A Multiscale Digital Twin-Driven Smart Manufacturing System for High Value-Added Products

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Design Manufacture and Engineering Man

Abstract

Driven by the ever-increasing demand for performance enhancement, light weight and function integration, more and more next-generation products/components are designed to possess 3D freeform shapes (i.e. non-rotational symmetric), to integrate different shapes/structures and/or to be made of multi-materials. Examples are seen in freeform lens array photovoltaic concentrators, integrated car head-up displays for improving road safety; Lidar (light detection and range) devices for autonomous vehicle; minimal invasive surgery tools for curing aging related diseases such as cataract blindness, osteoarthritis, and saving lives, to name a few. The ratio of required product tolerance to its dimension is less than 1 part in 10e-6, i.e. in the ultra-precision manufacturing domain. The design, manufacture assembly and characterisation challenges for these products are considerable, requiring a step change in the current manufacturing system to achieve the ambitious target of securing industrial efficiency gains of up to 25% (Industrial Digitalisation Interim Report, 2017) as Britain's productivity has long lagged behind that of its competitors.

The project will start from an established baseline in a unique flexible and reconfigurable hybrid micromanufacturing system developed from a recently completed EPSRC project (EP/K018345/1) and advance beyond state-of-the-art of system modelling, digital, control and automation technologies. It will research and develop the underlying science and technology for the creation of a new generation smart digital twin-driven manufacturing system that can sense consumer needs and actively self-optimise for customised next-generation high performance 3D products with enhanced productivity in a sustainable way. It will break new ground in understanding intrinsic links among product design, manufacturing and metrology with a novel product/process fingerprint approach. For the first time, a digital twin-driven automation approach which combines feedback and feed forward control algorithms with inputs from high-frequency digital twins of manufacturing process at machine level will be developed to bridge the real and virtual systems and eliminate dynamic errors and thermal errors which cannot be measured by machine encoders even the machine is running at an extremely high operational frequency to meet the required product performance through predictive control. As such, this project will make a step change in manufacturing automation which is based on linear control theory using semi-closed-looped feedback from encoders. As building blocks of the smart manufacturing system, smart multi-sense in-line surface metrology and smart assembly system will be developed to measure complex and high dynamic surface and to precision assemble large variety of parts that are difficulty to achieve before. A novel multiscale business modelling and system analysis approach will also be developed to allow integration of these smart systems and take the live data, model, predict product quality, delivery time, cost, emission, waste, and optimise the performance into the future in different scenarios. The effectiveness of the SMART will be demonstrated through manufacturing the selected demonstrators including minimal invasive surgery tools, Head-up displays, Lidar and solar cell concentrators.

The consortium will transform the research outcome to industry and our society through knowledge exchange, training, industrial demonstration and deployment. A unified expertise pool in smart manufacturing established in this project will be a "one-stop-shop" for the UK industry, particularly SMEs, who are keen to exploit the benefit of the project.

Planned Impact

The major beneficiaries of the project include UK advanced manufacturing companies (especially SMEs), the collaborative partners and the society in general. The impact will be realised in terms of economy, knowledge, people and society.

Economy: The project is expected to make great contribution to the UK economy growth as it addressed the critical needs of the UK industry to establish its global leadership of industrial digitalisation and to reach future global market for high value-added products. These products are the key drives of UK high value manufacturing industry. To provide access to the novel manufacturing approach developed in this project UK high value manufacturing companies will gain a competitive edge to access multi-billion pounds markets for next-generation products as it will significantly improve productivity (up to 25%), precision (up to 50%) and sustainability. This project will form a unified expertise pool in smart manufacturing which could be a "one-stop-shop" to the UK industry, particularly SMEs, who are keen to exploit the benefit of the project.

Knowledge: The project will underpin manufacturing science and advancement of other disciplines such as computing science, automation and control, system engineering, management and even biomedical science. The multiscale modelling, digital twin-automation, product/process fingerprint, smart assembly and in-line metrology are the building blocks of future manufacturing system. The development of a better understanding of the intrinsic links among product function to its surface geometrical feature and manufacturing process control parameters is a step change for predictive design and autonomous control of manufacturing of many next-generation high value-added products, such as anti-bacterial artificial implants and anti-adhesion surgical devices with hydrophobic micro/nanostructures on their surfaces. Due to significant enhancement of machining capability and productivities offered by the manufacturing approach, the research will stimulate more ambitious design for next-generation high value-added products, such as freeform lens array photovoltaic concentrators, integrated car head-up displays for improving road safety; LiDAR (light detection and range) devices for autonomous vehicle; minimal invasive surgery tools for curing aging related diseases and saving lives, to name a few.

