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Enabling Smart Manufacturing Research and Development using a Product Lifecycle Test Bed



Moneer M. Helu, Thomas D. Hedberg


Smart manufacturing technologies require a cyber-physical infrastructure to collect and analyze data and information across the manufacturing enterprise. This paper describes the design of a product lifecycle test bed concept built on a cyber-physical infrastructure that enables smart manufacturing research and development. The test bed consists of a Computer-Aided Technologies (CAx) Lab and a Manufacturing Lab that interface through the product model creating a "digital thread" of information across the product lifecycle. The structure and architecture of the test bed is presented, which highlights the challenges and requirements to implement a cyber- physical infrastructure for manufacturing. It also highlights the technologies and standards needed to integrate systems in each product lifecycle stage so that information may seamlessly flow across design, fabrication, and inspection. Potential research opportunities enabled by the test bed are also discussed, such as providing publicly accessible CAx and manufacturing reference data, real-time virtual factory data, and a representative industrial environment for creating, prototyping, and validating smart manufacturing technologies.
Conference Dates
June 8-12, 2015
Conference Location
Charlotte, NC
Conference Title
43rd SME North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC43)


Smart manufacturing, product lifecycle, cyber-physical infrastructure, digital thread
Created June 8, 2015, Updated February 19, 2017