Intelligent manufacturing is a general concept that is under continuous development. It can be categorized into three basic paradigms: digital manufacturing, digital-networked manufacturing, and newgeneration intelligent manufacturing. New-generation intelligent manufacturing represents an indepth integration of new-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology and advanced manufacturing technology. It runs through every link in the full life-cycle of design, production, product, and service. The concept also relates to the optimization and integration of corresponding systems; the continuous improvement of enterprises’ product quality, performance, and service levels; and reduction in resources consumption. New-generation intelligent manufacturing acts as the core driving force of the new industrial revolution and will continue to be the main pathway for the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry in the decades to come. Human-cyber-physical systems (HCPSs) reveal the technological mechanisms of new-generation intelligent manufacturing and can effectively guide related theoretical research and engineering practice. Given the sequential development, cross interaction, and iterative upgrading characteristics of the three basic paradigms of intelligent manufacturing, a technology roadmap for ‘‘parallel promotion and integrated development” should be developed in order to drive forward the intelligent transformation of the manufacturing industry in China.
With the rapid developments of the high-speed railway in China, a great number of long-span bridges have been constructed in order to cross rivers and gorges. At present, the longest main span of a constructed high-speed railway bridge is only 630 m. The main span of Hutong Yangtze River Bridge and of Wufengshan Yangtze River Bridge, which are under construction, will be much longer, at 1092 m each. In order to overcome the technical issues that originate from the extremely large dead loading and the relatively small structural stiffness of long-span high-speed railway bridges, many new technologies in bridge construction, design, materials, and so forth have been developed. This paper carefully reviews progress in the construction technologies of multi-function combined bridges in China, including combined highway and railway bridges and multi-track railway bridges. Innovations and practices regarding new types of bridge and composite bridge structures, such as bridges with three cable planes and three main trusses, inclined main trusses, slab-truss composite sections, and steel-concrete composite sections, are introduced. In addition, investigations into high-performance materials and integral fabrication and erection techniques for long-span railway bridges are summarized. At the end of the paper, prospects for the future development of long-span high-speed railway bridges are provided.
This paper introduces the high-speed electrical multiple unit (EMU) life cycle, including the design, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance stages. It also presents the train control and monitoring system (TCMS) software development platform, the TCMS testing and verification bench, the EMU driving simulation platform, and the EMU remote data transmittal and maintenance platform. All these platforms and benches combined together make up the EMU life cycle cost (LCC) system. Each platform facilitates EMU LCC management and is an important part of the system.
Our next generation of industry—Industry 4.0—holds the promise of increased flexibility in manufacturing, along with mass customization, better quality, and improved productivity. It thus enables companies to cope with the challenges of producing increasingly individualized products with a short lead-time to market and higher quality. Intelligent manufacturing plays an important role in Industry 4.0. Typical resources are converted into intelligent objects so that they are able to sense, act, and behave within a smart environment. In order to fully understand intelligent manufacturing in the context of Industry 4.0, this paper provides a comprehensive review of associated topics such as intelligent manufacturing, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled manufacturing, and cloud manufacturing. Similarities and differences in these topics are highlighted based on our analysis. We also review key technologies such as the IoT, cyber-physical systems (CPSs), cloud computing, big data analytics (BDA), and information and communications technology (ICT) that are used to enable intelligent manufacturing. Next, we describe worldwide movements in intelligent manufacturing, including governmental strategic plans from different countries and strategic plans from major international companies in the European Union, United States, Japan, and China. Finally, we present current challenges and future research directions. The concepts discussed in this paper will spark new ideas in the effort to realize the much-anticipated Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The rise of big data has led to new demands for machine learning (ML) systems to learn complex models, with millions to billions of parameters, that promise adequate capacity to digest massive datasets and offer powerful predictive analytics (such as high-dimensional latent features, intermediate representations, and decision functions) thereupon. In order to run ML algorithms at such scales, on a distributed cluster with tens to thousands of machines, it is often the case that significant engineering efforts are required—and one might fairly ask whether such engineering truly falls within the domain of ML research. Taking the view that “big” ML systems can benefit greatly from ML-rooted statistical and algorithmic insights—and that ML researchers should therefore not shy away from such systems design—we discuss a series of principles and strategies distilled from our recent efforts on industrial-scale ML solutions. These principles and strategies span a continuum from application, to engineering, and to theoretical research and development of big ML systems and architectures, with the goal of understanding how to make them efficient, generally applicable, and supported with convergence and scaling guarantees. They concern four key questions that traditionally receive little attention in ML research: How can an ML program be distributed over a cluster? How can ML computation be bridged with inter-machine communication? How can such communication be performed? What should be communicated between machines? By exposing underlying statistical and algorithmic characteristics unique to ML programs but not typically seen in traditional computer programs, and by dissecting successful cases to reveal how we have harnessed these principles to design and develop both high-performance distributed ML software as well as general-purpose ML frameworks, we present opportunities for ML researchers and practitioners to further shape and enlarge the area that lies between ML and systems.
