Inigo Flores Ituarte
Research professor and industry professional with knowledge and skills for technology trends. I specialize in optimization driven design and manufacturing, engineering design, digital design and manufacturing, CAx, simulation, predictive modelling, data science, material science, mechatronic system design, and advanced manufacturing technologies.
Manufacturing processes account for 54% of the world’s energy consumption and 20% of global CO2 emissions. Increases in efficiency by novel digital technologies will help reduce energy and materials used; and, therefore, environmental footprint.
The negative impact of bad design increases as one goes through the development cycle of a product. At the same time, the likelihood of conceiving a faulty design is much higher at the initial stages of the development process, where information and domain knowledge is often partial, ambiguous, or entirely lacking. Design and manufacturing engineers make multiple decisions on everyday company activities. Those decisions have ripple effects at all levels of company operations, from manufacturing to supply chain and beyond.
The future of industrial activity requires that material systems, design engineering, manufacturing systems, and supply-chains are better connected, intelligent, and eventually "cognitive". The next generation of computer-aided expert systems will complement humans with a conscious intellectual activity that involves prior knowledge, thinking, and assisting to explore and exploit the best solutions. Let us imagine computer-aided expert systems working together to help us simplify and eliminate repetitive tasks as well as to generate product and manufacturing layouts with different structures and configurations. We just need to focus on selecting the most appealing alternatives considering multiple optimization objectives simultaneously.
The overarching research goal within the Digital Design and Manufacturing (D2M) research lab is: "How to engineer Digital Design and Manufacturing systems that maximize product and process performance while improving cost-effectiveness, efficiency on energy and raw materials utilization, and minimize environmental impact?".
The twin-transition (i.e., digital technologies towards green deal) in Engineering Design and Manufacturing processes is crucial to simultaneously find global optimal solutions to complex problems considering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Pillar 1. Twin-transition in Engineering Design and Manufacturing processes
1.1. Sustainable manufacturing (i.e., Twin-transition, Intelligent manufacturing, Zero-waste manufacturing, Industrial IoT, data engineering, sensor technologies, …)
1.2. Optimization driven design and manufacturing. Combination of Model-based (e.g., high fidelity FEA multiscale simulation) and Data-driven engineering (e.g., DOEs, ML/AI, surrogate modelling…) for multi-disciplinary design optimization.
1.3. Manufacturing process parameter optimization (e.g., Product and process design and manufacturing “Fingerprints”, quality, statistical process control, process monitoring, robust design …)
Pillar 2. Digital Design Manufacturing “D2M” systems:
2.1. Development of open D2M systems, (e.g., open design and manufacturing systems, computer-aided expert systems, generative design systems…)
2.2. Process-Structure-Property-Performance (PSPP) in D2M (e.g., Materials: polymer, composites, and metals) with applications related to architected hierarchical structures, smart materials, functional materials, electrification materials, high-performance materials, multi-material systems…