Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing
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Also known as the RCAM, the mission of the center is to promote and apply university led advanced manufacturing research and development work. In order to respond to the industry's needs and to provide the conditions to educate undergraduate and graduate students in the area of manufacturing
The Department of Mechanical Engineering along with SMU School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University established the Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) in September 1999. Activity within RCAM (Center) lies at the interface between science, engineering, and industrial practice. The Center provides the intellectual foundation for industry to collaborate with faculty and students to resolve generic, long-range challenges, thereby producing the knowledge base for steady advances in technology and their speedy transition to the marketplace.
The Center is equipped with the most advanced equipment and instrumentation, and is supported by a well equipped machine shop and computing facilities. The Center is housed in the J. Lindsay Embrey Building at Southern Methodist University's main Dallas campus. The Center consists of the following laboratories:
- Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Laboratory
- Laser Materials Processing Laboratory
- E-beam Materials Processing Laboratory
- R&D in Welding Laboratory
- Abrasive Waterjet Materials Processing Laboratory
- Friction Stir Welding Laboratory
- Materials Characterization Laboratory
The research team has a wide range of technical expertise including the following areas:
- Rapid Manufacturing of Functional Parts
- Repair of High Value Parts (engine parts, dies, molds, etc.)
- High Power Laser in Welding/Surface Modification
- Waterjet/Abrasive Waterjet Cutting
- Control and Optimization of Welding Processes
- Application of Friction Stir Welding
- Integration of Machine Vision Systems for Monitoring and Controlling Different Processes
- Integration of Different Positioning Systems, Sensors and Controllers
- Numerical Analysis: ANSYS Software
- Material flow simulation of polymers (MoldFlow Software).
- Application of CAD Software: Pro-E, SolidWorks, AutoCad.
- Application Software: C, C++, Assembly Language, LABVIEW, MATLAB
- Materials Science: SEM, X-Ray Diffraction, Metallographic Characterization
- Development of Control Systems Based on Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic
The Southern Methodist University, RCAM has recently filed invention disclosures (1 and 2 in the list below) for sensing technologies for variable polarity plasma arc welding (VPPAW) and friction stir welding (FSW) respectively. These sensing technologies would markedly improve the quality control and performance of these processes used by aerospace industries and others. While these new systems have been proven by RCAM to be effective sensing techniques, the laboratory devices currently used are in the prototype stage. Further hardware development and refinement of the analysis and control software will be required to create market-ready systems.