Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology

A special issue of Machines (ISSN 2075-1702). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Manufacturing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 6962

Special Issue Editors

Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 81031 Aversa, Italy
Interests: additive manufacturing; virtual prototyping; design for AM; digital twin; simulation
Department of Engineering, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Roma St. 29, 81031 Aversa, Italy
Interests: product design; Structural Health Monitoring (SHM); composite materials; Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: remanufacturing; industrial system design and optimization; ergonomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rapid growth of advanced technologies and their massive introduction into industrial contexts is radically changing the approach to design and manufacturing.

Modern Industry 5.0 technologies related to both Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Operational Technology (OT), such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Additive Manufacturing (AM), Digital Twin (DT), Extended Reality (XR), etc., have led to the conception of the so-called Smart Production Plant, involving all aspects from design and virtual prototyping to in-service life in an integrated approach, also ensuring, when possible, the possibility of remanufacturing existing damaged products, thus promoting the circularity of resources.

These aspects can effectively contribute to the digital transformation of industries within the goal of sustainable development, making it possible to integrate traditional and additive manufacturing technologies, as well as providing numerous benefits in machine monitoring (diagnostic and prognostics) through the use of AI and DT, which can be exploited for improving the overall equipment effectiveness of the machines involved in the production process.

This Special Issue focuses on all aspects of scientific and technological progress related to advanced design approaches and manufacturing technologies. It welcomes original research articles aimed at exploring recent developments in relevant areas, applying interdisciplinary approaches. Review articles are also accepted for proposal.

Potential topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design for Additive Manufacturing;
  • Advanced numerical simulation methods and techniques to support product and process analyses, design, and monitoring;
  • Generative Design for AM;
  • Remanufacturing;
  • Design for Disassembly;
  • Reverse Engineering;
  • Digital Twin;
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness improvement;
  • Smart maintenance and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM);
  • Extended Reality;
  • Artificial Intelligence and preventive maintenance for smart manufacturing.

Dr. Alessandro Greco
Dr. Donato Perfetto
Dr. Mario Caterino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Machines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • digital twin
  • additive manufacturing
  • generative design
  • reverse engineering
  • extended reality
  • remanufacturing
  • smart maintenance
  • product and process monitoring

