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2014-2016 Highlights and Events

Prof Bo Chen: Analysis of a Procurement Game with Option Contracts

30th September, 2016

When a firm faces an uncertain demand, it is common to procure supply using some type of option in addition to spot purchases. A typical version of this problem involves capacity being purchased in advance, with a separate payment made that applies only to the part of the capacity that is needed. We address such a problem by formulating it as a procurement game, in which competing suppliers choose a reservation price and an execution price for blocks of capacity, and the buyer, facing known distributions of demand and spot price, needs to decide which blocks to reserve.

We first study the buyer's optimal choice of suppliers as a combinatorial optimization problem and show that the expected objective function is submodular and that the function can be maximized efficiently. Then we study the suppliers' bidding competition and investigate the equilibrium issues. We show that at an equilibrium, the suppliers each can make no more expected profit than what can be obtained only from the option part of their contracts. Furthermore, we show that at equilibrium the buyer’s selection of blocks maximizes the social welfare. Finally, we establish a connection between the above Stackelberg game and the corresponding cooperative game, and show that a set of social welfare maximizing equilibria are in the core of the cooperative game, while the core may contain solutions that are not equilibria.

Erkan Özkat: Monitoring of Remote Laser Welding Process of Overlap Joint Based on Energy Balance Method (PDF Document)

16-20 October, 2016 in San Diego, US

Remote Laser Welding is increasingly being adopted within the automotive industry due to its high productivity and flexibility, making the welding process faster, more accurate and cost-effective. However, a leading challenge preventing its systematic uptake is lack of efficient in-process monitoring and control to ensure high quality weld under the process variability. The quality of the welding is assessed by measuring the key geometrical features of the fusion zone such as: penetration depth; interface width; upper and bottom concavity correlated directly static and fatigue performance. Existing solutions extract patterns from data gathered in real-time in the form of plasma charge, acoustic or optical emissions measurements, and integrate multivariate statistics and machine learning algorithms to estimate only single key geometrical features of the weld. For example, acoustic or optical emissions provide molten pool oscillation frequency leading to penetration depth; dimension of the molten pool obtained by visual sensing with high speed camera is correlated to interface width. The lack of comprehensive correlation between gathered data and multiple welding process parameters (i.e., laser power, welding speed, focal offset) with multiple key geometrical features underscores the limitations of current methods towards delivering automatic in-process closed-loop quality control system, which requires real-time monitoring of the multiple key geometrical features; and, capabilities for on-the-fly process adjustment to guarantee weld quality. This paper presents an analytical physics-driven simulation approach to monitor multiple key geometrical features and proposes a concept to provide capability for in-process closed-loop process adjustment applicable for remote laser welding. This method is applicable for process monitoring of zinc coated steel in overlap joint configuration considering of part-to-part gap.

For more information please visit:

RLW Navigator Project to showcase in the House of Commons (HoC)

28th June, 2016

HoC_28 June eventcatapult_reception_28_06_16-4565.jpg

Ms Carla Shepherd, Project Officer (WMG)

For more information please visit:

WMG Doctoral Research and Innovation Conference

21st June, 2016

Congratulations to Erkan Özkat, PhD student for winning the 2nd Best Poster Award competition (out of 50 posters presented)

Poster prepared by PhD student Erkan Özkat (PDF Document)

Poster prepared by PhD student Manoj Babu (PDF Document)

Congratulations to Erik Puik, PhD student received 2nd Prize in the Presentation Competition. His presentation, ‘The Quality of a Design Does Not Exceed the Knowledge of the Designer’, was based on the research on ‘Information in Design’ supported by the UK EPSRC project EP/K019368/1: Self-Resilient Reconfigurable Assembly Systems with In-process Quality Improvement; and, the ‘HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht Post-Graduate Scholarship’. Co-organizing the conference was Jaguar, Land Rover, and the Innovative Manufacturing Global Research Programme (GRP).

University West (Trollhättan, Sweden) visit to WMG

8th June, 2016 - Research Collaboration Discussions and Lab tours of EIC, IMC and IIPSI

Univeristy West Visit 8 June 2016 IMC tour Uni West 8 June 2016 IIPSI visit

Dr Fredrik Danielsson, Associate Professor (UW); Dr Lennart Malmsköld, Assistant Head of Engineering (UW); Mr Emile Glorieux, Doctoral Student (UW); Dr Gregory Gibbons, Assiciate Professor (WMG) and Dr Pasquale Franciosa, Senior Research Fellow (WMG)

Prof Darek Ceglarek - Keynote Speaker at the 14th CIRP Conference on Computer Aided Tolerancing

18-20th May, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Title: "Closed-loop In-process Geometry Assurance for Multi-stage Assembly Systems"(Co-author: Pasquale Franciosa)

Dimensional and geometric variation related quality defects significantly affect product quality and new production ramp-up time of multi-stage assembly systems with compliant sheet metal parts. Process monitoring and data mining for geometry assurance and quality control are insufficient in modern manufacturing as they lack the capability to anticipate defects before they occur. Nor they can isolate root causes and identify corrective action.This presentation explores a novel closed-loop quality control framework which links defect identification with root case analysis and corrective action for assembly systems with compliant parts. It is based on the integration of in-process monitoring and data mining with multi-physics variation simulation analysis through the development of simulation-driven surrogate models and closed-loop control strategy. The framework is demonstrated using an efficient set of novel simulation tools applied for robotic automotive door assembly.

