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Research group background

Previous Research

This suite of research, knowledge transfer and development related activities have been carried out in close collaboration with industry and include:

  • BDA (Business Driven automation), EPSRC, IMCRC, 2008-2011
  • BDA-KT (Knowledge Transfer) 2010-2012; 3Deployment (Direct Digital Deployment) 2012-2014
  • VEMAN (Virtual Engineering for Manufacturing Automation) 2010-2012
  • GAIN (Global Automation Infrastructure to Enable Service-Based Engineering), EPSRC, IMCRC, 2008-2010

These projects carried out in close collaboration with Ford, Krause/TKSE, Bosch Rexroth, Schneider Electric, Autodesk and others, focus on the definition and realisation of next-generation modular reconfigurable assembly machines, and also include study of the business process for this new approach to automation and research into new virtual engineering methods and tools specifically for configurable component-based manufacturing systems.

The group have also been engaged in a complementary set of EU projects including

  • the current ASEOP Architecture for Service-Oriented Process Monitoring and Control
  • EU ITEA (SODA), SOCRADES (Service-Oriented Cross-Layer Infrastructure for Distributed Smart Embedded Devices), EU FP6 IST IP, 2006-2009
  • RI-MACS (Radically Innovative Mechatronics and Advanced Control Systems), EU FP6 IST STREP, 2005-2008

These collaborative projects have focused on the application of Web-service technology for both real-time control and the seamless integration of business systems with automation systems, plus virtual modelling/commissioning and control logic development for manufacturing systems and the development of a range of new control devices. The projects have brought additional partners to our collaborative activity including COMAU, Delmia, Siemens, ABB, and SAP in addition to those already mentioned.

Professor Robert Harrison

Professor Robert Harrison has more than 25 years of industrial and academic experience of machine design and real-time control systems. Professor Harrison holds a PhD in distributed machine control systems. He has been an investigator on more than 30 European and UK research projects related to industrial automation over the last five years. Current projects of direct relevance to the proposed research on which Professor Harrison is the principal investigator responsible in the UK work are the EPSRC BDA (Business Driven Automation), EPSRC GAIN (Global Automation Infrastructure) and the current EU FP7 ASEOP (Architecture for Service-Oriented Process Monitoring and Control), and recent FP6 SOCRADES (Service-Oriented Cross-layer for Distributed Embedded Systems) project. These project are specifically related to SoA, collaborative automation and the use of embedded web services. Professor Harrison has recently led four major research UK projects (COMPAG, COMPANION, GEMM and MBODY) specifically ad- dressing component-based distributed control and the lifecycle engineering of automation systems and has also been involved in the EU IST projects RI-MACS (Radically Innovative Mechatronics and Advanced Control Systems), a 3-year European project related to process definition, thru-life support, and reconfig- urability of automation systems,. Previously a Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore from 1993 to 1995 and Ford Motor Company Research Fellow from 1996 to 2002, in 2004 Professor Harrison was the recipient of a Royal Academy of Engineering Global Research Award to study “Technologies and Methods for the Lifecycle Engineering of Modular Reconfigurable Manufacturing Automation” with a visiting research role at Schneider Automation. In Jan 2008 he became leader of UK research related to Ford Motor Company’s five-year technology cycle plan (TCP) for powertrain manufacturing automation systems.

Dr Daniel Vera

Daniel Vera has more than ten years of experience in manufacturing engineering research and software development, specialising in CAD, CAD assembly simplification, format translation and 3D-based virtual engineering and validation tool development. D. Vera has a PhD in Manufacturing Engineering with focus on the collaborative aspect of production system engineering and the role of intuitive 3D based visualisation and simulation tools to support engineering communication between globally distributed partners. In this project, D. Vera is in charge of validating, planning and supervising the development of various software modules as well as investigating potentially new domains of activity for exploiting the developed tool set.

Dr Young Saeng Park

Young Saeng Park has currently been working in areas of automation systems and software development as a research fellow at WMG in the University of Warwick. Previously, he worked at the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in Loughborough University for five years. He has a PhD in Computer Science regarding scheduling of real-time systems particularly based on time-triggered architecture. In terms of software programming skills and experiences, he has done many development projects for more than fifteen years and gained various software development experiences from the projects, including web programming, system programming, tool application programming, etc. Since 2008, he has joined automation systems research group and is interested in virtual engineering, PLC programming, engineering toolset development.

Mr Neal Armstrong

Neal Armstrong worked at Loughborough University for eleven years researching reconfigurable distributed-control systems for data-collection & machine-control applications. He then worked at Cirrus Technologies developing control systems for automotive wheel-alignment rigs, rolling-roads and from-vehicle data-collection systems, before moving to LiveDevices/ETAS; developing tools for automotive hard-real-time embedded operating-systems and networks. He is now a research fellow at WMG; developing software for virtual engineering tools. Neal holds an honours degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in computer integrated manufacture.