An increased global supply of minerals is essential to meet the needs and expectations of a rapidly rising world population. This implies extraction from greater depths. Autonomous mining systems, developed through sustained R&D by equipment suppliers, reduce miner exposure to hostile work environments and increase safety. This places increased focus on “ground control” and on rock mechanics to define the depth to which minerals may be extracted economically. Although significant efforts have been made since the end of World War II to apply mechanics to mine design, there have been both technological and organizational obstacles. Rock in situ is a more complex engineering material than is typically encountered in most other engineering disciplines. Mining engineering has relied heavily on empirical procedures in design for thousands of years. These are no longer adequate to address the challenges of the 21st century, as mines venture to increasingly greater depths. The development of the synthetic rock mass (SRM) in 2008 provides researchers with the ability to analyze the deformational behavior of rock masses that are anisotropic and discontinuous—attributes that were described as the defining characteristics of in situ rock by Leopold Müller, the president and founder of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM), in 1966. Recent developments in the numerical modeling of large-scale mining operations (e.g., caving) using the SRM reveal unanticipated deformational behavior of the rock. The application of massive parallelization and cloud computational techniques offers major opportunities: for example, to assess uncertainties in numerical predictions; to establish the mechanics basis for the empirical rules now used in rock engineering and their validity for the prediction of rock mass behavior beyond current experience; and to use the discrete element method (DEM) in the optimization of deep mine design. For the first time, mining—and rock engineering—will have its own mechanics-based “laboratory.” This promises to be a major tool in future planning for effective mining at depth. The paper concludes with a discussion of an opportunity to demonstrate the application of DEM and SRM procedures as a laboratory, by back-analysis of mining methods used over the 80-year history of the Mount Lyell Copper Mine in Tasmania.
With ever-increasing market competition and advances in technology, more and more countries are prioritizing advanced manufacturing technology as their top priority for economic growth. Germany announced the Industry 4.0 strategy in 2013. The US government launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) in 2011 and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) in 2014. Most recently, the Manufacturing USA initiative was officially rolled out to further “leverage existing resources… to nurture manufacturing innovation and accelerate commercialization” by fostering close collaboration between industry, academia, and government partners. In 2015, the Chinese government officially published a 10-year plan and roadmap toward manufacturing: Made in China 2025. In all these national initiatives, the core technology development and implementation is in the area of advanced manufacturing systems. A new manufacturing paradigm is emerging, which can be characterized by two unique features: integrated manufacturing and intelligent manufacturing. This trend is in line with the progress of industrial revolutions, in which higher efficiency in production systems is being continuously pursued. To this end, 10 major technologies can be identified for the new manufacturing paradigm. This paper describes the rationales and needs for integrated and intelligent manufacturing (i2M) systems. Related technologies from different fields are also described. In particular, key technological enablers, such as the Internet of Things and Services (IoTS), cyber-physical systems (CPSs), and cloud computing are discussed. Challenges are addressed with applications that are based on commercially available platforms such as General Electric (GE)’s Predix and PTC’s ThingWorx.