For more information please visit:

Seminar on Multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) Method for Fast Uncertainty Quantification of Complex Models

The MS group cordially invites you to a seminar on “Multilevel Monte Carlo (MLMC) method for fast uncertainty quantification of complex models” by Dr Matteo Icardi, Warwick Zeeman Lecturer at the Warwick Mathematics Institute. This event will take place on the afternoon of Friday, 11th December, IMC Building, Board Room 2. Seminar starts at 3.00 PM.


MLMC is an efficient and flexible solution for the propagation of uncertainties in complex models, with many parameters, where an explicit parametrisation of the input randomness is not available or too expensive. After an introduction about UQ, Monte Carlo and multilevel Monte Carlo methods, I will present a general-purpose algorithm and computational code for the solution of Partial Differential Equations on random heterogeneous materials to take into account uncertainties in the material properties and microstructure. The approach make use of the key idea of MLMC, based on different discretisation levels, extending it in a more general context, with a hierarchy of physical resolution scales, solvers, models and other numerical/geometrical discretisation parameters. The method is tested and applied for pore-scale simulations of flow and transport in random sphere packings.


Matteo Icardi is a Warwick Zeeman Lecturer at the Warwick Mathematics Institute. He is interested in numerical methods, upscaling and uncertainty quantification for complex flow problems such as flow through porous media, particulate and multiphase flows, electrochemical devices, non-equilibrium system. He graduated in 2008 from Politecnico di Torino where he also got his PhD in chemical engineering in 2012. He held post-doctoral research positions at the University of Texas at Austin and at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Workshop on "Multiphysics Simulation with Applications in Manufacturing"

As part of our regular MS seminars, you are cordially invites you to a workshop focusing on “Multiphysics simulation with applications in Manufacturing”. This event will take place on the morning of Thursday, 24th September, at The International Manufacturing Centre (IMC), room 114. Refreshments will be served and all attendees will receive a free two-week trial of the simulation package COMSOL Multiphysics.

The use of simulation in manufacturing processes has become an essential component and cost-effective application for the manufacturing industry as well as academic research. This half day event includes a number of talks showcasing the research of several members from WMG. One of COMSOL’s simulation specialists will demonstrate the COMSOL Multiphysics interface along with some case studies related to manufacturing technologies. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your simulation interests with the presenters. Discussion about on-going R&D projects and future research initiatives will encouraged throughout the workshop.

During the workshop you will:

- Learn the fundamental modelling steps in COMSOL Multiphysics

- Gain insight into the abilities of COMSOL within a range of manufacturing applications- Learn how COMSOL Multiphysics is helping improve the quality and scope of research at WMG

- Have an opportunity to participate in an open discussion and put your questions to the presenters


09:00 - 09:15 Welcome speeches (Pasquale Franciosa & Darek Ceglarek (WMG))

09:15 - 09:45 Introduction to simulations in COMSOL Multiphysics (Robert Boswell (COMSOL Ltd))

09:45 - 10:15 Physics-driven modelling of remote laser joint (Erkan Ozkat (WMG))

10:15 - 10:45 Modelling steel corrosion by a combined thermodynamics transport approach (Michael Auinger (WMG))

10:45 - 11:30 Live demos with COMSOL Multiphysics (Edmund Dickinson (COMSOL Ltd))

11:30 - 12:00 Round table and open discussion

International Symposium on Remote Laser Welding (RLW) Process Navigator: From Design to Production: Simulation and Optimisation of the Body-in-white Joining Process

The symposium is organized as part of the FP7 Factory-of-the-Future program “RLW Navigator System for Eco and Resilient Automotive Factories. “The Symposium presents a portfolio of innovative experimental, simulation and in-process measurement solutions which provide much needed enablers for ‘Right-First-Time’ development and validation of Remote Laser Welding applications in automotive assembly. The solutions are applicable across various sheet metal assemblies with different joining processes. We will have two keynotes, presentations about the developed CAE tools; Expo with demos of the software using real automotive door assembly process, round table, panel discussions; and a tour of WMG.

