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Reference - A Framework for Formalizing Science Based Composites Manufacturing Practice

From CKN Knowledge in Practice Centre
Type Thesis
Title A Framework for Formalizing Science Based Composites Manufacturing Practice
Abstract Advanced composites are materials growing in importance. In recent years, all major aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have invested significantly in this technology, and its use in automotive, alternative energy and industrial applications is rapidly growing. Increases in product size and production scaling, given radically larger and more complex structures and the sheer volume of composites manufacturing, are leading to challenging problems concerning manufacturing risk, such as increasing development time frames and program costs. The use of manufacturing science to address these problems has always been a rational and promising strategy with most research efforts focusing on automation to improve production efficiencies, the development of multiphysics based models exercised in manufacturing simulation software, and the promise of production ‘big data’ analytics given improvements in sensor technologies and machine based learning algorithms. However, it is no longer sufficient to keep adding to this science base without explicitly addressing how manufacturing practice should be changed. In this thesis, qualitative research analysis of two industrial small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Western Canada is first performed to investigate the use of the composites manufacturing science base to manage technological and market uncertainty, and how the needs and receptor capabilities of OEMs and SMEs differ. Next, a manufacturing outcomes taxonomy explicitly linking the science–technology–practice levels of activity and a hierarchical knowledge model (Equipment–Tool–Part–Material factory ontology) that defines a common nomenclature for organizing composites manufacturing domain knowledge are introduced. A series of high-level manufacturing scenarios are presented to demonstrate this developed framework. Finally, case studies based on the thermal analysis of thick thermoset composites data sets using manufacturing simulation are presented. These case studies represent a starting point for how science based approaches can be used to directly support manufacturing decisions at all stages of the development design cycle. This work represents efforts to introduce a new translational research strategy aimed at both the composites manufacturing research community and the composites industry. Its focus is to encourage the systematic use of composites manufacturing science to transform manufacturing practice, and to support the effective management of increasing manufacturing risk.
  • Fabris, Janna Noemi
City Vancouver
Department Materials Engineering
Date 2018/10/15
University The University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Publisher The University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Publication cIRcle
DOI 10.14288/1.0372787
Owner Janna Fabris
Language English
Country Canada
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CKN KPC logo


Welcome to the CKN Knowledge in Practice Centre (KPC). The KPC is a resource for learning and applying scientific knowledge to the practice of composites manufacturing. As you navigate around the KPC, refer back to the information on this right-hand pane as a resource for understanding the intricacies of composites processing and why the KPC is laid out in the way that it is. The following video explains the KPC approach:

Understanding Composites Processing

The Knowledge in Practice Centre (KPC) is centered around a structured method of thinking about composite material manufacturing. From the top down, the heirarchy consists of:

The way that the material, shape, tooling & consumables and equipment (abbreviated as MSTE) interact with each other during a process step is critical to the outcome of the manufacturing step, and ultimately critical to the quality of the finished part. The interactions between MSTE during a process step can be numerous and complex, but the Knowledge in Practice Centre aims to make you aware of these interactions, understand how one parameter affects another, and understand how to analyze the problem using a systems based approach. Using this approach, the factory can then be developed with a complete understanding and control of all interactions.

The relationship between material, shape, tooling & consumables and equipment during a process step

Interrelationship of Function, Shape, Material & Process

Design for manufacturing is critical to ensuring the producibility of a part. Trouble arises when it is considered too late or not at all in the design process. Conversely, process design (controlling the interactions between shape, material, tooling & consumables and equipment to achieve a desired outcome) must always consider the shape and material of the part. Ashby has developed and popularized the approach linking design (function) to the choice of material and shape, which influence the process selected and vice versa, as shown below:

The relationship between function, material, shape and process

Within the Knowledge in Practice Centre the same methodology is applied but the process is more fully defined by also explicitly calling out the equipment and tooling & consumables. Note that in common usage, a process which consists of many steps can be arbitrarily defined by just one step, e.g. "spray-up". Though convenient, this can be misleading.

The relationship between function, material, shape and process consisting of Equipment and Tooling and consumables


The KPC's Practice and Case Study volumes consist of three types of workflows:

  • Development - Analyzing the interactions between MSTE in the process steps to make decisions on processing parameters and understanding how the process steps and factory cells fit within the factory.
  • Troubleshooting - Guiding you to possible causes of processing issues affecting either cost, rate or quality and directing you to the most appropriate development workflow to improve the process
  • Optimization - An expansion on the development workflows where a larger number of options are considered to achieve the best mixture of cost, rate & quality for your application.