Wind-induced vibrations commonly represent the leading criterion in the design of long-span bridges. The aerodynamic forces in bridge aerodynamics are mainly based on the quasi-steady and linear unsteady theory. This paper aims to investigate different formulations of self-excited and buffeting forces in the time domain by comparing the dynamic response of a multi-span cable-stayed bridge during the critical erection condition. The bridge is selected to represent a typical reference object with a bluff concrete box girder for large river crossings. The models are viewed from a perspective of model complexity, comparing the influence of the aerodynamic properties implied in the aerodynamic models, such as aerodynamic damping and stiffness, fluid memory in the buffeting and self-excited forces, aerodynamic nonlinearity, and aerodynamic coupling on the bridge response. The selected models are studied for a windspeed range that is typical for the construction stage for two levels of turbulence intensity. Furthermore, a simplified method for the computation of buffeting forces including the aerodynamic admittance is presented, in which rational approximation is avoided. The critical flutter velocities are also compared for the selected models under laminar flow.
In the past decades, many underwater tunnels have been constructed in the mainland of China, and great progress has been made in related tunneling technologies. This paper presents the history and state of the art of underwater tunnels in the mainland of China in terms of shield-bored tunnels, drill-and-blast tunnels, and immersed tunnels. Typical underwater tunnels of these types in the mainland of China are described, along with innovative technologies regarding comprehensive geological prediction, grouting-based consolidation, the design and construction of large cross-sectional tunnels with shallow cover in weak strata, cutting tool replacement under limited drainage and reduced pressure conditions, the detection and treatment of boulders, the construction of underwater tunnels in areas with high seismic intensity, and the treatment of serious sedimentation in a foundation channel of immersed tunnels. Some suggestions are made regarding the three potential great strait-crossing tunnels—the Qiongzhou Strait-Crossing Tunnel, Bohai Strait-Crossing Tunnel, and Taiwan Strait-Crossing Tunnel—and issues related to these great strait-crossing tunnels that need further study are proposed.
With the popularization of the Internet, permeation of sensor networks, emergence of big data, increase in size of the information community, and interlinking and fusion of data and information throughout human society, physical space, and cyberspace, the information environment related to the current development of artificial intelligence (AI) has profoundly changed. AI faces important adjustments, and scientific foundations are confronted with new breakthroughs, as AI enters a new stage: AI 2.0. This paper briefly reviews the 60-year developmental history of AI, analyzes the external environment promoting the formation of AI 2.0 along with changes in goals, and describes both the beginning of the technology and the core idea behind AI 2.0 development. Furthermore, based on combined social demands and the information environment that exists in relation to Chinese development, suggestions on the development of AI 2.0 are given.
The possible mitigation of floods by dams and the risk to dams from floods are key problems. The People’s Republic of China is now leading world dam construction with great success and efficiency. This paper is devoted to relevant experiences from other countries, with a particular focus on lessons from accidents over the past two centuries and on new solutions. Accidents from floods are analyzed according to the dam’s height, storage, dam material, and spillway data. Most of the huge accidents that have been reported occurred for embankments storing over 10 hm3. New solutions appear promising for both dam safety and flood mitigation.
The history of the formation of the alpine region is affected by the activities of the glaciers, which have a strong influence on underground works in this area. Mechanized tunneling must adapt to the presence of sound and altered rock, as well as to inhomogeneous soil layers that range from permeable gravel to soft clay sediments along the same tunnel. This article focuses on past experiences with tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) in Switzerland, and specifically on the aspects of soil conditioning during a passage through inhomogeneous soft soils. Most tunnels in the past were drilled using the slurry mode (SM), in which the application of different additives was mainly limited to difficult zones of high permeability and stoppages for tool change and modification. For drillings with the less common earth pressure balanced mode (EPBM), continuous foam conditioning and the additional use of polymer and bentonite have proven to be successful. The use of conditioning additives led to new challenges during separation of the slurries (for SM) and disposal of the excavated soil (for EPBM). If the disposal of chemically treated soft soil material from the earth pressure balanced (EPB) drive in a manner that is compliant with environmental legislation is considered early on in the design and evaluation of the excavation mode, the EPBM can be beneficial for tunnels bored in glacial deposits.
