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Digital Manufacturing
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Generator Aeroacoustics
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Aerospace Automation
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Digital Manufacturing

Digital Manufacturing

Project Summary

Digital manufacturing systems integrate advanced 3D simulation tools and collaborative product lifecycle management (PLM) software to virtually manage a product through the manufacturing process. Simulation tools have been available to design disciplines for decades but the methods or manufacturing functions have not been supported to the same degree in the availability of predictive methods for process design.  The absence of these integrated process design tools as well as the need to minimise the risk of commercial failure by developing leaner products, has lead to the development of manufacturing simulation software systems which use simultaneous or concurrent engineering concepts for aerospace design and engineering.

The concurrent engineering concepts available in digital manufacturing platforms, are now commonly available in the form of computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided engineering (CAE) tools and they can be used to determine electronically, how an aircraft needs to be built.  The manufacturing simulation techniques that these systems offer, allow engineers and process planners to define, validate, manage and deliver fully optimised manufacturing data to the shop floor quickly and efficiently.

Our work in this area has included rigorous evaluations of digital manufacturing capability carried out on a proof of concept basis in partnership with industry.  Specific areas of research have focused on the quantification of the benefits of the technology in terms of organisational learning, automatic time and cost generation and the extension of key functionality beyond manufacturing processes into the broader product lifecycle.  Current and future work includes the addition of advanced engineering capability within PLM tools to facilitate the use of more realistic part forms for assembly process and lifecycle planning.    

    

      Fig. 1. Build Validation and Fixture Design                     Fig. 2. Ergonomics                                     Fig. 3. Network Analysis