Process monitoring and control

The Process Monitoring and Control Group at AMRC focuses its research on the measurement, computation and autonomous control challenges faced in advanced manufacturing processes.

Process monitoring

The group applies its research to wide range of technology readiness level projects, from fundamental sensing and modelling techniques right through to day-to-day on-site support at partners manufacturing facilities. The group has several key research themes:

Intelligent Monitoring Systems

–          Embedded Sensing, Connectivity and Signal Processing

–          Condition Monitoring and Computational Intelligence

–          Adaptive Manufacture and Process Control

Machine Tool Metrology

–          On-Machine Inspection

–          Machine Tool Benchmarking

–          Machine Condition Monitoring


Objectives

  • To achieve data rich manufacturing facilities that have the capacity to exploit all useful data to the greatest extent
  • Enable the sensing technologies that allow informative data to be obtained at low cost
  • Enable ‘green button’ processes through embedded sensing, software design, and control
  • Deliver intelligent, autonomous processes that are self-aware and continuously optimised
  • Support the AMRC groups to deliver robust on-machine inspection solutions to partners
  • Ensure the machine tools at AMRC demonstrate best practice for machine tool condition monitoring
  • Support the AMRC partners with machining process challenges relating to machine tool performance characterisation and measurement

Capabilities

The process monitoring and control team has a strong background in machining process development and a wide range of experience in applying on-machine inspection, sensing and machining automation solutions. The group has over 20 years’ experience in sensing system research and over 40 years’ machining process development experience.

Measurement services

–          Multi-sensor machine monitoring systems

–          Temperature measurement for machining

–          Wireless sensing

–          Machine tool benchmarking; dynamic stiffness, static stiffness and kinematic errors.

–          On-machine probe systems, including scanning and non-contact

Data Capture and Analysis

–          Reconfigurable data acquisition hardware (including National Instruments Partnership)

–          Low cost wireless

–          LabView and Matlab toolboxes for signal processing and condition monitoring

Awarded R&D funding:

–          Simulation Tools for Intelligent Machining. EPSRC funded project of £577k.

–          AMRC board funding of above £400k working on technology roadmap projects

–          Manufacturing Excellence in Metal Aircraft Landing Gear. Collaborative R&D total project value £2.4M.

–          Intelligent Tooling; embedded sensing for machines and cutting tools. Collaborative R&D total project value £500k


People

Tom McLeay – Technical Fellow

Tom joined the AMRC in 2006 and has worked on a wide range of projects for industrial partners.

He was technical lead on the high performance disc program from 2008-2012, the AMRC’s largest machining process improvement project at that time. Tom launching the process monitoring and control technology group in 2011.

Dennis Clarke – Project Engineer

Dennis joined the AMRC in 2011 after completing a first class honours degree in electronics and computing. Dennis is currently working on machinability projects, focusing on hardened high strength steels.

Dr Jon Stammers – Project Engineer

Jon joined the AMRC in 2013, after completing a PhD in Electronic Engineering. Jon is working on projects in machine tool inspection and health monitoring and is lead engineer on a two-year programme developing aircraft landing gear manufacturing technologies.

Simon Hogg – Project Manager

Simon joined the AMRC in 2013 after 7 years’ experience in contract manufacturing. Simon has experience in machining, casting and forging of specialist alloys, and works on a wide range of projects for both research councils and industrial partners.

Salvador Sumohano Verdeja – Project Engineer

Salvador joined the AMRC in 2013 after completing a master’s degree in advanced manufacturing. He is currently working on sensor based machining projects with computational intelligence.

Dr Hatim Laalej – Project Engineer

Hatim joined the AMRC in 2014 after completing a  PhD  degree in control engineering. He is currently working in the development of instrumentation for low cost sensing in machining, with a focus on temperature measurement.