Transforming supply networks performance through ICT
The Manufacturing Informatics research theme is part of the MTC’s response to advancing UK manufacturing on a global stage through ICT. The overarching aim of the theme is to enable connected, autonomous and adaptable manufacturing systems and supply networks through informatics solutions and associated technologies (e.g. modelling, simulation and automation).
The key technology areas of the theme are:
- Informatics Services: Traditional information solutions (e.g. Manufacturing Executions Systems and Product Lifecycle Management) and innovative analytics and intelligence addressing specific functional requirements and offered as services
- Service Platforms: Platforms that follow new business models and architectures to enable the provision of information services (as described above) in a decentralised fashion, enabling functionality, access and connectivity beyond factories, in a financially viable way
- Networks and Communication: Development and adoption of standards, information models and technologies required to enable communications across shop floors and supply networks
- Cyber-Physical Production Systems: Products and shop floor devices and equipment that enable proficient, efficient and adaptable manufacturing systems through embedded intelligence and interactions with the environment and other objects.
Given the low levels of maturity of the manufacturing sector in the adoption of ICT solutions as a strategic technology, previous and current work in the theme has been focused on researching current manifestations of informatics in manufacturing supply chains, understanding the barriers to the adoption of informatics solutions and providing high level guidelines for the initial uptake of ICT’s. In addition, the theme is involved in internal and collaborative projects in areas including quality and equipment health, developing informatics solutions for various applications, such as additive manufacturing and automation. Sectors of work include aerospace, automotive, food and drink and logistics.