Aerospace, automotive and machine instrument manufacturing can count on new digital companies that promise to make their operations extra environment friendly and productive.

Main researchers from the UBC College of Utilized Science, the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software program Engineering (IESE), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Instruments and Forming Know-how (IWU) on July 27 for a welcome and laboratory tour to have fun a brand new analysis collaboration got here collectively. Digital transformation of the manufacturing trade.

The preliminary two-year pilot goals to attract on analysis experience from three establishments to construct digital twins for producers in aerospace, automotive and machine instruments.

A digital twin makes use of Web of Issues sensors to trace information from a machine, course of or manufacturing unit in the actual world and replicate it in a digital atmosphere.

For producers counting on handbook operations, the extent of real-time information and insights that Digital Twins supplies is game-changing – particularly within the face of sudden, deeply disruptive occasions just like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Compared with the turbulent world round us, worldwide cooperation in science and expertise is usually an anchor in troubled waters,” stated Mark Eichhorn, Consul Normal of the Federal Republic of Germany. The UBC-Fraunhofer Collaboration on Industrial Digital Transformation (C-IDT) represents a “milestone of scientific collaboration and our dedication to the long run”.

Canada and Germany take pleasure in a protracted historical past of science and expertise collaboration, with over 1,000 joint analysis initiatives over the previous 50 years. UBC-Fraunhofer C-IDT is just the newest mission in that historical past, based mostly on a decade-long partnership between UBC and Fraunhofer.

Such cooperation not solely permits for financial alternatives – Germany is Canada’s largest export market to the EU, with two-way commerce value almost $26 billion in 2021 – but additionally a higher spurt of important challenges resembling local weather change and COVID-19. It additionally opens the door to options. Epidemic.

“The sort of collaboration isn’t just an financial alternative and an important platform for scientific discovery,” stated Dr. Walter Merida, affiliate dean of analysis and trade partnerships within the UBC College of Utilized Science. “In my view, this has now change into a necessity, given the brief timeframe with the challenges we face. Now we have one hundred pc of us to rework our vitality programs with out accelerating the innovation wanted to take action. Not years.”

Digital improvements are driving an unbelievable transformation of the manufacturing trade – a lot so, that this alteration is taken into account the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Trade 4.0).

Dr. Peter Ligesmeier, Director of the Fraunhofer IESE, talks concerning the worth in combining the experience of the three companions in Trade 4.0 software program, machine instruments, and thermal results and gear degradation to create the digital twin that contributes to that transformation . Collectively, they may be capable of “enhance choices to trade companions in North America and Europe.”

Dr. Stefan Ehlenfeld, director of the Fraunhofer IWU, painted an image of what the “manufacturing unit of the long run” is: that manufacturing is shifting ahead: one which makes use of native assets, has co-manufacturing processes, is carbon-negative, that integrates into the city atmosphere. And permits for hybrid work.


Such cooperation not solely permits for financial alternatives but additionally opens the door to extra shortly addressing important challenges resembling local weather change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture by Martin D Pictures.

The work of UBC-Fraunhofer C-IDT on Digital Twins represents an preliminary step in direction of this imaginative and prescient.

“One of many key points of this mission is to switch our data to the trade,” stated Dr. Yusuf Altintas, director of the Manufacturing Automation Laboratory at UBC. Digital twins will assist producers higher monitor their machines and processes. They permit producers to transition to a digital atmosphere previous to real-world implementation, lowering danger and value, and enabling safer, extra correct operation.

Whereas the pilot has focused the aerospace, automotive and machine instrument manufacturing—industries whose working prices are eye-watering and depart no room for error—Dr. Altintas reiterated the group’s shared hope to broaden into different areas. These prospects embody essential BC industries resembling lumber, meals, shipbuilding, well being care (probably by the UBC Faculty of Biomedical Engineering), mining and sensible farming.

The UBC-Fraunhofer C-IDT is open to long-term collaboration with analysis specialists on UBC’s campus, different universities and trade companions. In case you are inquisitive about studying extra concerning the collaboration, please contact the UBC APSC Analysis and Partnerships workforce at

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