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22nd May 2018, Bristol

Digital machine learning in composites manufacturing

The project has the potential to be upscaled to complex composite part geometries for industries including renewables.The NCC has been working in collaboration with The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) to demonstrate how integration of predictive machine learning can drive improvements and minimise variability within composites manufacturing processes.

The collaborative project, Computer Learning in Automated Manufacturing Processes (CLAMPS), has resulted in a physical demonstrator, which automatically adjusts the manufacturing process parameters to ensure consistently high-quality parts.

The project integrates digitalisation and automation steps into a liquid composite moulding process to reduce the need for rework, scrap, or repair, ultimately saving costs. The project is a proof-of-principle for the application of machine learning to control a composites manufacturing process. It has the potential to be upscaled to complex composite part geometries for industries including aerospace, automotive and renewables, according to NCC.

“Many composites manufacturing processes require the intervention of experienced engineers to overcome process and material variability. In this demonstration, the in-process decision making is being automated, using digital process modelling and advanced machine learning techniques. The NCC and CFMS are helping to bring the composites industry one step closer to intelligently automated production,” commented Giuseppe Dell'Anno, Chief Engineer at the NCC.

Sam Paice, Chief Operating Officer at CFMS, said: “The automation and digitalisation of complex industrial design and manufacturing processes will drive productivity and competitiveness for UK organisations.”

Organisations interested in learning more about the demonstrator and applying the techniques to their own products and facilities are invited to register their interest in attending Lean Composites Manufacturing through Machine Learning event, hosted by CFMS and NCC, taking place on 21 June 2018 at CFMS Bristol.

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