The Arrowhead project aims to address the technical and applicative challenges associated with cooperative automation. Cooperative automation is enabled by the technology developed around the Internet of Things and Service Oriented Architectures. It is the key to the dynamic interactions between energy producers and energy consumers, between machines, between systems, between people and systems.
This 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.
DigiMan is a €3.5 million EU funded programme within which WMG is working together with Intelligent Energy, Freudenberg, Pretexo, CEA Tech, and Toyota Motor Europe. The project is utilising the latest techniques in digital manufacture and automation in stack production processes to create a state of the art PEM fuel cell assembly process for zero emission automotive vehicles.
AMPLiFII, is an Innovate UK project, the aim of which is to build and research the next generation of traction batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. The best automated and manual assembly methods for the assembly of battery modules are demonstrated as part of this project. The battery pack requirements are specified by four major OEMs; Jaguar Land Rover, ADL, Ariel and JCB. Design and development of the battery systems is done by Delta Motorsport, Potenza, RDVS, PAISEU and Trackwise. WMG, HORIBA MIRA, and the University of Oxford support the design, development and manufacturing of the process and Axion supports battery system lifecycle management. With the world now moving towards electric vehicle technology, the insights gained from the project will help lay foundation for smarter battery systems that could potentially reduce development cost and effort.
This project aims to create new software components for a sharable lightweight 3D visualisation of production stations capable of directly generating work instructions (MODAPTS /MTM) and process logic (for deployment on PLC and robots) from this visualisation, which can ultimately be monitored via the same 3D visualisation after the station is deployed in the factory. The production system is also, importantly, to be modelled in a component-based software form to enable the reuse of processes and system-configuration knowledge from a library.
The project consortium consists of a major end user (Ford Motor company), three innovative SME as technology providers for the virtual environment (FDS), distributed sensor integration (i.e. InotecUK) and specialist engineering knowledge (DBR Associates), a major technology provider of CAD and digital data systems (Autodesk) and two major research organisations with extensive experience in manufacturing research, automation systems and virtual reality (High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute and WMG).