Manufacturing Systems and Surface Engineering Research Begins at CCAM Partner Universities


RICHMOND, VA., January 20, 2012 – The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) has approved and initiated approximately $750,000 in research at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The four approved projects encompass research in adaptive machining, human factors and knowledge capture, multi-modal part inspection and surface characterization. Projects reflect the targeted research themes of Manufacturing Systems and Surface Engineering. These projects were developed in industry-driven workshops held at Virginia State University in which all members collaborate to develop research that benefits members across multiple industries.

The current projects seek to:

  • Characterize human performance in manufacturing tasks through the use of novel sensor suites that provide high-fidelity continuous-motion data;
  • Develop an automated part inspection system that can detect surface anomalies such as scratches or coating voids and differentiate them from normal variations due to surface reflectivity or color;
  • Show how adaptive machining can bring value to drilling, turning and milling processes by developing control algorithms that balance component surface quality, expected component lifetime, and maximal utilization of cutting tools;
  • Develop non-destructive surface characterization methods that measure surface cleanliness and roughness to determine the quality of a surface to accept coating applications.

“Utilizing the research personnel and facilities at all of our university partners is key to the collaborative process we seek to develop within CCAM,” said Dr. Charles Smith, CTO and VP for Research and Program Development. “This is the first step for what will result in transformational manufacturing solutions for our members to reduce costs and improve quality of their products.”

The CCAM facility is currently under construction in Prince George County, Va., and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012. For more information about CCAM, visit

About the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing
CCAM is a research-based collaboration between the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia State University and manufacturing companies worldwide. Manufacturers join CCAM as members and guide research with university faculty in two focus areas: surface engineering and manufacturing systems. CCAM is building a 60,000 square foot, state-of-the-art research facility in Prince George County, Va., adjacent to Rolls-Royce’s jet engine components plant. For more information, visit


Alicia Durham
Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing
(804) 722-1524

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