Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing: Next-Gen Research Led by Ohio State

Glenn Daehn, Director of the HAMMER Engineering Research Center

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The Hybrid Autonomous Manufacturing Moving from Evolution to Revolution (HAMMER) Engineering Research Center at the Ohio State University is developing next-gen processes and systems for what the future of manufacturing will look like.

A $26 million grant from the National Science Foundation is enabling Ohio State and its partner network to carry out research and education around hybrid autonomous manufacturing.

Glenn Daehn, a professor of metallurgical engineering, is Director of the HAMMER Engineering Research Center and joins us to talk about the hybridization of manufacturing processes, how we move from automation to autonomy, the role of creativity and art in STEM, and so much more!

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. What is hybrid autonomous manufacturing? Hybrid is about using all kinds of manufacturing processes, like subtractive manufacturing (removing material), additive manufacturing (adding material), deformation (reshaping material). As part of this project, the center seeks to develop numerically controlled systems for deformation that don't currently exist. Autonomous means those different processes can be used in tandem in a full system, where you don't need a human in the loop. It's moving from manual to automated to autonomous where the process is being sensed and monitored and controlled autonomously - one example Glenn shares would be a robotic blacksmith.
  2. Manufacturing for design - not design for manufacturing: Glenn and his team are working to flip the model. Right now, the focus is on design for manufacturability. In the future, we'll have the ideal design we want and AI will enable us to develop the tools and processes to manufacture in the way we need to manufacture to get to that ideal design, and do it efficiently and with high quality.
  3. Future-thinking manufacturing relies on creativity and artistry: Just as a skilled blacksmith has the perfect combination of art and skill, future manufacturing processes will require both creativity and engineering. Someday, AI will be sophisticated enough to creatively develop new ways to manufacture for design. To ensure creativity is carried into the future of manufacturing, we need to encourage hands-on learning, give students the chance to build things, and spark their creativity and curiosity in STEM.

Resources

To learn more about the HAMMER Engineering Research Center, visit: https://hammer.osu.edu/

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