Through-life Engineering Services Centre hits targets in first year

Posted on 14 Dec 2012
A Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine. The engine maker is a partner of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services, which is a year old.

A national research centre for through-life engineering services has launched five research projects, recruited five Research Fellows and six PhD students and funded 12 feasibility projects in its first year.

The EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services was launched in September 2011 to answer the greater demand for the servitisation of high value engineered products.

Funded by £11.1 million, £5.7 million of which is from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Centre is designed to help high technology companies to design and manufacture high value, complex products with better whole life reliability which are simpler and cheaper to maintain over their lifecycle.

The Centre, based at Cranfield University and the University of Durham and led by Professor Rajkumar Roy, has published its first annual report which reveals several successes, including the launch of an executive MSc in March 2013.

Five research projects have commenced and one has been completed. They are:

• A study of cross sector challenges in through-life engineering services feedback to design and manufacturing
(now complete)
• Reduction of no-fault found through system design (3 years)
• Characterisation of in-service component feedback for system design and manufacturing (3 years)
• Improvement of system design process for whole life cost reduction (2 years)
• Self-healing technologies for electronic and mechanical components and subsystems (3 years)

The Through-life Engineering Services (TLES) centre has recruited six Research Fellows and five PhD students in the last year.

Professor Raj Roy, Director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services, promotes the Centre at MACH 2012.

Three new professors have also joined the Centre: Professor Peter Foote, Professor Andrew Starr and Professor Tetsuo Tomiyama.

Andrew Starr’s project, AUTONOM, was awarded £920k of funding this year. The EPSRC Centre has supervised a new one year project in autonomous maintenance led by Professor Tetsuo Tomiyama. Peter Foote has joined the centre as the EPSRC manufacturing fellow in “Sensors for Through-Life Engineering”.

The EPSRC centre has also recruited two new industrial partners, Copernicus Technologies Ltd and BSI, to join the core partners Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Bombardier.

It has also funded twelve feasibility projects involving seven new universities, including the universities of Cambridge, Reading, Lincoln and York. A new international conference in Through-life Engineering Services was launched, which takes place in May 2013

The centre has collectively issued 10 new publications on the subject of through-life engineering services and has founded a CIRP working group on continuous maintenance”.

In addition, the part-time executive MSc will start a new cohort in March 2013. The Masters programme is in Through-life System Sustainment and will teach management and leadership skills.

For more information about the MSc programme, contact Eleanor Collins eleanor.collins@cranfield.ac.uk.

Or visit: www.through-life-engineering-services.org/