Computer Science

News and events

14 May 2014

Is Manufacturing sexier than Sport?

Presented By Professor Andrew West, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University
  • 3.00pm
  • James France Building

About this event

Abstract: The mantra of "better, cheaper, faster" has never been more relevant to the UK's current manufacturing companies. Global competition, the avilability of materials and energy, the need for sustainability and access to information and knowledge are focusing both large original equipment manufacturers and their supply chains on the opportunities afforded by information and communications technologies. The potential for impact is enormous since small gains in efficience can result in significant savings. Furthermore, there are no entry barriers for small ICT companies keen to exploit their technologies. The consequences of failure are the main reasons why companies, particularly small and micro sized ICT start-ups, are loath to risk loss of revenue and retputation on implementing cutting edge solutions. For example, each minute that an automotive production facility is paused could result in $6,000 of lost revenue for the end user which will have to be indemnified by the supplier. Additionally, failure to understand the root cause of an engine control unit fault can ground a complete fleet of executive jets and threaten multi-million dollar contracts. Nevertheless, by careful definition of system architecture, extensive modelling and evaluation trials and integration of computer, engineering and physics skills, a case can be made for successful transfer of research prototypes into the harsh, unforgiving manufacturing environments. How could this challenge be less attractive than increasing the performance of elite swimmers, jumpers, sprinters and cyclists?