We are stepping into a new era of digitalisation. In this new era machines will communicate and exchange large amounts of data to ensure they can work harmoniously and collaboratively with little human intervention. Current machines use symbolic language to represent the data, but they cannot directly interpret its meaning. As a result, information loss and incorrect interpretation can often happen during communication. To improve manufacturing intelligence, we need the manufacturing system to "understand" the data, which we refer to as "semantics" of the data. If the manufacturing system can be represented at a semantic level, the data will become knowledge to the machine and enable it to be ready for exchange, interrogation and reuse. There is current work taking place to upgrade manufacturing systems to a semantic level but this is still at an early and enabling stage. This fellowship aims to effect a step change in manufacturing intelligence, to support rigorous semantic exchanges between different manufacturing phases, and to allow formalisation and reuse of new/existing knowledge from advanced manufacturing.
The proposed research will build a novel semantic infrastructure for advanced manufacturing by supporting knowledge representation, interrogation, reasoning and exchange for smart design, manufacturing and measurement of advanced products. The focus will be on the development of a toolbox to formalise knowledge in/between design, manufacturing and measurement, especially for additive manufacturing (AM). The resulting semantic infrastructure will allow the machine to "interpret" the meaning of the data/information. To be more specific: how the design parameters (geometries, tolerances and materials) are related to each other; how the design parameters relate with the AM process/post process parameters (layer thickness, build orientation); and how the design and process parameters contribute to the measurement details (methods, calibration, etc.). The work will provide a new universal language for any data/information involved in a manufacturing value chain, and will permit a comprehensive infrastructure to digitalise the fast growing AM industry.