IoT solutions for existing processes: A Laser Based Additive Manufacturing (LBAM) use case

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Evidence suggests that high investment and unclear economic benefits are the main barriers to implementing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies within manufacturing.

The challenge lies in putting forward a business case as the perceived risk on return on initial investment can be high. Implementation of IoT within companies can also be hindered by an educational barrier of unfamiliarity with new technology and required skills.

This project will develop a business case for IoT implementation by developing, cataloguing and demonstrating how to integrate IoT sensors to existing manufacturing equipment and processes.

The developed business case will be useful as a knowledge base/template for other businesses looking to enhance current legacy machines for real-time process monitoring. Overall, it will provide evidence to the benefits of quality and cost saving that integrating IoT solutions can bring.

Laser Based Additive Manufacturing (LBAM) will be utilised as a use case for this project – given its potential as a future manufacturing technology. There is an opportunity to implement IoT monitoring and control to overcome numerous challenges faced with traditional LBAM machines – without the need to replace them.

In addition, this project will also develop training material for manufacturing companies that will enable them to digitalise additional existing legacy machines.

Project lead:

Professor Ashutosh Tiwari, Airbus / RAEng Research Chair in Digitisation for Manufacturing, the University of Sheffield

Partners:

The University of Sheffield including:

Rolls-Royce