People: The research will influence peoples' perception of manufacturing as with such a developed disruptive technology high-value added products can be manufactured on-demand with great productivity and autonomy. The developed manufacturing system is also a kind of transforming technology which will redistribute digital manufacturing and ultra-precision manufacturing capability from the hands of a few to the hands of many.

Society: The project is a key enabler for the UK's grand societal challenges as it can help increase productivity, potentially create more jobs in high value manufacturing including the new merging autonomous vehicle sectors and increase value added by manufacturing products with desired function in a sustainable way. The project will result in high throughput production of affordable high value-added products to improve quality of life. It therefore contributes to fulfilling the ambitions identified within the EPSRC outcomes frame work of a productive, connected, resilient and healthy nation.

We will take an ambitious plan to engage stakeholders across the whole value chain of high value-added products to implement the impact of our research through knowledge exchange, industrial demonstration and deployment. AFRC and National Manufacturing Institute Scotland will support the project's impact activities. We also plan to set up an UK-wide "Centre of Excellence on Smart Manufacturing" and a world-wide "Smart Manufacturing Research Hub" for joint research and exploitation for sustainable development in this strategically important field.

Publications

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Fang F (2022) Nanometric cutting: Mechanisms, practices and future perspectives in International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture

 
Description UK Manufacturing Forum-policy on sustainable manufacturing
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description (Carbo4Power) - New generation of offshore turbine blades with intelligent architectures of hybrid, nano-enabled multi-materials via advanced manufacturing
Amount € 7,898,458 (EUR)
Funding ID 953192 
Organisation European Commission 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 11/2020 
End 10/2024
 
Description A hybrid precision manufacturing platform for next-generation of nanoscale products
Amount £766,513 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/V055208/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2021 
End 06/2024
 
Description Developing Machine Learning-empowered Responsive Manufacture Of Industrial Laser Systems
Amount £1,376,131 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/V051164/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2021 
End 07/2024
 
Description Digital twin guided minimally invasive, intelligent and intuitive surgery (MI-3 Surgery)
Amount £302,449 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/W004860/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2021 
End 12/2022
 
Title Data for: "A sequential process for manufacturing nature-inspired anisotropic superhydrophobic structures on AISI 316L stainless steel" 
Description Original Excel data of Figure 5 and 6 in the paper 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/datasets/a4a6a68a-dfc0-47df-8cdd-04db6207d927
 
Title Data for: "Laser-assisted grinding of reaction-bonded SiC" 
Description The dataset contains numerical data to illustrate variation of surface roughness Ra value of RB-SiC processed by a nanosecond pulsed fibre laser which has a central emission wavelength of 1064 nm under different grinding depth at several sets of laser power and frequency. The data can be read by using normal Words software. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/datasets/d80d1509-25d0-459d-813d-c60771fe6cc2
 
Title Data for: "Manufacturing of anti-fogging Super-hydrophilic Microstructures on Glass by Nanosecond Laser" 
Description The dataset contains numerical data to illustrate variation of surface roughness Ra value of glass processed by a nanosecond pulsed fibre laser which has a central emission wavelength of 1064 nm under different cutting feed rates and laser focus distances at two sets of laser power and frequency. The data can be read by using normal Words software. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/datasets/105e55c3-1444-4e44-8cd4-c146347e755e
 
Title Data for: "Rolling Nanoelectrode Lithography" 
Description This data set contains the parameters value and the calculation method for the measurement of the contact area between stamp and the substrate that are used in the Rolling Nanoelectrode Lithography. The calculations has been done in an excel spreadsheet. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/datasets/10de90c2-f34d-4d18-ba4d-9dfc715cd12e
 
Title Data for: "Study on the subsurface damage mechanism of optical quartz glass during single grain scratching" 
Description The dataset contains numerical data to illustrate variation of maximum depth of subsurface crack and plastic deformation at different scratching depths. The data can be read by using normal MS Word software. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/datasets/22062ced-ded2-4716-86be-629792a5002d
 
Title Data for: "Substrate Orientation Effects on Nanoelectrode Lithography: ReaxFF Molecular Dynamics and Experimental Study" 
Description Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations dataset for the research output of 'Substrate orientation effects on nanoelectrode lithography: ReaxFF molecular dynamics and experimental study'. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
URL https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/datasets/f92d7c9f-a52f-4908-afbf-c50330be2edd
 
