Director, Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation, University of Patras
Three research areas on European funded Manufacturing R&D will be discussed with the help of some relevant R&D projects:
Modern manufacturing systems require high degree of flexibility. In order for flexibility to be quantifiably estimated there is the need for adequate modeling of manufacturing systems and for methods for quantification of flexibility. Such methods can enhance investment decisions and operational policies for manufacturing systems.
Innovation in manufacturing processes is often required to address difficult to process materials or to enhance process efficiency. Modeling of manufacturing processes, such as remote welding or grind hardening is required in order for such processes to find industrial applications.
The use of virtual reality for engineering tasks can be proven an efficient tool for prototyping, process simulation and training and also more recently for structuring collaborative design platforms. Such web based platforms allow collective decision making during product design and make possible the collaboration of suppliers remotely located.