London, 2013) and the White Paper portray the
importance of developing engineering services and support capability but recognise there is little underpinning science and
good practice available to the extended service supply chain needed for UK competitiveness and productivity. This platform
grant will contribute to an increase of around 3% (a total of 8%) in the UK's share of the global market.

The aim of the platform grant is to sustain a world leading team with strategic researchpability on through-life
performance improvement, including complex in-situ degradation assessment technologies. The team between
Cranfield and Nottingham Universities have worked together over the last ten years. They have a very strong portfolio of
current research projects and publication record, this research will develop the team as an international centre of
excellence in 'through-life performance improvement'. This is the only research group internationally focusing on this area in respect of HVM. The grant will accelerate career of the world-class researchers and support them to become internationally leading researchers.

Current research capabilities still focus upon single degradation modelling and assessment. There is however, a significant lack of knowledge and models for compound degradation (e.g. the interaction of more than one failure mechanism; corrosion, fatigue and the role temperature plays in modifying the degradation processes). The research will take on a challenge to study and model compound degradations for mechanical components, give feedback on the degradation to design and manufacturing and develop instrumentation to assess (i.e. measure size and depth) the degradations in-situ, including in in-accessible areas. Understanding degradation science better (both single and then compound) is essential to extend the life of mechanical components and therefore availability of the HVM products. In-situ assessment of the compound degradation through very small service access holes will reduce the maintenance cost significantly.

The research team will be supported by partner organisations: Rolls-Royce, Bombardier, Network Rail, SMD Ltd, HVM Catapult, XP School. They will directly benefit from the research along with other 500 HVM Companies.

Planned Impact

The platform grant will impact people, knowledge, economy and society.

People impact:
The main beneficiaries of the research grant will be the research team and the academics at CU and UNOTT.
The platform grant will develop and sustain a world leading research team in through-life performance improvement. The grant will accelerate career development for the researchers and support them to enhance their international visibility and reputation. Academics will benefit from the long-term and strategic funding to enhance their thought leadership. Through a strategic approach to the research, the grant will also enhance the core capability in Through-life Engineering
Services (TES) study within both the universities. The grant will also train at least four PhD students (contributed by the
universities) and support one very early career researcher. It is expected new funding will be secured during the five years to grow the research and sustain the team as a world-leading research group in the performance improvement.

Knowledge impact:
The immediate beneficiaries of the new knowledge developed through the research will be the partner organisations. In addition, at least 500 other HVM companies in the UK and more companies internationally will also benefit from the knowledge. The companies will better understand the compound degradation mechanisms and is that affected by design and manufacturing. Through the direct interaction with the researchers and the academics during the secondments and the research, the companies will obtain knowhow and detailed knowledge about life prediction models developed the team. For example, Professor Roy will spend at least two weeks of secondment within the industry partners to understand their requirements better, share knowledge first hand and contribute to their TES strategy development. The partner companies will also benefit from the demonstrator, the instrumentation developed and the test rigs to conduct regular life studies within the companies. Publications from the research team, industry days, the TES Conference and the TES Summer School will disseminate the new knowledge to at least another 500 HVM companies in the UK and more companies internationally.

Economic impact:
The economic shall come from close continued collaboration among the academic team, the industry
partners and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult. The direct beneficiaries of the research will be the partner
organisations by implementing the research findings within their TES businesses using a number of feasibility studies and
industrial use cases. The research will change the degradation assessment process followed in the companies and
significantly enhance the efficiency, productivity and competitiveness of the HVM companies. The research will also impact at least 500 other HVM companies in the UK and internationally through supply chain development programmes as part of the industry days. The demonstrator from the research could be used to train the apprentices at the HVM Catapult and the four industry partners. The platform grant will support commercialisation of the compound degradation study test rigs and the demonstrator. This will directly benefit both the universities and the partner organisations.

Social impact:
The social impact of the research will be achieved by contributing to the UK policy to support the TES based HVM
companies and through public engagement. Professor Roy, other academics and the research team will contribute significantly to a TES Council to implement the TES national strategy. Professor Roy and Professor Axinte will influence global manufacturing community through CIRP to adopt an 'engineering for life' approach to their future education programme. Two student group projects and a public seminar on 'engineering for life' thinking per year will be supported to benefit the XP School students, teachers and parents as the public engagement.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The grant is in its third year. The key contributions are in the areas of degradation modelling, and initial boroscope design.
Exploitation Route Through dissemination, leading to further research for related products and services
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

 
Description We are engaging with the XP School. We are writing the BSI PAS on Through-life Engineering Services (TES).
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education,Electronics,Energy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description BSI PAS on TES
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Impact Cranfield University team is the technical author of the BSI PAS on TES.
 
Description (IN2SMART) - Intelligent Innovative Smart Maintenance of Assets by integRated Technologies
Amount € 7,290,632 (EUR)
Funding ID 730569 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description CHIMERA - Robotic Inspection of Pressure Vessels
Amount £2,413,639 (GBP)
Funding ID 25537 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 03/2021
 
Description GCRF
Amount £970,750 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R013950/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2021
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £102,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 102787 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 06/2019
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £194,000 (GBP)
Organisation McFarlane Telfer Ltd 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2018 
End 05/2020
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £350,000 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £300,633 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 11/2020
 
Description Innovate UK
Amount £304,928 (GBP)
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 01/2021
 
Description Materials Lifing In turbines (MALIT) (Nicholls PI, Gray CI)
Amount £1,189,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 103081-263288 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description Prototype development of a Real-time Electronic Counterfeit Batch Inspection Technique (RECBIT) (Zhao PI)
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID GA100113 
Organisation Lloyd's Register Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description Standard development (Innovate UK)
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Standards Institute (BSI Group) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description The Learning Camera (Zhao PI)
Amount £274,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 22994 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2019
 
Description Through-life performance: From science to instrumentation
Amount £1,228,367 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P027121/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 04/2022
 
Description 8th International Conference on Through-life Engineering Services, Cleveland, Ohio 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Our work was presented at a cross-disciplinary conference with industry and academic participants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://engineering.case.edu/conference/TESConf2019/
 
Description TAROS 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact TAROS is the longest running UK-hosted international conference on Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), which is aimed at the presentation and discussion of the latest results and methods in autonomous robotics research and applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.qmul.ac.uk/robotics/events/taros2019/
 
Description UK-RAS International Robotics Showcase 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact One-day event with live demos of the latest UK innovations in robotics plus insights from world-renowned technologists. Held in the Royal Geographical Society - London, our research was showcased to 300+ people from academy, industry and media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.ukras.org/news-and-events/uk-ras/ukras19-about/
 
Description Visiting from Uniper 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presented the continuum robots and walking robot developing in University of Nottingham, and identified several potential collaboration opportunities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018