Starting with the Ertan arch dam (240 m high, 3300 MW) in 2000, China successfully built a total of seven ultra-high arch dams over 200 m tall by the end of 2014. Among these, the Jinping I (305 m), Xiaowan (294.5m), and Xiluodu (285.5 m) arch dams have reached the 300 m height level (i.e., near or over 300 m), making them the tallest arch dams in the world. The design and construction of these 300 m ultra-high arch dams posed significant challenges, due to high water pressures, high seismic design criteria, and complex geological conditions. The engineering team successfully tackled these challenges and made critical breakthroughs, especially in the area of safety control. In this paper, the author summarizes various key technological aspects involved in the design and construction of 300?m ultra-high arch dams, including the strength and stability of foundation rock, excavation of the dam base and surface treatment, dam shape optimization, safety design guidelines, seismic analysis and design, treatment of a complex foundation, concrete temperature control, and crack prevention. The experience gained from these projects should be valuable for future practitioners.
The issues of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, sustainably utilizing natural mineral resources, and dealing with industrial waste offer challenging opportunities for sustainable development in energy and the environment. The latest advances in CO2 mineralization technology involving natural minerals and industrial waste are summarized in this paper, with great emphasis on the advancement of fundamental science, economic evaluation, and engineering applications. We discuss several leading large-scale CO2 mineralization methodologies from a technical and engineering-science perspective. For each technology option, we give an overview of the technical parameters, reaction pathway, reactivity, procedural scheme, and laboratorial and pilot devices. Furthermore, we present a discussion of each technology based on experimental results and the literature. Finally, current gaps in knowledge are identified in the conclusion, and an overview of the challenges and opportunities for future research in this field is provided.
The additive design (AD) and additive manufacturing (AM) of jet engine parts will revolutionize the traditional aerospace industry. The unique characteristics of AM, such as gradient materials and micro-structures, have opened up a new direction in jet engine design and manufacturing. Engineers have been liberated from many constraints associated with traditional methodologies and technologies. One of the most significant features of the AM process is that it can ensure the consistency of parts because it starts from point(s), continues to line(s) and layer(s), and ends with the competed part. Collaboration between design and manufacturing is the key to success in fields including aerodynamics, thermodynamics, structural integration, heat transfer, material development, and machining. Engineers must change the way they design a part, as they shift from the traditional method of “subtracting material” to the new method of “adding material” in order to manufacture a part. AD is not the same as designing for AM. A new method and new tools are required to assist with this new way of designing and manufacturing. This paper discusses in detail what is required in AD and AM, and how current problems can be solved.
Energy production based on fossil fuel reserves is largely responsible for carbon emissions, and hence global warming. The planet needs concerted action to reduce fossil fuel usage and to implement carbon mitigation measures. Ocean energy has huge potential, but there are major interdisciplinary problems to be overcome regarding technology, cost reduction, investment, environmental impact, governance, and so forth. This article briefly reviews ocean energy production from offshore wind, tidal stream, ocean current, tidal range, wave, thermal, salinity gradients, and biomass sources. Future areas of research and development are outlined that could make exploitation of the marine renewable energy (MRE) seascape a viable proposition; these areas include energy storage, advanced materials, robotics, and informatics. The article concludes with a sustainability perspective on the MRE seascape encompassing ethics, legislation, the regulatory environment, governance and consenting, economic, social, and environmental constraints. A new generation of engineers is needed with the ingenuity and spirit of adventure to meet the global challenge posed by MRE.
A high-throughput multi-plume pulsed-laser deposition (MPPLD) system has been demonstrated and compared to previous techniques. Whereas most combinatorial pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) systems have focused on achieving thickness uniformity using sequential multilayer deposition and masking followed by post-deposition annealing, MPPLD directly deposits a compositionally varied library of compounds using the directionality of PLD plumes and the resulting spatial variations of deposition rate. This system is more suitable for high-throughput compound thin-film fabrication.