University of Cambridge

Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory

News and features

Disaster relief operations

12 May 2017

Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and droughts: when a natural disaster strikes, relief organisations react by providing medical treatment, food, water and shelter. However, in these difficult and chaotic circumstances mistakes are inevitably made and supply networks often prove to be insufficiently resilient.

Resilient Airline Operations Workshop

29 January 2017

On 22nd November DIAL held the Resilient Airline Operations Workshop. The aim of the workshop was to bring together airline disruption stakeholders to create a greater understanding of typical disruptions that airlines face in their daily operations, the propagation of these disruptions and their impact on customer experience with a view to exploring potential solutions to the problems identified.

New study on drivers for Industry 4.0 in Food and Beverage Industries

29 January 2017

In the course of the upcoming Open Innovation (OI) Forum meeting in March, hosted by Cambridge Consultants, DIAL is conducting an interview study about the current awareness of the drivers, challenges and features of industry 4.0 amongst leaders in the food, beverage and FMCG industry. 

ITALI project comes to an end

29 January 2017

In December 2016, the final deliverables from the ITALI project (Information Technology Architectures for Logistics Integration) were handed over to the partner organisation YH Global as part of the project’s conclusion.

Workshop on Sustainable Development of Critical Infrastructure for Nigeria

29 January 2017

On 13 January, DIAL PhD student, Joel Adams ran a one-day workshop in Niger Delta University, Nigeria titled: Sustainable Development of Critical Infrastructure for Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities.

Getting smart with digital

22 December 2016

Dr Alexandra Brintrup, recently appointed to the new post of Lecturer in Digital Manufacturing, explains how the IfM’s Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) has been at the forefront of digital thinking for the last two decades with its research into intelligent processes, products and services.

Construction as Manufacturing (CaM) Industrial Review

27 July 2016

DIAL has recently initiated an industrial review of Construction as Manufacturing (CaM) in collaboration with the Centre for Smart Infrastructure & Construction (CSIC) and Engineering Design Centre (EDC).

DIAL's latest research presented at MIM 2016

14 July 2016

Wenrong Lu, doctoral researcher, presented DIAL’s latest work on data mining for inventory management at the 8th IFAC Conference on Manufacturing Modelling, Management and Control (MIM 2016).

DIAL visits YH Global in China

12 July 2016

Researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory, Philip Woodall, Vaggelis Giannikas and Wenrong Lu, visited YH Global’s headquarters in June as part of the ITALI project.

New book on asset management

30 June 2016

Researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory Raj Srinivasan and Ajith Parlikad had a new book, Decision-Making in Asset Management, published by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Best paper award for the ITALI team

29 June 2016

Researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory won the best paper award at the 2016 International Conference on Information Quality. 

DIAL at the Airline Operations Conference

25 June 2016

Alena Puchkova, research associate in DIAL, participated in the AGIFORS Airline Operations Conference that was held on the 16-19th May 2016 in Seattle, USA.

Duncan McFarlane: the future of automation

21 June 2016

Professor Duncan McFarlane talked about how we should be thinking about automation at a summit on collaborative innovation at London's Royal Festival Hall.

 

 

A new collaborative award for Vaggelis Giannikas

25 April 2016

Dr Vaggelis Giannikas, research associate in the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory, has been awarded a Cambridge-PSL-French Embassy Fund to establish a new collaboration with Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University (PSL).

Cambridge Auto-ID lab showcased its latest research

24 April 2016

Researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory, Dr Vaggelis Giannikas and Dr Alexandra Brintrup represented the Cambridge Auto-ID lab at the GS1 Global Forum in Brussels in February.

Report from AMSCI quarterly meeting

22 April 2016

Tariq Masood and Brian Robertson from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory attended quarterly meeting of Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) - Advanced Manufacturing of Homes, Buildings and Infrastructure (AMHBI) which was held at Grundfos Pumps Ltd, Sunderland on 15th April 2016.

 

A social network of things - New approaches to asset management

20 April 2016

Dr Ajith Parlikad, Head of the IfM’s Asset Management Group, explains how effective asset management can deliver significant value both for manufacturers and for infrastructure owners and operators – and how his team is developing a ‘social network of things’ which has the potential to revolutionise the way in which organisations manage their assets.

Zhenglin Liang at The System Engineering and Management Science Conference

04 April 2016

Zhenglin Liang participated in The System Engineering and Management Science Conference which took place in Beijing from the 1st – 2nd April 2016.

Balancing push and pull strategies within the production system

07 March 2016

Dr Alena Puchkova, research associate in the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory, presented a paper called "Balancing push and pull strategies within the production system" at the 7th IFAC Conference on Management and Control of Production and Logistics.

Getting up to speed with automation

03 February 2016

More than 50 manufacturing companies visited the IfM last week. A mix of SMEs and multinationals, they were all there to learn how automation can help grow their businesses, improve their productivity and create better working environments for their staff.

