The Language of Collaborative Manufacturing is a £1.9M research project sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and led by the Universities of Bristol and Bath in collaboration with our industrial partners.  We aim to deliver next-generation project dashboards that can identify potential project issues, improve productivity, and improve the management of aspects such as intellectual property, risk and cost.

Quarter 10 update – April 2016

The focus over this period has been two-fold: The first has dealt with consolidating the various analyses associated with each case study (data set) while the second has been to develop our approach for capturing user requirements and context(s). In the former work has continued across the four case studies associated with a Formula Student team and our other industrial partners.  For the latter we have developed a combined survey and interactive workshop for potential users.

During this quarter four conference papers have been accepted for publication and are to be presented in Croatia in May and Chicago in June. In addition to this a journal article associated with the automated typing of topics in email associated with engineering projects has been submitted to the Journal of Advanced Engineering Informatics.

In addition to preparing the data set and planning analysis, Dr Emanuel has been interviewing the project manager on a monthly basis to understand the issues faced and user needs, with the aim of distilling a set of requirements for an FS dashboard. Interviews and analyses are ongoing, with two main focuses. First, requirements extraction will centre on supporting the project manager’s work flow, decision making capabilities and needs regarding issue/problem support across the 22 week build period. Second, the interviews will be used to understand the prevalence or importance of the project features, developed by Dr Snider, at different points in the build life cycle. Dr Emanuel has used the previous year’s CAD model as boundary object to communicate where work and issues are occurring as they develop this year’s car. The aim is to match these annotations to occurrences in CAD activity:



We’ve also been undertaking lots of other work in collaboration with our industrial partners, such as a tool that predicts project complexity and duration with over 75% accuracy after the project is around 30% completed.  Another tool we have developed automatically connects and visualises people, topics and reports.  This is being used initially as a tool to map and identify competencies, but we hope to expand it into a tool to support the creation of technology road maps also – watch this space!

Finally, we were delighted to host Dr Heli Aramo-Immonen from Tampere University of Technology. Dr Aramo-Immonen is collaborating with Dr Joel-Edgar on visualisations to support knowledge management.

Away-day 2016


New year, time to reflect on progress to date, consolidate and plan for the coming year.  And brighten up a cold winter’s day with some fun activities (hint: It turns out that our mild-mannered computer scientist Leon is a bit of an expert with an airgun!)

In that spirit, the LOCM team escaped the office for a spot of team-building and idea generation, particularly around the best way to create impact from our research.  We don’t just want to publish high quality papers in leading conferences and journals, you know!

As well as the specific work we are undertaking with our partners such as Airbus and the National Composites Centre, we also identified some more generic, transferable outputs, including:

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Quarter 9 – Jan 2016 update

In this period we have been verifying and validating the various analytical methods and began research to understand user contexts in order that we can begin to research dashboard concepts.  Work in the area of analysis of representations has led to models to predict time to completion and stability of CAD models.  For example, we can accurately predict time to completion when the model is only about 50% complete:


Through this work we have partnered the National Composite Centre (NCC) to explore transfer-ability of the techniques to Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Work with the NCC is also exploring the automatic mapping of capability and competencies.


Quarter 8 – November 2015 update

In this quarter we have demonstrated analytical approaches for revealing previously hidden product and process dependencies through analysis of User-CAD interaction and content of technical reports/communications and novel methods for monitoring and predicting likely project complexity for routine projects.

For example, we’ve been using co-occurrence analysis to reveal model product dependencies.  However, unlike traditional methods, we can also include data from representations such as CAD models:



2015 International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED ’15) Milan, Italy

The 20th International Conference on Engineering Design took place 27-30th July 2015 in Milan. The LOCM team presented five papers across a range of topics:

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Industry Workshop 3rd July 2015

The 2015 Industry workshop an industry day was held on the 3rd July 2015 at the National Composites Centre in Bristol. The objective was to gather views on progress to date, to help us to shape the outputs to meet the challenges faced in managing engineering projects.


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Quarter 6 – April 2015 update

Over the last quarter we have been consolidating our analysis, with the aim of grouping analyses into prototype dashboards for communications, records and representations (such as CAD). Further work has been completed to finalise the full range of project features associated with the concept of engineering project health monitoring. We have now identified 85 features (proxies) for engineering Project Health Monitoring (ePHM) and started work on validating these, and ranking their relative importance for engineering project health.

Due to the number of features, this is proving quite a time consuming task – here is a small sample of the matrix!


Quarter 5 – January 2015 update

The major focus of our research effort has been on the acquisition of further datasets, preparation of prototype dashboards (vision demonstrators) and preparation of conference papers.

For example, here is a new composite of various analyses:


We’re also pleased to report that a total of five conference papers were accepted for presentation at the prestigious International Conference on Engineering Design (http://iced2015.org/), to be held in Milan in July. Details of these papers may be found in our publications section. We are also pleased to announce that RWA have now joined the project.