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Coventry, United Kingdom

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 2.57M | Year: 2013

The Provoque project is a Research & Development initiative designed to accelerate the introduction of cost effective fuel economy improvement, CO2 reduction and enhanced driving experience on a Range Rover Evoque. It will use grant funding to progress a wide range of technologies to the point where they can be considered for production, supporting growth of UK manufacturing, component sales, and engineering service sales, and the likely resultant products have a strong demand in overseas markets to benefit UK exports. The technologies that will be developed as a result of the project include low friction engine concepts, lightweight engine components, diesel combustion systems, electric boosting systems, active technologies to improve vehicle refinement, vehicle electrical archtecture, and mild hybridisation. The broad range of technologies being developed, combined with the quality of the consortium members make this project excellent value for money.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 336.98K | Year: 2014

This project aims to deliver a revolutionary real-time remote collaboration platform, using a combination of natural gaming interface technologies, such as Microsoft Kinect™, and standard virtual and augmented reality technologies, such as immersive environments. The proposed platform will enable two geographically dispersed teams to remotely collaborate in real-time and solve a shared engineering problem by exchanging not only words, videos and images but also their physical interactions with engineering work pieces that will be captured, digitised and exchanged synchronously over the web. The remote collaboration platform will consist of knowledge capture, knowledge sharing, and knowledge recording and reuse systems. Jaguar Land Rover UK, a partner in this consortium could be the first to adopt the platform to help its product experts collaborate in real-time with their global dealership network to provide remote engineering and training support without the need for the experts to travel. This solution has the potential to impact multiple high-value manufacturing sectors within the UK and the world.

Jaguar Land Rover | Date: 2015-01-15

A flow restrictor 50 for use in a cooling system of an internal engine comprises a housing 29 enclosing an elongate body, a number of alternating first and second circumferentially extending passages formed in the elongate body. Each first passage is separated from a respective adjacent second passage by a respective land and at least one transfer passage extending across each land so as to connect the first and second passages on each side of the land and provide a significant loss in fluid momentum.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2013

Globalization and ever-changing customer demands resulting in product customization, variety and time to market have intensified enormous competition in automotive and aerospace, manufacturing worldwide. Manufacturers are under tremendous pressures to meet changing customer needs quickly and cost effectively without sacrificing quality. Responding to these challenges manufacturers have offered flexible and reconfigurable assembly systems. However, a major challenge is how to obtain production volume flexibility for a product family with low investment and capability to yield high product quality and throughput while allowing quick production ramp-up. Overcoming these challenges involves three requirements which are the focus of this proposal: (1) Model reconfigurable assembly system architecture. The system architecture should purposefully take into account future uncertainties triggered by product family mix and product demands. This will require minimizing system changeability while maximizing system reusability to keep cost down; (2) Develop novel methodologies that can predict process capability and manage product quality for given system changeability requirements; and (3) Take advantage of emerging technologies & rapidly integrate them into existing production system, for e.g., new joining processes (Remote Laser Welding) and new materials. This project will address these factors by developing a self-resilient reconfigurable assembly system with in-process quality improvement that is able to self-recover from (i) 6-sigma quality faults; and (ii) changes in design and manufacturing. In doing so, it will go beyond state-of-the-art and practice in following ways: (1) Since current system architectures face significant challenges in responding to changing requirements, this initiative will incorporate cost, time and risks involving necessary changes by integrating uncertainty models; decision models for needed changes; and system change modelling; and (2) Current in-process quality monitoring systems use point-based measurements with limited 6-sigma failure root cause identification. They seldom correct operational defects quickly and do not provide in-depth information to understand and model manufacturing defects related to part and subassembly deformation. Usually, existing surface-based scanners are used for parts inspection not in-process quality control. This project will integrate in-line surface-based measurement with automatic Root Cause Analysis, feedforward/feedback process adjustment and control to enhance system response to fault or quality/productivity degradation. The research will be conducted for reconfigurable assembly system with multi-sector applications. It will involve system changeability/adaptation and in-process quality improvement for: (i) Automotive door assembly for implementing an emerging joining technology, e.g. Remote Laser Welding (RLW), for precise closed-loop surface quality control; and (ii) Airframe assembly for predicting process capability also for precise closed-loop surface quality control. Results will yield significant benefits to the UKs high value manufacturing sector. It will further enhance the sector by accelerating introduction of new emerging eco-friendly processes, e.g., RLW. It will foster interdisciplinary collaboration across a range of disciplines such as data mining and process mining, advanced metrology, manufacturing, and complexity sciences, etc. The integration of reconfigurable assembly systems (RAS) with in-process quality improvement (IPQI) is an emerging field and this initiative will help to engender the development into an internationally important area of research. The results of the research will inform engineering curriculum components especially as these relate to training future engineers to lead the high value manufacturing sector and digital economy.

Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 2.07M | Year: 2014

Jaguar Land Rover, in partnership with Ford Motor Company Ltd, European Thermodynamics Ltd and Nottingham University, will launch a 3-year program of research in which conventional concepts of engine management of thermal energy will be re-examined using state-of-the-art simulation tools and a novel test engine which will allow the heat available to be directed to the most import components such as the cylinder liner walls. Some of the heat that will inevitably escape down the exhaust will be converted into electricity using a Thermo Electric Generator. In the longer term, if all the project targets are met, it is believed that a 5% improvement in fuel economy is possible through the conversion and management of heat energy. This research programme, scheduled to start in early 2014, is enabled by a £2 million grant from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and builds on an earlier programme which was also co-funded by the TSB.

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