High-Value Manufacturing Research Group
Cutting edge research into materials, systems and technologies down to the micro/nano scale.
The High Value Manufacturing Group conducts research across a range of areas including intelligent and knowledge-based systems, smart systems, sustainable manufacturing, advanced manufacturing technologies and micro/nano manufacturing.
The work of the Group involves the application of artificial intelligence to engineering and ranges from human behaviour recognition to image processing, creating interactive digital models and expert systems for decision support.
Semantics have been used for knowledge representation, knowledge extraction, automated reasoning, and knowledge management in the areas of product lifecycle management, design, manufacturing, diagnostics, performance support, e-training, e-learning, and multimedia content management.
Ontologies are utilised and enriched with specialised notions that are tailored to the aforementioned domains. The main aim is to represent context and domain knowledge in a uniform, application-independent way that allows context-specific and personalised information to be delivered to various users.
Adaptive delivery of knowledge in a non-linear way is a prerequisite of active learning and e-training and a major part of performance support applications. This includes just-in-time knowledge delivery in the context of completing a certain task and adapting this knowledge to the information requirements of the users.
This involves research into user and task modelling, virtual documents, and the use of AI tools to generate adaptive hypermedia. Expert systems and decision support tools are built using AI techniques including data mining for optimisation and pattern recognition, machine learning, and fuzzy logic.
Research in this area includes the deployment of microcontrollers with ever increasing facilities and capabilities to enable the deployment of systems with embedded intelligence. These are embodied in the provision and operation of smart sensors that are capable of acquiring and analysing data at high speeds and in real time.
In conducting this research the Group brings together expertise in mechanical, manufacturing, control, ICT, robotics and human factors engineering to form a multi-disciplined team capable of innovative and internationally recognised research.
Our work in this area aims to enable the manufacturing industry to grow by adopting more advanced technologies, and at the same time improve its sustainability by reducing its environmental impact.
This work is conducted in close partnership with several Welsh universities within the framework of ASTUTE, a large-scale multi-million collaborative project. The project will improve the competitiveness of Welsh companies by applying advanced engineering techniques to both the design of products and to the manufacturing process thus securing many jobs and leading to the initial creation of more than 130 highly skilled new jobs in the sector.
The Group provides expertise in sustainable technologies, product design and innovation, design for sustainability and sustainable manufacturing, eco-innovation and manufacturing, products and services for sustainable living, sustainable supply chains, condition monitoring for sustainability, and improved, effective and sustainable management systems.
Advanced manufacturing technologies
World-class research and development is conducted in all major areas of advanced manufacturing and the output is used to promote the introduction of new manufacturing technology and practice to industry.
In particular, a number of recently won multi-million projects focus on civil and medical robotics, data mining, biosensors, manufacturing panels for architectural, aerospace and automotive industries without the use of tooling, and improving the performance of production lasers using disruptive techniques.
The Additive Manufacturing Laboratories (AM Labs) facilitate research into intelligent and knowledge-based systems; smart systems; sustainable manufacturing; advanced manufacturing technologies; and micro / nano manufacturing. Cardiff was one of the first UK universities to develop research in additive manufacturing and over the past 20 years the research team and extensive facilities have been at the heart of regional, national and FP4 to FP7 European research projects. In 2014/15, the AM Labs produced an average of 40+ parts per day for academic research and industrial R&D using resin-based processes (SLA and DLP), Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), four plastic powder machines (SLM) and metal powder bed fusion – over 20 years building a mass of expertise. Research collaborators include names such as Dyson, BAE Systems and Hozelock, whilst a strategic partnership with Renishaw helps the AM Lab to maintain its leading status.
The focus of our micro and nano Manufacturing (MNM) theme is on advanced manufacturing technologies for micro- and nano-systems, one of the priority areas in the UK Technology Strategy.
In taking forward this innovation agenda, the aim of our MNM programme is to facilitate the creation of manufacturing capabilities in the UK to meet demands for:
- Product miniaturisation through innovative integration and development of knowledge-based technologies and production concepts (especially micro and nano) for processing of non-silicon materials
- Prediction of product and process performance to reduce/manage the risk during product development and production, and reduce time to market for the next generation of microsystems-based products
- Future product platforms to meet the requirements of the next generation of microsystems-based products, and of more stringent regulations and environmental legislation
Production scale-up to ensure effective and efficient transfer of product and technology ideas from laboratories to serial production