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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P012272/1
Title: Energy Resilient Manufacturing 2: Small is Beautiful Phase 2 (SIB2)
Principal Investigator: Jolly, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Makatsoris, Professor C Salonitis, Dr K Charnley, Dr F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cast Metals Federation
Department: Sch of Aerospace, Transport & Manufact
Organisation: Cranfield University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 09 January 2017 Ends: 08 July 2020 Value (£): 755,750
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Jul 2016 Energy Resillient Manufacturing 2 Interview Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Context: Applying the concept of "small is beautiful" into a conservative relatively low technology manufacturing sector where the "economies of scale" argument has been used for the last decade to build ever more so-called efficient process lines is a major challenge. The UK is at the forefront of casting technologies with investment by EPSRC at Brunel, in the LiME CIM and new Research Hub focused on developing a novel disruptive melt treatment process especially aimed at recycled alloys, and at the MTC in the New High Temperature Alloy research laboratory part funded by Rolls-Royce and EPSRC. Manufacturing expertise, including casting, in super-alloys, titanium, copper, aluminium and new alloys, underpins advancements in design and energy-efficiency of the end product. This research is vital for the global aerospace and automotive industries but doesn't specifically address the Energy and sustainability challenges from a systems viewpoint. Thus the energy efficiency of the casting process has only been investigated in a limited fashion, for example by a previous EPSRC funded project (Jolly (PI) EP/G060096/1/2) Energy Saving in the Foundry Industry. Since that proposal was written and the research carried out the whole energy landscape has changed. New concepts of "energy harvesting" and "design for sustainability and the circular economy" have been developed and capturing low grade heat is now an important concept.

Aims & Objectives: The aim of this project is to introduce the concept of "small is beautiful" into a conservative relatively low technology manufacturing sector where the "economies of scale" argument has been used for the last decade to build ever more so-called efficient process lines. This will be a major challenge. The new philosophy, "small is beautiful", starts by encouraging the use of high quality feedstock, only melting what is required and only when it is required. Recycling of internal scrap is not necessarily acceptable but an aim for higher yields is. Applying counter gravity casting methods to improve yield and give enhanced quality is encouraged as is the recovery low grade heat from solidification.

Driven by the findings in the feasibility study the project will aim to develop a methodology and a modelling toolkit, to enable true energy resilient manufacture with the production of castings at maximum yield rates with minimal energy and material usage through process routes that maximise profit, while meeting customer needs accurately and timely. In contrast to existing approaches the methodology and toolkit will determine the optimal balance between those often conflicting objectives through integrated and through-process models of the energy, materials and manufacturing process chains.

Potential Applications and Benefits: The project will achieve this by the development of a software tool incorporating a new philosophy/methodology and metric for the handling of materials and energy throughout the process in foundries using computer numerical process simulation to support the decision making. The project will also look at the full energy chain from charge materials through to waste heat and energy in the process and identify the opportunities for scavenging waste heat and the costs associated with the whole process. This will therefore enable cost/benefit analysis to be undertaken so that companies will be able to make informed decisions about design, material and process at a very early stage.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk