Completed Projects

DIAL works with leading international companies in areas ranging from RFID technology development to through-life product information management. Interaction with industry takes a variety of forms including long-term research collaborations, commissioned research, consultancy and executive education.


1. Virtual Intelligent Production, Procurement and Prediction system (VIPr)

A 3-year project funded by Boeing, aims to look at challenges that manufacturers face if suppliers do not deliver an assembly or component on time and at the right quality.


2. Materials and Process Tracking and Analysis for Production Efficiency (MaPTAPE)


An industrial project funded by Boeing to develop and implement a flexible tracking system and information architecture, for resilient production operations. The project brings together various tracking and direct part marking technologies with IT infrastructure to track materials and the associated process parameters in production. Additionally, the data captured from the system is used for advanced data analytics to analyse the root causes of quality problems and reliability prediction for production resources.



Prof. Duncan Mcfarlane, Alan Thorne, Dr. Raj Srinivasan, Simon Senitt


3. Dynamic and Adaptable Supply Chain Logistics System (DASHLog)


The Dynamically Adaptable Supply Chain Logistics (DASHlog) project started in March 2017 and continues DIAL’s research with YH Global Supply Chain Co., Ltd. The vision of the project is to enable YH Global to improve organisational performance by adapting quickly to new requirements, adapting to requirements from a greater number of projects/clients, and systematically supporting project variations more closely in IT and operations.

This will be achieved by investigating to what extent the company can operate in “different modes” for both the current operations and IT systems. Switching between modes will be guided by an evaluation engine and a data analytics component (the latter will also be used to provide advanced reporting to clients). The following scenario illustrates one aspect of the work:

Overall, the project aims to deliver a demonstrator prototype software system showing how and when to switch between modes, and documented operational procedures showing how operations can be modified to take advantage of the new modes. It also aims to support YH Global in the development and implementation of their new IT architecture, which was designed as part of the previous ITALI project with YH Global.



Project PI: Prof. Duncan McFarlane

The project is led by Dr Philip Woodall and will collaborate with Dr Vaggelis Giannikas at Bath University.

Researchers: Jorge Merino, Shuya Zhong


Project partner: YH Global Supply Chain Co., Ltd


4. Industrial uses of internet of things

An early initiator of the ‘internet of things’ concept, DIAL is examining its role in manufacturing.


5. Integrated Design, Manufacturing and Assembly D(FMA)2

This project aims to investigate how can we improve the resilience of novel construction elements and their associated design and manufacturing processes.


6. Resilient Architectures for Design and Manufacture

A 4-year project funded by the Department of  Business Innovation and Skills looks at ‘how the resilience of novel construction elements and their associated design and manufacturing processes can be improved'?


7. Achieving Leveraged Advantage from Distributed Information (ALADDIN)

A 3-year project funded by the Boeing Company, looking at how the vast amounts of data Boeing deals with on a daily basis can be turned into a more valuable commodity for the business.


8. Aerospace ID Technologies programme (Aero-ID)

The Aerospace ID Technologies Programme was an industry led independent research initiative that provided answers to key deployment challenges to automated ID in the Aerospace sector. It was made up of a number of discrete, finite research projects each centred on a particular aspect of the technology and its application.


9. Building Radio Frequency IDentification for the Global Environment (BRIDGE)

BRIDGE was a European Union funded 3-year Integrated Project addressing ways to resolve the barriers to the implementation of RFID in Europe, based upon GS1 EPCglobal standards.


10. Disruption Tolerant Automated Lean Factories (DisTAL)

A 3-year project funded by Boeing, to improve the resilience of manufacturing automation in the face of operational disruptions.


11. Information Quality for Asset Management (IQAM)

IQAM is an EPSRC funded project that aims to develop a methodology and tool to quantify and optimise information quality in the context of asset management to improve the economic sustainability of asset-intensive organisations.


12. IT Architectures for Logistics Integration (ITALI)

Developing new logistics IT architectures to enable more efficient and flexible logistics operations.


13. Failure Diagnosis and Fault-Data Management for Modern Locomotive Systems

Funded by Hitachi Europe Ltd, this project aims to develop an intelligent, adaptive, self-learning fault data management approach and fault-diagnosis tool for train systems.


14. Organising Production Technology Into Most Responsive States - 3D Print Machine Enabled Networks (OPTIMOS PRIME)

A major challenge for manufacturing supply networks is that of making operations lean for cost and efficiency reasons while at the same time maintaining a level of responsiveness that enables the organisation(s) to meet demands for customised products, fluctuating requests for spares and repairs and to demonstrate resilience to delays in the supply base  in manufacturing operations.


15. PROduct lifecycle Management and Information tracking using Smart Embedded systems (PROMISE)

PROMISE aimed to develop a new generation of PLM system that uses smart embedded IT systems, allows the seamless flow and transformation of data and information to knowledge and to allow all actors in a product's lifecycle to manage and control product information at any moment of its lifecycle, at any place in the world.


16. Repair Services for Domestic Appliances

Over the last 30 years, the replacement of failed domestic appliances with new ones has become a relatively inexpensive, quick and easy solution while repair has become a more costly and time-consuming option.


17. Self-Serving Assets In A Highly Networked Environment (SAHNE)

The SAHNE project aimed to bring the intelligent asset vision alive in the aerospace sector, where parts are self-aware, and have the goal to maximise their life in service by contacting, selecting and procuring service providers autonomously. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Boeing Company.


18. Strategies for Asset Information Management (SAIM)

SAIM aimed to develop and test new strategies for managing information associated with complex engineering assets. In particular, we aimed to examine and demonstrate the impact of key emerging technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on the effectiveness with which these assets are managed throughout their lifecycle - particularly during the usage and retirement phases.


Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction projects:


1. Design for Disaster Relief and Resilience


The Disaster Resilient Supply Chain Operations in South Asia (DROPS) project started in September 2016 and completed in March 2017. This project was funded by an EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Grant, in collaboration with Cambridge Engineering Design Centre and Department of Architecture.

The vision of the project was to improve disaster supply chain operations by enabling resilience. Natural Disasters have affected 377 million people with worldwide economic damage of  $92.38 billion in 2016 – both numbers are increasing over years (CRED, 2016). Whenever there is an earthquake, flood, heat wave or heavy snow, disaster management (response-recovery-mitigation-preparation) organisations provide medicine, food, water and shelter. However, a particular challenge is that the disaster management operations (DMOs) are disrupted due to disconnectedness between commercially established and ad hoc disaster management supply networks requiring future-proof DMOs aimed at saving lives, rebuilding infrastructure and society.


As part of this project, a novel DROPS framework of considering resilience, supply network integration and big data analytics in DMOs was proposed (Masood et al 2017). This is based upon a 5-day International Workshop organised as part of this project at Cambridge during 28 Nov– 2 Dec, 2016. The workshop gathered senior practitioners, government officials and academics involved in disaster preparedness, mitigation and relief with expertise in aspects of supply chain operations, resilience and big data analytics. During the workshop, current practices, issues, challenges and key factors related to DROPS were explored. Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and disease related disasters were discussed. Case studies and lessons learnt related to the project aims were presented on disasters and supply chain operations in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand and USA.



Project PI: Prof. Duncan McFarlane

The project was led by Dr Tariq Masood and collaborated with Dr Emily So in Department of Architecture.

Researcher: Dr Tariq Masood


Project partners:

Teradata, Telenor, Resurgence, IMC Worldwide, Pakistan Railways, National Disaster Management Authority (Pakistan), Economic Affairs Division (Pakistan), University of Engineering & Technology (Lahore & Taxila), National University of Sciences & Technology (Rawalpindi), Global Assessment Technologies, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, University of Peshawar, Transways Logistics Solutions, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Texas A&M University


2. Resilient Architectures for Design and Manufacture


The Resilient Architectures for Design and Manufacture project started in 2015 as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative – Advanced Manufacturing of Homes, Buildings and Infrastructure (AMSCI-AMHBI). The project is aimed at addressing the gap in housing supply by creating a new Laing O’Rourke off-site manufacturing facility for 10,000 new homes each year and helping deliver the UK Industrial Strategy for Construction, targeting 33% lower costs, 50% faster deliver, 50% lower emissions and 50% improvement in the import export trade gap.

The University of Cambridge team is addressing the overarching question of ‘how the resilience of novel construction elements and their associated design and manufacturing processes can be improved?’ Central to achieving this aim is the inherent importance of project management decision making, and the cross-team and cross-company information flow, design and production approaches and tools necessary to support effective decisions.


The project is addressing the fragmented delivery approach of the construction industry by reviewing construction as manufacturing approaches, adopting the proven engineering tools and processes of the highly efficient automotive and aerospace industries while also developing new tools. The project will deliver the understanding, tools and approaches required to support early design and production decision making in the manufacture of novel construction components in an advanced, highly automated, yet reconfigurable manufacturing plant. It will also assist the management of a stable supply chain for mechanical and electrical modules and integrated building and infrastructure assemblies.



Project PIs: Prof. Duncan McFarlane, Prof. P. John Clarkson

The project is led by Dr Tariq Masood and collaborates with Cambridge Engineering Design Centre.

Researchers: Dr Tariq Masood, Dr Raj Srinivasan, Brian Robertson, Alan Thorne


Project partners:

Laing O'Rourke, Airedale, Apex Cables, Armstrong, Arup, Beckhoff Automation, British Gypsum/Saint Gobain, BRE, Crane, Crown House Technologies, Expanded, Explore Manufacturing, Fulcro, Grundfos, Hamworthy Heating, Hoare Lea, Select, SIG, Thorn Lighting, University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and WSP.


3. Infrastructure Futureproofing

Understanding and developing both the ability of infrastructure to be resilient to unexpected or uncontrollable events [e.g. those associated with climate change] and also the ability to adapt to required changes in structure and / or operations of the infrastructure in the future [e.g. expansion of capacity, change in usage mode or volumes] is challenging due to an uncertain future.


4. Information Futureproofing

The amount of information created and used in infrastructure and construction sectors is huge and diverse by nature. Organizations need to understand specific requirements for efficient information management throughout infrastructure life cycles and their supply chains.


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