ESR 14 – Development of data models and adaptation strategies for intelligent products
Research projects on evolvable assembly systems have typically concentrated on models of the overall system but often made assumptions about the intelligent instruments and components that are the building blocks of the system. Many modern assembly systems adopt a 'no-faults forward' philosophy, which entails integrating testing processes throughout the assembly sequence. It is desirable that testing equipment can be readily integrated at key points in the automated manufacturing line, and that the data it produces can be used for quality assurance, traceability and decision making (both during the specific process cycle and as a response to trends).
This project is a case study into the development of intelligent (test) instruments and their application within assembly systems using, for example, plug-and-produce concepts, product-driven production, data collection and analytics through cloud-based services. TQC as a leader in the production of integrated assembly and test systems will provide a practical base for proving the models and adaptation strategies for intelligent products.
The case study is based on the Micro Applications Leak Tester (MALT) instrument that TQC has designed and produced. MALT is a high-precision compact low cost leak testing instrument that is used on a significant number of TQC systems. It has a powerful processor with a network interface that supports external data collection and configuration. However, further development is required to achieve the step-change to make MALT into a product-driven testing unit and to integrate it with Cloud services.
At TQC the ESR can engage with and access bespoke assembly systems from concept to delivery, which gives the opportunity to apply and test theories at appropriate places in the development process. A wider investigation may also address the barriers that SMEs face in adopting cyber physical systems
TQC Ltd (TQC), United Kingdom, PhD registration with UNOTT
TQC - Mark Jones & Leszek Zarzycki