The Learning Factory Digital Twin
A proof-of-concept to apply digital twinning to the manufacturing process of aerospace components.
Project Budget* - $4.8M
Partner Co-investment - $2.7M
Supercluster Co-investment - $2.1M
Avcorp – $0.51 M
Convergent Manufacturing Technologies Inc. – $1.0 M
LlamaZOO Interactive Inc. – $0.48M
AMPD Ventures Inc. – $0.13 M
*Contracted amounts as of September 30, 2020.
Even the latest advancements in manufacturing processes and intelligent materials still rely on a form of trial and error: parts are produced and tested, and then refined and redeveloped in a costly, iterative process. The Learning Factory Digital Twin project is integrating advanced materials research with emerging manufacturing technologies to make products lighter, stronger, smarter, more durable and energy efficient, while minimizing production costs.
The simulation of traditional factory processes in a virtual environment is creating, in essence, a digital twin of a physical production facility. Sensors are being deployed to collect real-time data that will be used in combination with physics-based simulations of the production line to detect problems faster, predict results more accurately, and ultimately lead to the manufacturing of better products.
The Learning Factory Digital Twin project helps position British Columbia as a leader in digitally enhanced advanced manufacturing, leveraging the province’s growing technology sector and existing relationships within the Cascadia Corridor.
Avcorp Industries Inc. is leading this project in partnership with Convergent Manufacturing Technologies Inc., AMPD Technologies, Boeing Research & Technology, LlamaZOO Interactive, Microsoft and the University of British Columbia. Together, the project team is digitizing segments of two existing industrial production lines for complex Boeing aircraft parts, bridging the knowledge and talent gaps between research, education and full-scale industrial production to create digitally driven, industrial tools.
These tools will have a dramatic impact on spatial planning, asset tracking, asset state determination, data collection, aggregation, physics-based simulation, digital architecture and process automation, benefiting diverse customers and industries.
The project will also demonstrate the benefits of data-driven collaboration, enabling advanced computational and modelling approaches and commercial technology development opportunities.
Lessons learned in this project will inform future work and contribute toward an improved model in advanced aerospace manufacturing. Hands-on learning and research will take place in parallel with a virtual environment enabling a cycle of innovation and continuous improvement through predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring and quality control.
Longer-term potential exists to construct a new Digital Learning Factory at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, which would expand upon the learnings and new technologies developed during The Learning Factory Digital Twin project.