Smart Products Through-Life Workshop

29 January 2016

On 28th January DIAL hosted the Smart Products Through-Life workshop which was second in the series of three, which aims to establish collaboration and outline the research roadmap required to support smart products through-life.

AMSCI-AMHBI consortium meeting and D(FMA)2 workshop on high-level information flows

26 January 2016

A quarterly meeting of Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) – Advanced Manufacturing of Homes, Buildings and Infrastructure (AMHBI) was held at BRE, Watford on 22 January 2016 with a consortium dinner the night before. The meeting was jointly organised by Laing O’Rourke, BRE and University of Cambridge - DIAL and Engineering Design Centre (EDC).

DIAL goes shopping.....at festival in China

25 January 2016

DIAL's research associate Vaggelis Giannikas and PhD student Wernong Lu visited China during the Singles' Day festival in November as part of an ongoing research project between DIAL and YH Global.

Cambridge Auto-ID lab at the GS1 Global Forum

25 January 2016

Cambridge Auto-ID lab will be presented at the GS1 Global Forum by DIAL's researchers Vaggelis Giannikas and Alexandra Brintrup.

First Repair Services for Domestic Appliances Workshop

20 January 2016

Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory group is currently engaged in scoping a research project to look at Enhanced Repair of Domestic Appliances.

Torben Jess investigates Industy 4.0 for Boeing

18 January 2016

DIAL's Torben Jess had a unique opportunity to work as an intern with Boeing Research and Technology in St Louis for three months.

Big and clever: a system-wide approach to data analytics

17 December 2015

The Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) at the IfM are working with companies to develop smart ways of using data to improve performance and increase resilience.

Report from AMSCI Consortium meeting

29 October 2015

We are pleased to report that a quarterly meeting of Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) Consortium was held at Thorn Lighting, Spennymoor, Durham on 16th October 2015.

20th Anniversary of the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL)

29 October 2015

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) – having started in 1995 as the Manufacturing Automation and Control Systems Group and briefly morphing into the Centre for Distributed Automation and Control or CDAC.

50 years of manufacturing at Cambridge

26 October 2015

2015 is an important year for the IfM. This October sees the 50th annual intake of students on its MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management. This was a pioneering course when it was first conceived and its twenty-first century graduates are more sought after than ever. October 2015 is also when Professor Sir Mike Gregory retires after 20 years leading manufacturing research, education and practice at the University of Cambridge and we welcome his successor, Professor Andy Neely.

AutomationML PlugFest 2015

26 October 2015

AutomationML is a rising standard in the context of Industry 4.0. In the meeting, the methods for data access and exchange for automation systems engineering and commissioning were discussed.

Maintenance optimisation for multi-component assets with fault propagation

26 October 2015

The reliability engineering community has been battling with the difficulty of modelling the complex behaviour of asset deterioration. One of the key research areas receiving increasing attention is to use mathematical models to capture the phenomenon of dependences among components within multi-component assets.

Asset management workshop

16 October 2015

Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction held an industrial workshop on Asset Management at the Institute for Manufacturing on the 28th of September. The workshop brought together practitioners across different infrastructure sectors to discuss the emerging challenges in asset management, and to help the Centre set directions for future research.

Big Data - the art of the possible

28 September 2015

The latest in a series of CSIC Future Technologies Workshops, Big Data – the Art of the Possible, attracted 50 leading professionals and academics from more than 30 organisations keen to discuss big data in the context of smart infrastructure and construction.

What makes an intelligent infrastructure asset?

27 August 2015

What would it take to enable a piece of infrastructure to take care of itself, asks Duncan McFarlane of the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure?

The Origin of the Internet of Things

31 July 2015

Most of you have probably heard the Internet of Things, or the IoT, mentioned but have you ever wondered what it means and where it all began?

INDIN 2015 Conference - special session hosted at the IfM

26 July 2015

In July, researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory were actively involved in the IEEE INDIN 2015 conference on Industrial Informatics.

AMSCI Consortium meeting held at the IfM

24 July 2015

We are pleased to report that a quarterly meeting of Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) was held at the Institute for Manufacturing on 17th July 2015.

Towards Lean and Resilient Production

16 July 2015

Dr Alena Puchkova presented a paper titled "Towards Lean and Resilient Production" at the Symposium on Information Control in Manufacturing (INCOM 2015).

IfM researchers visit YH Global in China

01 July 2015

Researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory visited YH Global in China for a two-week field trip in June as part of the ITALI project.

Researchers at the IfM win prize at the Institute of Asset Management Annual Conference

19 June 2015

CSIC’s Asset Management team based at the Institute for Manufacturing has won a prize for the Best Poster and Presentation at the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) Annual Conference 2015.