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 1813 KiB  
Article
Manufacturability-Based Design Optimization for Directed Energy Deposition Processes
Machines 2023, 11(9), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11090879 - 01 Sep 2023
Viewed by 851
Abstract
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the process of joining materials by selectively depositing them layer upon layer for the purpose of manufacturing parts or assemblies which are based on a 3D digital model. The nature of these processes results in the morphing of complex [...] Read more.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the process of joining materials by selectively depositing them layer upon layer for the purpose of manufacturing parts or assemblies which are based on a 3D digital model. The nature of these processes results in the morphing of complex component geometries, enabling a high degree of design freedom and resulting in lightweight structures with increased performance. These processes, however, experience many limitations regarding manufacturability. The aim of this study is to develop a method and tool that optimizes the design of a component to avoid overhanging geometries and the need for supports during the Additive Manufacturing process. A workflow consisting of steps for topology optimization, orientation optimization, material addition, and machine code generation is described and implemented using Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper software. The proposed workflow is compared to a conventional workflow regarding manufacturing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as part volume, support volume, and build time. A significant reduction is observed regarding all the KPIs by using the proposed method. Examining the results from both the conventional workflow and the proposed one, it is clear that the latter has unquestionable advantages in terms of effectiveness. In the particular case study presented, a total volume reduction of around 80% is observed. The reduction in the total volume (including the required support volume) leads to a significant reduction in the material used as well as in the build time, consequently resulting in cost reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology)
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11 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Layer Thickness and Width for Fused Filament Fabrication of Polyvinyl Alcohol in Three-Dimensional Printing and Support Structures
Machines 2023, 11(8), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11080844 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1003
Abstract
Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is frequently applied as a support material in 3D printing, especially in the crafting of intricate designs and projecting elements. It functions as a water-soluble filament, often paired with materials like ABS or PLA. PVA serves as a momentary scaffold, [...] Read more.
Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) is frequently applied as a support material in 3D printing, especially in the crafting of intricate designs and projecting elements. It functions as a water-soluble filament, often paired with materials like ABS or PLA. PVA serves as a momentary scaffold, supporting the jutting segments of a 3D model throughout the printing process. Subsequent to printing, the primary component can be effortlessly isolated by dissolving the PVA support using water. PVA, being a pliable and eco-friendly polymer, is susceptible to moisture. Its aqueous solubility renders it a prime selection for bolstering 3D print structures. In this investigation, equivalent-sized samples were 3D printed utilizing an Ultimaker 3D printer to assess the potency of PVA-generated specimens. Tensile examinations were executed on each sample employing a testing apparatus. The durability of the specimens was notably impacted by the input parameters, specifically the stratum width and stratum thickness. Strength dwindled as stratum width increased, whereas it rose with augmented stratum thickness. A few specimens with heightened stratum width and compromised quality displayed subpar performance during the tensile assessment. The findings unveiled a peak tensile strength of 17.515 MPa and a maximum load of 1600 N. Attaining an optimal degree of material utilization led to a decrease in filament consumption by 8.87 g, all the while upholding a MTS (maximum tensile strength) of 10.078 MPa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology)
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14 pages, 11279 KiB  
Article
Experimental Assessment of Hole Quality and Tool Condition in the Machining of an Aerospace Alloy
Machines 2023, 11(7), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11070726 - 09 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1029
Abstract
This paper deals with an experimental investigation of hole quality in Al2024-T3, which is one of the aerospace alloys used in aircraft fuselage skin due to its high level of resistance to fatigue crack propagation. The experiments are conducted with 6 mm uncoated [...] Read more.
This paper deals with an experimental investigation of hole quality in Al2024-T3, which is one of the aerospace alloys used in aircraft fuselage skin due to its high level of resistance to fatigue crack propagation. The experiments are conducted with 6 mm uncoated carbide and HSS drill bits using a CNC machine under dry conditions and different drilling parameters. The characteristics of the hole quality are investigated in terms of its perpendicularity, cylindricity, circularity and hole size. An ANOVA (analysis of variance) and Pareto charts are used to analyze the effects of the drilling parameters on the hole quality. The hole quality is also assessed using a digital microscope to observe the formation of hole burrs. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy is also used to investigate the inside-hole surface defects. Further investigations are carried out using optical microscopy to inspect the post-drilling tool condition at high drilling parameters. The results show that hole quality reduces as the feed rate and spindle speed increase. However, from the ANOVA results and Pareto charts, the influence of the feed rate on the hole quality is found to be insignificant. At the same time, the type of drill bit material shows the highest percentage of contribution affecting the hole quality, following the spindle speed. The HSS drill bit shows more adhesion and built-up edges than the uncoated carbide drill bit. There were more burrs formed at the hole edges when the holes were drilled with uncoated HSS drill bits. In the same way, the SEM analysis reveals more surface deformation and damage defects inside the hole walls of holes drilled using the uncoated HSS drill bit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology)
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16 pages, 3506 KiB  
Article
A Human Error Analysis in Human–Robot Interaction Contexts: Evidence from an Empirical Study
Machines 2023, 11(7), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11070670 - 21 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
More than 60 years has passed since the installation of the first robot in an industrial context. Since then, industrial robotics has seen great advancements and, today, robots can collaborate with humans in executing a wide range of working activities. Nevertheless, the impact [...] Read more.
More than 60 years has passed since the installation of the first robot in an industrial context. Since then, industrial robotics has seen great advancements and, today, robots can collaborate with humans in executing a wide range of working activities. Nevertheless, the impact of robots on human operators has not been deeply investigated. To address this problem, we conducted an empirical study to measure the errors performed by two groups of people performing a working task through a virtual reality (VR) device. A sample of 78 engineering students participated in the experiments. The first group worked with a robot, sharing the same workplace, while the second group worked without the presence of a robot. The number of errors made by the participants was collected and analyzed. Although statistical results show that there are no significant differences between the two groups, qualitative analysis proves that the presence of the robot led to people paying more attention during the execution of the task, but to have a worse learning experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology)
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13 pages, 4379 KiB  
Article
Combined Use of sEMG and Inertial Sensing to Evaluate Biomechanical Overload in Manufacturing: An On-the-Field Experience
Machines 2023, 11(4), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11040417 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 959
Abstract
Biomechanical overload is considered a significant occupational risk in manufacturing and a potential cause of musculoskeletal disorders. This research aims to introduce new methodologies for the quantitative risk evaluation of biomechanical risk by combining surface electromyography with a motion acquisition system based on [...] Read more.
Biomechanical overload is considered a significant occupational risk in manufacturing and a potential cause of musculoskeletal disorders. This research aims to introduce new methodologies for the quantitative risk evaluation of biomechanical risk by combining surface electromyography with a motion acquisition system based on inertial measurement units. Due to the lack of experimental data in the literature acquired in a real industrial environment during the working shift, an on-the-field study regarding an automotive assembly line workstation has been carried out in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy S.p.A. Data related to the trunk flexion forward and the erector spinae muscle activity have been acquired for several consecutive working cycles by considering three different workers. Data analyses indicated kinematic and muscular activity patterns consistent with those expected and that the proposed wearable technologies can be integrated and used simultaneously during work activities. Furthermore, the results demonstrated data repeatability, strengthening the feasibility and usefulness of the combined use of kinematic and electromyography technologies to assess biomechanical overload in production lines. This study could lay the bases for the future definition of a method for assessing biomechanical overload due to awkward postures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology)
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15 pages, 9123 KiB  
Article
A 4D-Printed Self-Folding Spatial Mechanism with Pre-Stressed Response Properties
Machines 2023, 11(1), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/machines11010121 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1164
Abstract
Exploring the transformation of spatial mechanisms from their unfolded to controlled folding states to meet the requirements of various application scenarios has long been a hot topic in mechanical structure research. Although conventional spatial mechanisms can be designed to meet almost any application [...] Read more.
Exploring the transformation of spatial mechanisms from their unfolded to controlled folding states to meet the requirements of various application scenarios has long been a hot topic in mechanical structure research. Although conventional spatial mechanisms can be designed to meet almost any application scenario, the design’s complex and excessive combinations of structural components, kinematic pairs, and drive units are unavoidable. It introduces many problems, such as poor reliability, drive complexity, and control difficulties. Based on 4D printing technology, the design of self-folding spatial mechanisms that use pre-stressed response properties under predetermined thermal excitation to achieve different shrinkage ratios integrates the control and drive system and the structural components and kinematic pairs. It brings novel features of self-folding while effectively avoiding many problems associated with conventional mechanical design. Further, the pre-stressed response model introduces the self-folding spatial mechanisms’ excitation, morphing, and driving investigation. Self-folding spatial mechanisms with different shrinkage ratios were prepared via fused deposition modeling, which verified the theoretical analysis and pre-stress response model and the design’s correctness and feasibility by experiments. The existing 4D printing technology lacks a paradigmatic design method in the application field. Contrarily, this work organically combined the conventional mechanical structure design with materials and fabrication via fused deposition modeling. A systematic study of self-folding spatial mechanisms from structural design to morphing control was carried out. This design is expected to introduce a novel paradigm of 4D printing technology in conventional mechanical design and has considerable application prospects in spherical radar calibration mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Design and Manufacturing Technology)
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