Nicholas Watson, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering discusses whether online sensors and machine learning can deliver industry 4.0 to the food and drink manufacturing sector in the Journal of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, vol 33 issue 4 December 2019.
“Manufacturing is experiencing the 4th industrial revolution, which is the use of Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) to produce new and existing products. Industrial digital technologies include sensors, robotics, the industrial internet of things (IoT), additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, digital twins and cloud computing. At the heart of Industry 4.0 is the enhanced collection and use of data. Industry 4.0 is predicted to have a positive impact of over £450bn to UK manufacturing over the next ten years, with benefits such as increased productivity and reduced costs and environmental impacts. But what does this mean for the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, food and drink?”
Link to article (page 20)
Connected Everything is the EPSRC funded network focussed on addressing the question “how do we support the future of manufacturing in the UK?”. In our first three years of funding, we supported the Manufacturing Made Smarter proposal development, including directly inputting into the definition of its key research challenges. We have now been awarded a further three years funding to deliver a network of networks which will accelerate multi-disciplinary collaboration, foster new collaborations between industry and academia and tackle emerging challenges which will underpin the UK academic community’s research in support of people, technologies, products and systems for digital manufacturing. Through a range of activities, including feasibility studies, networking, and thematic research, Connected Everything II (CEII) will bring together new teams within a multidisciplinary community to explore new ideas, demonstrate novel technologies in the context of digital manufacturing, and accelerate impact of research into industry.
As one of our initial activities, we are launching our first funding call for feasibility studies at this event in London on the morning of 28 November. Places are limited so please register early.
It’s been a busy year for the Smart Products Beacon during which we’ve refined our research agenda and vision, launched demonstrator projects, developed our business case for the University and secured funding for initial projects, including EPSRC funding to establish a Centre for Doctoral Training for at least 65 new PhD students.
Today (8th April 2019), we are holding a one day gathering to learn more and explore how people can get involved.
The event commenced with an overview of RoboClean, Food Design for Future Dining (FD)2 and Industrial Co-bots Understanding Behaviour (ICUBE).
A breakout session led to some useful research-led discussion on emerging themes, including:
- Process planning for highly-customised products
- Social technological interactions and implications
- Data-enabled smart optimization
- Digital Technology, Manufacturing, and Productivity
- Smart Musical Instruments
A session of contributed paper presentations followed a short lunch break and poster session. These included:
- User-Experience Design for Future Smart Vehicles
- Managing attractiveness and tensions in digitally enhanced business environments
- Locating the Smart Product Beacon: understanding the place based-agenda in RCUK funding (or, why economic geography matters)
- “Demonstrating a framework to investigate combined packing and scheduling problems”?
- “Peeling away the layers: toward a metaphor of foam to analyse composed digital-physical products”
- Physical-Digital Alignment
The day concludes with a second breakout session – an opportunity to address and plan key beacon activities for the coming year.