PhD Studentship Exploitation of additive manufacturing (AM) for the manufacture of Components for armoured fighting vehicles (AFV)



Start Date: September 2013

Supervisor: Prof Irene Ng, Dr Greg Gibbons (WMG)

PhD Project Overview In adopting AM for the manufacture of components for AFV, both as part of initial vehicle manufacture and as part of the support process including deployed manufacture on operations, the following principal research questions must be answered:

  • What AM configurations enable the manufacture of AFV components?
  • Which components may be manufactured without modification from their original form and which may be manufactured subject to minor design modification to compensate for changes in material properties? 
  • How does the location of the AM systems (e.g. either as part of initial vehicle manufacture at OEM (original equipment manufacturer) facilities vs deployed manufacture of spares on operations) impact upon AM configurations and component manufacturability?
  • What is the relationship between the AM configuration and the different types of business model for incomplete or servitized products?
  • How would the integration of AM components impact on risk contracting and transformation strategy for the business (including safety and governance)?

It is proposed that these research questions be investigated through the evaluation of the following hypothesis:

That the adoption of an ‘Incomplete Product’ business model would enable industry to deliver ‘incomplete’ products as platforms for customers to tailor the use of equipment to contexts through AM and other potential hybrid AM and digital technologies whilst adhering to a core safety case which can be adapted and fulfilled by UK Ministry of Defence. 

In considering those parts which may be manufactured by AM processes, the study will focus on a paper study using existing AS systems capability as the basis for comparison, but recognising that the percentage of parts which may be manufactured by the AM process will change as AM technology develops. Specific AFV components will be selected based upon consumption of spares on deployed operations vs. the cost of transportation of those spares.  Finite Element Analysis may be used to evaluate secondary benefits (e.g. weight savings / strength gains) which might be realised by adopting AM processes. 

Requirements: This project has more of a business focus than a technical one, although it will be necessary for the student to be able to understand new technology in AM and how that might be applied to the problem of an incomplete product business model.

Proficiency in all of the usual MS Office (etc.) software tools is essential.

Awards available: 1 award available

Funding Details: Maintenance only at RCUK level

Length of Award: 3.5 years (PhD)

Eligibility: Due to funding restrictions available to Home (UK & EU) students

Application Details: Apply directly through PG Admissions (note reference number).

For further information please contact [email protected] 

Deadline: 31 July 2013

Also Read  PhD Opportunity in Automation of Welding – Process Control and Human Skills EPSRC National Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Intelligent Automation

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