For more information and a detailed agenda please visit :

For a view of the RLW Symposium presentation please click here

A brief overview of research activities on Interactive Design and Simulation at Fraunhofer JL IDEAS@DII Naples Seminar

11 July 2014

Prof Antonio Lanzotti from University of Naples Federico II will introduce the Joint Laboratory IDEAS, established by the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU of Chemnitz-Dresden and the Dept. of Industrial Engineering of the Univ. of Naples Federico II. The first aim of the seminar is to highlight and discuss the main projects carried out in the following fields: computer geometrical modelling and simulation, interactive design and ergonomics applications in Virtual Reality, Reverse engineering and additive manufacturing, statistics quality and reliability for innovation. The second aim is to explore areas where IDEAS experience and activities might usefully complement the activities of research groups at WMG.

Antonio Lanzotti

Prof. Antonio Lanzotti

Prof. Lanzotti is leading a research group on design methods at University of Naples and is the founding Director of the international Fraunhofer joint lab on Interactive Design And Simulation (IDEAS - ). He received his Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering (summa cum laude) from Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in 1985. From 1986 to 1987 he worked for the IT Dept. of Aeritalia. In 1990 he received a Ph.D. in Material and Production Technology from the University of Naples Federico II. From 1992 to 1997, he undertook teaching and research activities at the Dept. of Aerospace Engineering. as researcher and then from 1997 in a teaching position as Associate Professor. In 2001 he was appointed Full Professor in Design Methods of Industrial Engineering at University of Naples Federico II. He now teaches “Product Design and Development” and “Engineering technical drawing”. He was the only teacher of “Statistics for Innovation” not belonging to the “Experimental Statistics for Engineering and Technology” Scientific Sector.
Antonio is Associate Editor in Chief of the International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing published by Springer. He is a reviewer for international journals and He has been invited to lecture in International Conferences and has promoted and organized many International Conferences as a member of Steering and Scientific Committees. He was the President of the Italian Association of Product Design from 2004 to 2011. Further, He is the Past-President of the Italian Scientific Sector on Design Methods for Industrial Engineering (SSD ING-IND/15). Finally, He is responsible for the international agreement between the Univ. of Naples Federico II and TU Chemnitz, ESTIA of Biarritz and University of Bartin, Turkey.

Evidence based policymaking for business growth – Myth or reality? An exploration of potential collaborative links with International Manufacturing Centre

04 July 2014

This presentation will review the trials and tribulations of working with policymakers and politicians and the projects Tech4i2 has undertaken to provide an evidence base for policymaking – even when evidence collection follows policymaking.
The underlying theme is to explore areas where Tech4i2 experience and activities might usefully complement the activities of the International Manufacturing Centre. The creation of the Nous Global ( International Expert Network as a means of obtaining pan-European support for potential Horizon 2020 or other funded research will also be considered.

Paul Foley

Professor Paul Foley

Director Tech4i2
Prof. Foley was the founding director of Tech4i2 Limited, an international applied policy research consultancy. Paul has undertaken academic research and consultancy on technology and business development, digital entrepreneurship and small business growth for more than 30 years. Tech4i2 recently completed background research and co-authorship of the Leicestershire Strategic Economic Plan and development of the European Commission’s Digital Entrepreneurship web site (
Paul has worked with all tiers of government, the European Commission and OECD undertaking work to support evidence based Information Economy policymaking and eGovernment service delivery. Paul has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and ten books.

Smart Components for Smart Systems – the role of semantics and machine learning Seminar

06 June 2014

Dr Niels Lohsem Senior Lecturere from Loughborough University will discuss the use of smart, plug-and-produce automation components.The past two decades have witnessed significant research interest in the use of smart, plug-and-produce automation components. Whilst dynamic flexibility allows organisations to reduce their economic batch sizes and react to fluctuations in individual product variant demand, the challenge of high initial investment cost for the required complex automation systems still remains. The concept of plug-and-produce aims to reduce the effort for structural changes in a manufacturing system. This concept is expected to open opportunities for more frequent reconfiguration of systems and/or their underlying control structure.

Dr Niels Lohse

Dr Niels Lohse graduated with a Dipl.-Ing. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Applied Science Hamburg, Germany in 2000; obtained his MSc. degree in Technology Management from the University of Portsmouth, UK in 2001 and received his Ph.D. degree in Manufacturing Engineering and Operations Management from the University of Nottingham, UK in 2006.

He joined Loughborough University as Senior Lecturer in January 2014 where he is a member of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation. He previously worked as Lecturer at the University of Nottingham from September 2006 until the end of 2013. His research interest is in the field of intelligent automation and includes manufacturing system modelling, human-machine interaction, distributed control, diagnostics and design decision-support with a primary focus on modular and evolvable production systems and applications of artificial intelligence techniques in manufacturing.

Niels is a member of the IEEE and contributes to the Industrial Electronics Society, Robotics & Automation Society and the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. He is a member of the IEEE Technical Committee on Industrial Agents. Dr Lohse has received a number of awards for his work including the Outstanding Paper (2012) and Highly Commended Paper (2004) awards from the Emerald Literati Network for his publications in Assembly Automation.