The Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) studies ways in which advanced information systems and automated identification technologies, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID), can be combined with advanced production and asset management systems to create and deploy smart products, flexible, reconfigurable manufacturing operations and innovative services.
DIAL's vision is to develop a distinctive expertise at the interface between technical and managerial control of complex industrial systems, and to deploy this expertise at different points in the life-cycle of a product.
DIAL does this by:
- exploiting the key enabling technology of RFID
- integrating automatic identification and information management and data capture technologies into existing business systems
- developing improved decision support systems
- developing distributed automated solutions for manufacturing
- assessing and improving industrial responsiveness and performance
- quantifying the value of improved information for better decision making
- reconfiguring industrial systems to future-proof their operations
DIAL incorporates the Cambridge Auto-ID Lab, which was a founding partner in the Auto-ID Centre project to bring affordable RFID to the consumer-packaged goods industry. DIAL's interests cover all aspects of manufacturing and operations control from automated manufacturing cells to business wide enterprise resource planning and asset management systems.