Presentation of the Digital Now report

Posted: 04 Aug 2021

A visualization tool that displays carbon emissions of parts in manufacturing in real time, augmented reality that can quickly detect faults on operating wind turbines, and machine learning models that can capture and correct errors during manufacturing of an airplane wing. These are just a glimpse of the digital technologies DETI has developed to help UK manufacturers achieve better sustainability, detailed in the partnership’s Digital Now report.

Showcasing nine key findings, Digital Now showcases industry firsts, including the DETI Digital Eco-Meter that allows engineers to visualize the carbon footprint during the manufacture of a composite product, such as an airfoil. airplane or car component made of carbon fiber. Using the eco-meter, engineers can see – for the first time – the environmental impact of the parts they manufacture, giving them the opportunity to improve processes and reduce emissions during production. manufacturing.

DETI also revealed the successful testing of a digital system that monitors the build quality of components in real time. Intended for the fabrication of high performance composites that must be cured in furnaces, the system enables vital interventions when it is impossible to visually control the build quality. In the aerospace, marine and automotive industries that heavily use this type of manufacturing technique, this tool could significantly improve durability and time to market.

As part of the West of England Combined Authority’s commitment to accelerate innovation, DETI is issued by the National Composites Center, Center for Modeling & Simulation, Digital Catapult, University of the West of England , the University of Bristol and the University of Bath and funded by the Combined Authority with a co-investment from High Value Manufacturing Catapult and industry.

DETI’s vision is to help UK manufacturers improve the durability, efficiency and low-carbon processes of products throughout the life cycle using a series of industrial test benches that harness the power of emerging technologies such as 5G, quantum key distribution and advanced sensing. As a true research and skills initiative, DETI also works closely with schools and colleges in the West of England on raising awareness of inclusive STEM careers.

The partnership also shared its work in augmented reality, reporting on a new software system developed by DETI engineers which improves the detection of defects in a manufactured product; another example of DETI’s commitment to reducing waste and improving efficiency. Engineers also tested a range of “out-of-the-box” augmented reality and virtual reality tools for testing virtual 3D design applications, creating best practice guidelines for companies wishing to explore areas of immersive technology.

The report also includes DETI’s first UK Quantum Key Distribution network designed in partnership with BT and Toshiba. Providing an ultra-fast and ultra-secure communication network has allowed engineers and researchers to share live information, design data and manufacture part of a product remotely, meeting the global challenge of forging a chain supply chain, bringing fully automated smart factories closer together.

The Digital Now report also contains key lessons from the DETI Skills Inspire & Transform programs based in the West of England, aimed at ensuring that the future workforce is digitally ready while championing diversity and diversity. inclusiveness. It also details the sustainability-focused high school digital engineering resource plans that will be rolled out in 2021.

Announcing the DETI results report, Dan Norris, Mayor of the West of England Underground, said: “There is a climate and biodiversity emergency, so switching to a low emission economy is vital. of carbon. The Digital Engineering Technology & Innovation program develops the digital skills and technologies we need, showing the West of England as the place to be for high-value design and engineering in the UK and around the world. In turn, this will create more quality jobs for our residents and ensure that our region has the knowledge and capacity to find new, sustainable ways of doing things.

Marc Funnell, Director of Digital Engineering & DETI, National Composites Center: “We have listened to the needs of the industry and we offer a practical and focused innovation program that is making great strides in the use of digital tools for manufacturers in our region. Our digital testbeds and engineering capabilities are open access and aim to provide physical demonstrations to demystify digital transformation for industry of all sizes.

With another year, DETI will focus on demonstrating and improving many of these new digital tools using the private 5G test bed built in partnership with the 5G-ENCODE program, hosted at the National Composites Center.

The DETI Digital Now report is available here;

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