Presenting at CIRP CMS 2022

We are delighted to announce that the DMF lab will be attending and presenting research at the 55th CIRP conference on manufacturing systems.. The conference brings together researchers and practitioners from across the world together to discuss and share knowledge on the manufacturing systems.

Papers to be presented are:

Required parameters for modelling heterogeneous geographically dispersed
manufacturing systems

Mark Goudswaard, Chris Snider, Martins Obi, Lorenzo Giunta, Kautsar Ramli, Jennifer Johns, Ben Hicks and James Gopsill

COVID-19 and global crises/events are driving governments to rethink their national manufacturing strategies. The drastic change of societal conditions has exposed our reliance on a constrained set of production practices. Furthermore, the future manufacturing landscape indicates – supply chain crises, trade agreements and natural disasters – a high level of volatility which requires a response that is far from being achieved.

While these emergent challenges have called the efficacy of established practices into question, new manufacturing technologies, such as Additive Manufacturing (AM), present the capability to provide a solution. One proposal is agent-based brokering of AM which could be a method for tackling local, regional, national, and international production needs. However, to achieve the reality of brokered AM, it is imperative that the diversity of AM capability is considered. Diversity that existing homogeneous modelling of AM and manufacturing systems rarely consider or capture. This paper conceptualizes the reality of AM systems and elucidates parameters that are necessary for successful modelling and subsequent co-ordination. Having presented the required parameters the paper continues to discuss requisite levels of abstraction, suitable performance metrics and the role of humans in agent-based manufacturing systems.

Comparison of three agent-based architectures for distributed Additive Manufacturing

Lorenzo Giunta, Martins Obi, Mark Goudswaard, Ben Hicks and James Gopsill

Models of distributed agent-based Additive Manufacturing (AM) systems have suggested that considerable productivity, reactivity, and resiliency gains can be realised. However, there remains scepticism and real-world validation is required to demonstrate the  benefits, practicalities, and challenges of implementing agent-based manufacturing systems. It is only then that potential gains can be evidenced and the Return on Investment fully appraised.
This paper discusses the underlying communication architecture required for the creation of a hardware technology demonstrator that enables the evaluation of distributed, agent-based, AM. Three architectures to create the desired network (Host-Client, Peerto-Peer, and Digital Shadow) are discussed, with a focus on implementation and operational factors. The paper continues by  describing the future development needed for the creation of a demonstrator aimed at exploring the ease of adoption of agent-based approaches and the potential for integration into existing AM workflows. The planned demonstrator is to be implemented at the University of Bristol to co-ordinate production across multiple sites in order to support their education and research activities as well as provide a platform for public and industry engagement.

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