Expecting the Unexpected

17 June 2015

Expecting the Unexpected article by CSIC's Duncan McFarlane and Tariq Masood published in Infrastructure Intelligence.

IfM Briefing Day 2015

15 May 2015

On 14 May, the IfM held its annual Briefing Day – attended by more than 150 senior industrialists and policymakers who heard about the IfM’s latest research and the work it is doing with industry and government.

What's all this rubbish about repair?

29 April 2015

The UK generated over 200 million tons of waste in 2012 which comprised 14% from households. Of household waste, 2 million tons can be attributed to waste electrical and electronic equipment each year.

A new research initiative - AMSCI

29 April 2015

Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) at the Institute for Manufacturing is pleased to introduce a new research project in liaison with the Engineering Design Centre (EDC), aimed at advanced manufacturing of smart products for homes, buildings and infrastructure.

DIAL Recommender System at the ECIS Conference

28 April 2015

An Industrial Data Recommender System to Solve the Problem of Data Overload" at the European Conference on Information Systems.

Sohoma 2015 to be hosted in Cambridge

28 April 2015

In November 2015, the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory at the Institute for Manufacturing will host Sohoma 2015, an international workshop on Service Orientation in Holonic and Multi-Agent Manufacturing.

The Facebook of Things?

28 April 2015

RedBite Solutions is a technology company that turns physical objects into smart objects by connecting them to the cloud. Any object can have it’s own digital profile – just like people do on social networks, which means you can connect with the things that you own, manage and use in a much more intelligent way.

DIAL B for Boeing

31 October 2014

Duncan McFarlane, Professor of Industrial Information Engineering and head of the IfM’s Distributed Information & Automation Laboratory (DIAL), and members of his research team have been working with Boeing since 2005, finding intelligent solutions to some challenging industrial problems.

Insights shared to make collaborative research work better

23 June 2014

More than 80 people from 50 companies and Cambridge University met to discuss lessons and insights on how best to manage collaborative research between academia and industry. 

Infrastructure seminar looks ahead with futureproofing

22 April 2014

A workshop around the theme of Infrastructure Futureproofing was held at the IfM as part of a collaboration with Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC).

Successful webinar on Total Information Risk Management

16 April 2014

IfM held a successful webinar outlining a new approach to quantifying the business value of high quality data and the risk to businesses of poor quality data.

The future of flying

23 October 2012

Aircraft that work together to solve complicated mathematical problems and airports with more flexibly used runways could be the future of flying, according to studies by University of Cambridge engineers and their industrial and academic partners.

New university partnership set to revolutionise engineering Industry

04 March 2008

A major £2 million research programme has been launched to examine changes required by the engineering industry as it moves to provide more product-related services, rather than just the products themselves.

Reconfigurable production systems needed for 21st Century manufacturing

03 January 2008

Traditional manufacturing systems are poorly suited to the highly competitive, globalised markets of today according to a new book co-authored by Duncan McFarlane, Professor of Service and Support Engineering at the IfM.

Aerospace ID Forum

04 May 2007

A one day Forum focused on automated identification technologies in the aerospace industry will take place in Cambridge on Wednesday 20 June.

Announcement of new project - Asset Information Management Strategies

02 May 2007

The Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory (DIAL) has announced it is to begin a new two-year research project to develop asset information management strategies for complex engineering systems that deploys key emerging technologies.

Centre for Distributed Automation and Control explore reconfigurability

02 October 2006

The Centre for Distributed Automation and Control held a one-day workshop on 28th September.

Cambridge Auto-ID Lab and Auto-ID Lab Japan enter into collaboration

04 September 2006

The Cambridge Auto-ID Lab at Cambridge University and Auto-ID Lab Japan at Keio University have signed an academic partnership and research collaboration protocol.

Duncan McFarlane appointed to RAE Engineering Professorship

02 August 2006

Dr Duncan McFarlane from the Centre for Distributed Automation Control has been appointed to the new Royal Academy of Engineering Professorship in Service and Support Engineering.

Senior Industrial Fellow appointed Fellow of the Institute of Physics

19 July 2004

Senior Industrial Fellow at the IfM, Andy Shaw, has just been appointed Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Students and teachers visit IfM

06 July 2004

Over 20 year nine students from Chelmer Valley High School spent the day with the IfM.

Distinguished Taiwanese academics visit IfM

04 November 2003

A distinguished group of Taiwanese academics visited the Institute for Manufacturing to visit three key technology research centres.

Centre for Distributed Automation and Control opens within the Institute for Manufacturing

29 November 2002

Research to focus on advanced automation technologies for the manufacturing supply chain.

The importance of standards in a digital world

19 December 2016

IfM has just published a report, commissioned by BSI (British Standards Institute), which looks at the challenges for UK manufacturers of ‘going digital’ – and how standards and good practice can help the UK benefit from the digital revolution.

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