Cranfield's Manufacturing Informatics Centre researches and develops the new tools needed in manufacturing to translate data into business improvement through expert use of informatics.

For success in global markets, manufacturers need to be efficient, flexible, responsive and form part of sustainable and collaborative supply chains. ICT can help organisations create the necessary foundation of information and communications networks for analysis, insight and decision-making. The Centre is working with industry to overcome barriers to using ICT and deliver proven systems of modelling, simulation and automation in manufacturing.

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Our research includes a mix of ‘pull’ in terms of the needs of the manufacturing sector, and ‘push’ from the opportunities presented by technologies. We aim to extend the reach of informatics into high-value manufacturing, for example, by digitising and automating skill-intensive manufacturing processes using new human/machine interfaces and sensing systems that adapt to complex or changing situations.

Research and postgraduate education in manufacturing informatics is focused around four main themes:

  • Digitisation of Manufacturing Processes: Application of new sensor technologies to digitise, analyse and optimise skill-intensive manufacturing;
  • Optimisation of Manufacturing Processes: Multi-objective optimisation of high-value manufacturing processes, such as wing manufacture and engine assembly;
  • Cost Engineering: Early estimation of costs in engineering projects including costs for digital asset development and long term digital preservation;
  • Lean Product and Process Development: Application of information and knowledge management to lean product and process development.