In ICT4SM Group we focus our research vision on ICT for Sustainable Manufacturing.

The overall goal of sustainable manufacturing is to obtain a holistic view of product cycles in the manufacturing industry and optimise the life-cycle of manufacturing systems, products and services. Methodologies and tools to support the manufacturing of products and production must be increasingly life-cycle and service oriented, in addition to the requirements for quality, cost- effectiveness, safety and cleanliness.

The picture below illustrates the technical, economic, ecological and social implications of a sustainable product/process system.

Sustainability has an important global dimension. Most of the major challenges cannot be solved in one isolated region of the world. This is overall important when we see the growth in the global industrialisation and the total growing consumption in material and energy.

Sustainable manufacturing can be studied along the following dimensions:

  1. Sustainable manufacturing is not only “Green Machining” or “Environmental Benign Manufacturing”. Manufacturing must be sustainable not only in terms of sustaining a certain level of environmental parameters, BUT
  2. Manufacturing must be sustainable in terms of Performance and Quality of both products (including services) and processes, and, Safety of people (workers and other people affected in one or another way by manufacturing process or facilities and their products) but also of the related facilities and infrastructure. Maintenance of manufacturing facilities is important to sustain (i) the quality of processes and (ii) safety.
  3. Sustainability of manufacturing is more and more affected by lifecycle considerations (Design, Production, Use, Retirement and EOL of products). Additionally, this happens at global level and so requires the consideration of related technical, operational, societal and cultural issues.
  4. Manufacturing is served and realised by people with various levels of intellectual capacity and skills (from manual workers to skilled machine operators to innovative designers and managers). Therefore, sustainability of manufacturing requires sustainability of the human capital involved. This has various dimensions including a strong societal dimension (creation of jobs or unemployment), the performance and evolution of the educational system, etc. This must also be seen at a global level.

Furthermore, it may be observed that the ability of industry to provide such holistic intelligent networked products and supporting services is currently limited by the information gap in the products lifecycle (i.e. the flow of information between the design/production phase and middle and end of life phase of the products lifecycle).

Our vision in ICT4SM Group includes the development of a Closed Loop Lifecycle Management (CL2M) system based in Industry 4.0 technologies that allow Product Information Tracking and Flow Management.CL2M will allow all actors that play a role during the lifecycle of a product (managers, designers, service and maintenance operators, recyclers, etc.) to track, manage and (…)

One of the most promising strategies today is called Zero Defect Manufacturing. This strategy has the goal to decrease and mitigate failures within manufacturing processes and ‘to do things right in the first time’, in other words to eliminate defected parts during production. The Zero Defect Manufacturing can be implemented in two different approaches. The (…)

Digital Twins (DT). A DT is a digital duplication of entities with real-time two-way communication enabled between the physical and cyber spaces. It aims to support integration of IoT for connecting the physical and virtual spaces. In the illustrated case the physical twin is defined as an areo-engine, the virtual entities of areo-engine include CAD (…)

Current projects