University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Process Automation Lab

Process Automation Laboratory
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Process Automation Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst focuses on development of general solutions that can cope with process uncertainty. Areas of concentration are Simulation Tuning, Fault Diagnosis and Manufacturing Automation. Among the products of this laboratory are the pattern classifying fault diagnostic method Multi-Valued Influence Matrix (MVIM) and the Structure-Based Connectionist Network (SBCN) for fault diagnosis of helicopter gearboxes. The MVIM method has been applied to tool breakage detection in turning (in collaboration with GE Corporate Research) as well as fault diagnosis of helicopter gearboxes (in collaboration with NASA Lewis and Sikorsky Aircraft). This laboratory has also contributed to manufacturing automation. The important contributions in manufacturing are the methods of Recursive Constraint Bounding (RCB) and Virtual Search. The RCB method has been applied to cycle-time reduction in cylindrical plunge grinding, and the Virtual Search has been demonstrated in tuning injection molding processes (in collaboration with the United Technologies Research Center) as well as in helicopter track and balance. The most recent product of his research is the Parameter Signature Isolation Method (PARSIM) that provides a completely new solution to parameter estimation of nonlinear dynamic systems and has been applied to simulation tuning of jet engines in collaboration with Pratt & Whitney.



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