Brokering Additive Manufacturing (BAM)
Society is driving the need for Responsive Manufacturing and requires fundamental research to come-up with strategies that can complement existing Modern Manufacturing Practice (MPP) (e.g. batch, mass and just-in-time).
Driver 1 is Big Demand, which concerns the response, volume, variety and location in demand, arising from large-scale events, such as COVID-19, Brexit, Disaster Response, Global Financial Crisis and War, and mass-customisation/bespoke products simply cannot be met by MPP, such as automotive production lines and supply chains, as they have been optimised for particular products.
Driver 2 is accommodating dynamic production constraints. COVID-19’s measures of social distancing and tiering system as well as trade disputes (Brexit and America vs. China) have shown how quickly MPP can be severed, significantly reducing supply to society.
Driver 3 is facilitating manufacturing independence. MMP has enabled large developed nations – America, China, EU, Japan, South Korea, India – to provide production capability that developed smaller (e.g. UK, Switzerland) and developing nations would not have had access to. However, many society’s view manufacturing independence as a strategic goal (e.g. Reshoring) especially in light of Drivers 1 & 2 where a nations reliance on other nations’ manufacturing capability leaves them vulnerable and without the capability to combat their national needs.
Brokered Additive Manufacturing (BAM) will prove that these drivers can be met through a nation’s highly distributed and diverse Additive Manufacturing (AM) capability if it can be effectively brokered.
BAM brings together world-leading researchers from the Schools of Civil, Mechanical and Aerospace engineering and Business Management, 300+ leaders in the AM industry (GTMA, AMUG, AT 3D Squared) and Model-Based Systems Engineering (CFMS), and industry/government initiatives (Reshoring UK) to create novel brokering of highly distributed and diverse manufacturing systems.
BAM’s transdisciplinary approach will see the team:
- profile Big Demand, dynamic production constraints and local, regional, national and global contexts to facilitate independence.
- develop Business Models and Government Policy.
- characterise AM capability.
- create Production System boundary condition models and agent-based models of BAM that simulate both human and machine brokering of jobs at community, regional, national and international scales.
BAM solutions will be evaluated through controlled lab experiments, living labs and development of industry demonstrators. The solutions will give rise to a new class of production system that broker highly distributed and diverse manufacturing capability (e.g. AM). This will underpin factories of the future that are not confined to single facilities but are as diverse and distributed as the manufacturing capability they house, revolutionising society’s production giving it greater flexibility and responsiveness to meet our future needs.
Meet the Team
- Responding to rapidly changing product demand through a coordinated additive manufacturing production system: a COVID-19 case study. View.
Achieving responsive and sustainable manufacturing through a brokered agent-based production paradigm.
The aims of the Brokering Additive Manufacturing project are to develop an agent-based distributed manufacturing system to meet big demand.
We have created a Typescript client for the Ultimaker API.
We have been working with our marketing team at the University to provide some new content and material to dessiminate the work and vision of a Brokered Additive Manufactured future.
The team have been in full flow following the Brokering Additive Manufacturing meeting and created the base code that turns AM machines into agents that can talk with another.
Brokering Additive Manufacturing officially started today (1st October 2021) with the team meeting physically! at Queen’s Building to set out the research agenda and plans of action.
Jennifer Johns is attending TCT this week to discuss AM and the opportunities for a networking and co-ordination of the UK’s AM capability.
Brokering Additive Manufacturing has published and presented their second paper entitled “Achieving responsive and sustainable manufacturing through a brokered agent-based production paradigm” at the International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (SDM).
Jennifer Johns has written an article discussing to the potential of distributed manufacturing for AM.
Brokering Additive Manufacturing has published and presented its first paper entitled “Responding to rapidly changing product demand though a coordinated additive manufacturing production system: a COVID-19 case study” at the Manufacturing Engineering Society International Conference (MESIC 2021).