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Prof Paul Conway

Our Leadership

Thread 3 Lead

Loughborough University

Paul is Dean of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough and Professor of Manufacturing Processes. He led EPSRC’s Innovative Electronics manufacturing Centre for more than 10 years and has worked in manufacturing processes and technology research and consultancy in many sectors throughout his career.

RIED Specific Links & Papers

  • A review of design frameworks for human-cyber-physical systems moving from industry 4 to 5 (September 2023)

    Within the Industry 4.0 landscape, humans collaborate with cyber and physical elements to form human-cyber-physical systems (HCPS). These environments are increasingly complex and challenging workspaces due to increasing levels of automation and data availability. An effective system design requires suitable frameworks that consider human activities and needs whilst supporting overall system efficacy.

    Although several reviews of frameworks for technology were identified, none of these focused on the human in the system (moving towards Industry 5). The critical literature review presented provides a summary of HCPS frameworks, maps the considerations for a human in HCPS, and provides insight for future framework and system development. The challenges, recommendations, and areas for further research are discussed.

  • Predicting electrical power consumption of end milling using a virtual machining energy toolkit (V_MET) – (September 2023)

    Understanding electrical energy consumption of machines and processes is of increasing importance to (i) minimise costs and environmental impact of production activities and (ii) provide an additional information stream to inform condition monitoring systems (i.e. digital twins) about a machine’s status and health. The research outlined in this paper develops a Virtual Machining Energy Toolkit (V_MET) to predict the electrical power consumption of a Computer Numeric Control (CNC) milling machine cutting a particular part program from preparatory codes (i.e. G code). In this way the evaluation of the energy impact of manufacturing part programs prior to implementation and real-time monitoring of the process can become a routine activity at part of a total manufacturing system optimisation. The novelty of this work lies in the inclusion of a virtual CNC process model to determine cutting geometry (i.e. width and depth of cut) to enable the prediction of relatively complex part program geometry.

    V_MET consists of three components: (i) the NC interpreter to extract key parameters (e.g. spindle speed, feed rate, tool path) from G-code instructions, (ii) a virtual CNC process model to determine instantaneous cutting geometry (i.e. width and depth of cut) and the material removal from the resulting machining by simulating the motion of the tool path to predict the interaction between the tool tip and workpiece and (iii) an energy model to predict the electrical power consumption for a given set of conditions, developed using regression analysis of data collected under real manufacturing conditions.

    Validation of V_MET has been conducted by physical machining of different product features to evaluate the validity over a range of different cutting parameters, NC operations (i.e. linear, clockwise interpolations) and repasses over previously cut regions. Overall good accuracy has been observed for the predicted energy requirements as a function of the cutting regimes, with 4.3% error in total energy and Mean Average Percentage Error (MAPE) of 5.6% when compared with measurements taken during physical cutting trials.

  • THERMEC 2023 – Vienna – (July 2023)

    Members of the RIED Loughborough attended the THERMEC 2023 Conference in Vienna, Austria, a very prestigious bi-annual International Conference on “PROCESSING & MANUFACTURING OF ADVANCED MATERIALS: Processing, Fabrication, Properties, Applications”

    The work presented was on the biodegradable and bioresorbable materials for medical devices and scaffolds based on Ca-Mg-Zn chemistry for bulk metallic glasses. PhD researcher Shangmou Yang and supervisors Profs Paul Conway and Carmen Torres presented and defended the paper entitled “Can multifunctionality of bioresorbable BMGs be tuned by controlling crystallinity?” during the session ‘Metallic Glasses 3’ chaired by one of them most eminent and internationally respected experts in bulk metallic glasses, Prof Jürgen Eckert, from Montanuniversität Leoben & Erich Schmid Institute of Materials Science, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Leoben (Austria).

    Shangmou presenting at THERMEC 2023

    Shangmou presenting at THERMEC 2023

    It was Shangmou’s first international experience presenting his work; he was well prepared and did a very good job in front of scientists from all over the world who are also working on that alloy system. This work is co-sponsored by Alloyed Ltd, the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and EPSRC Programme Grant ‘RIED’.

    Shangmou happy (and relieved!) after his presentation

    And to make it even more special…

    The RIED-Wien local team came to support us and boost our mood!

    We met with Dr Vincent McKenna, RIED alumnus, who now resides in Vienna. It was a fabulous occasion, and we spent a lovely time with him there, celebrating how well he is doing in the city he now calls home. We are already looking forward to meeting him again (here in the UK or in Wien!)

    Shangmou, Vincent, Carmen and Paul at the Belvedere Palace gardens, in Vienna

    Shangmou, Vincent, Carmen and Paul at the Belvedere Palace gardens, in Vienna