Description Joint research with Heriot-Watt University 
Organisation Heriot-Watt University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from Heriot-Watt University
Collaborator Contribution We have worked together on the design of the material handling device in this EPSRC project. So far Heriot-Watt Team has completed the material handling design and are working on the 3D micro-assembly devices at the moment.
Impact We have completed the design of the work handling device and decided the work holding device.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Joint research with Huddersfield University 
Organisation University of Huddersfield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution University of Strathclyde researchers worked on this project with researchers from Huddersfield University
Collaborator Contribution we have worked together on thedevelopment of the in-process metrology system in this project. Huddersfield team has developed DRI system and completed an initial evaluation so far.
Impact We have developed the first generation of the DRI.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Research Strategic Alliance Agreement with MIRDC, Taiwan 
Organisation Metal Industries Research and Development Centre, Taiwan
Country Taiwan, Province of China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Exchange of research staff and researchers; exchange of information on micro machine tool market; joint technical workshop and proposal applications
Collaborator Contribution Validation machining trials in MIRDC; promote University of Strathclyde's micro machining and machine tool development capacity in Asia market.
Impact First joint technical meeting has been held in November 2013 to discuss the CNC control system for micro machine tools; Ten sets of demonstrators (micro lens and mounts) have been machined in October 2014 at MIRDC which will be used as bench mark to evaluate the new machined to be developed in 2015 at the University of Strathclyde.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Ultra precision diamond turning diffractive optics for 3D holographic system 
Organisation Holoxica
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Consultancy service to support the company's product development.
Collaborator Contribution Research team at Strathclyde has diamond turned two diffractive optics to support the company to develop the 3D holographic system. The team also help characterise the surface roughness, form accuracy of the machine diffractive optics.
Impact The company is satisfied with the quality of the machined optics after optical testing. We will continue to support the company to machine larger optics. The collaboration also help us to find new potential international collaborations with Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institutfrom and KIT, both in Germany.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Visiting researchers from Harbin Institute of Technology 
Organisation Harbin Institute of Technology
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Host : Hosting academic visitors
Collaborator Contribution They have contributed to the conceptual design of the machine tools and bearing design in this EPSRC project
Impact We have published five journal papers and 2 conference papers (One paper got Best Paper Award on IEEE 20th ICAC conference) : 1 W Chen, Y Liang, X Luo, Y Sun and H Wang, Multi-scale surface simulation of the KDP crystal fly cutting machining, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 2014, doi:10.1007/s00170-014-5748-0 2 Y Liang, W Chen, C An, X Luo, G Chen and Q Zhang, Investigation of the tool-tip vibration and its influence upon surface generation in flycutting, Proceedings of IMechE Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0954406213516440 3 Y Liang, W Chen, Y Sun, X Luo, L Lu and H Liu, A mechanical structure-based design method and its implementation on a fly-cutting machine tool design, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 2014, 70(9-12), pp. 1915-1921. 4 W. Chen, X. Luo, H. Su and F. Wardle, An integrated system for ultra precision machine tool design in conceptual and design stage, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s00170-015-7780-0 5 D. Wu, B. Wang, X. Luo and Z. Qiao, Design and analysis of aerostatic spindle with high load characteristics for large ultra-precision drum lathe, Proc. IMechE, Part J: Journal of Engineering Tribology, 2015, DOI: 10.1177/1350650115579678. 6 77. D. Wu, B. Wang and X. Luo, Research on load characteristics of aerostatic journal bearing with pocketed orifice-type restrictor, Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Conference on Automation & Computing, Cranfield Bedfordshire UK, 12-13 September 2014, pp. 92-95. (Best Paper Award) 7. W. Chen, Y. Liang, X. Luo and W. Xie, An integrated dynamic design system for aerostatic spindle development, Proceedings of the IEEE 20th International Conference on Automation & Computing, Cranfield Bedfordshire UK, 12-13 September 2014, pp. 96-99. Also Prof. Yingchun Liang, Prof. Yazhou Sun and Prof. Shen Dong have delivered seminar talks at the University of Strathclyde. These talks allow the researchers working in the EPSRC project knowing the recent ultra precision machine tool development in China.
Start Year 2013
 
Description 3rd International Academy of Engineering and Technology Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Organised an international Symposium on Digital Manufacturing and ACSM. 12 keynote speakers were invited to give talk on latest digital manufacturing and ACSM research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.aet-ac.org/copy-of-aet-symposium
 
Description Invited talk on 7th International Conference on Nanomanufacturing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Give an invited talk on new nanomanufacturing approach. over 200 postgraduates listened to the talk. The talk has encouraged more applications to PhD student at Xi'an Jiaotong University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Invited talk on IEEE International Conference of Optical Imaging and Measurement 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Give talk on manufacturing of precision moulds and dies by nanosecond laser. It sparked discussion on application of laser to generated functional surface in the field of aerospace industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Keynote talk on 7th Asia Pacific International Conference on Optics Manufacturing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote talk on ultra precision machining nanooptics. Over 100 Pupils from Shanghai Middle School listen the talk and encourage more applications to Fudan University (Shanghai) in the subject of optics manufacturing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021