Confirm - Smart Manufacturing is an SFI - Industry Funded Research Centre focused on Cyber-Physical Manufacturing Systems. Confirm aims to support Irish industry to move toward a smart manufacturing ecosystem by carrying out research in Virtual Industrialisation, with key focuses on adaptive data analytics and optimisation for smart manufacturing; predictive modelling of manufacturing and systems, and modelling end-to-end supply chains; Cyber-Physical Manufacturing Systems, focusing on connected infrastructures, machines & manufacturing software systems; Self-Aware Manufacturing Systems, focusing on adaptive control systems that enable collaborative robotics and adaptable machine and production systems, leading to customer driven customisation. This research underpins Confirm’s more applied research programme to integrate intelligence within products, machines, production systems and supply chains to ultimately lead to increased competitiveness and sustainability for our Industry Partners.

Research Areas

Please click on a competency below to view associated Principal & Funded Investigators

Research Programme

The Confirm research community currently consists of approximately 120 researchers (Principal & Funded Investigators, Fellows, Postdocs, PhDs, Masters, & PDRAs) offering an extensive breadth of expertise and experience both in Academic and Industrial settings, working across our broad research programme outlined below. Our Programs are managed operationally by our operations team program managers (where applicable with industry experience) and scientifically by our Work program leaders.

For further information click here.

Academic Partners

Confirm is hosted by the University of Limerick in partnership with: 

Industry and Commercialisation

Industry collaboration and commercialisation activities are a central tenant to the research remit of Confirm. Our targeted industry projects, founded on scientifically robust research, are creating new knowledge, informing best-practice and generating intellectual property for Irish industry. Drawing on the knowledge and expertise of our Principal and Funded Investigators, Confirm offers industry partners a unique opportunity to transform and optimise their production facilities and associated services with the potential to greatly increase productivity and output thereby having a positive effect on the Irish economy.

Aside from availing of expertise and knowledge, Industry partners gain access to test-beds and state of the art equipment and facilities as well as bespoke training and upskilling opportunities in Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing.

Industrial partners across all sectors and of all sizes are a key constituent in our developing Community of Practise. This new ecosystem is a framework in which we co-ordinate and facilitate learning, sharing of best-practice and benchmarking of all members. We do this formally through workshops, testbeds and site visits but also informally through relationship building and regular communications.   

Current industry partners include Analog Devices, Accucode & SCRI-IS Technologies Ltd.

Facilities/ Infrastructure

Our research does not involve huge amounts of physical infrastructure as it is principally within the cyber layer that lies above the physical layer and at the intersection of IT & OT. Confirm currently have a range of facilities across our partner institutions that are available for use both by industry partners and for research purposes. The Centre will move into a new facility towards the end of 2019 which will house a number of test-beds for use by Confirm industry members.

Current facilities include:

  • Process & Product Development Labs – Tyndall National Institute
  • Process Technology Services – Tyndall National Institute
  • JAMIR Composite Joining Suite – University of Limerick
  • Universal Robotics UR Series Cobots – University of Limerick
  • MAXIEM 1530 Water-Jet Machining Centre – University of Limerick
  • Ultrasonic Welding Facility – University of Limerick
  • Injection Moulding Smart Manufacturing Cell – Athlone Institute of Technology

For full details click here.

Case Studies

The importance of clearly demonstrating the impact of the research carried out at Confirm is a central part of how we operate. Case studies can help to quantify the return on investment and improve general understanding of the concept and principles of Industrial Digitisation. 

Sample case studies can be found here.

Education and Public Engagement

For many, the term “manufacturing” doesn’t immediately evoke thoughts of STEM or cutting edge scientific research. Furthermore, there is a widespread misconception that careers in the manufacturing sector are predominantly menial jobs with little room for growth or development. The EPE programme at Confirm addresses these issues by bridging the gap between academia/industry and the lay population and raising public awareness of research and developments in the manufacturing industry that are ushering in the dawn of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Mapped onto the key research areas of the Centre, Confirm offer a suite of cross-curricular educational programmes built on the STEAM model, which aim to inspire the next generation of Scientists and Engineers while also developing key transferable skills such as creative problem solving and collaboration.

Confirm Researchers engage with the community through a number of Public Engagement initiatives including Pint of Science, our “Engineering the Future” social media campaigns, national STEM festivals and events such as Inspire Fest.

Further information can be found here.

Key Contact Details

Prof. Conor McCarthy

Dr. Bill O’Leary
General Manager

Patricia Bourke
Reporting, Compliance and Finance Manager

Sean O Brien
Education, Public Engagement and Training Manger

Dr. Paraic Rattigan
Industry Research Programme Manager

Dr. Niall Keely
Strategic Research Programme Manager

Dr. Sean Nolan
Funding Manager

Patrick Reidy
Business Development Manager

Sylvia Keane
Marketing and communications Manager

Dr. Susan Daly
MSCA Smart 4.0 Programme Manager

Gillian O’Sullivan
Senior Administrator