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As an independent research centre at the University of Exeter, XMEC was established by Professor David Zhang in 2001, carrying out multidisciplinary advanced research in technology, systems and management with respect to global manufacturing. Over the past 14 years, XMEC has always been at the forefront of the relevant research fields such as manufacturing operations management, supply chain management, agile manufacturing, and system modelling and simulation.
XMEC is the largest research group in the UK working on the applications of Multi-agent System (MAS) in manufacturing and supply chain management, leading the research on this area and having pioneered the concepts of Dynamically Integrated Manufacturing System (DIMS) and dynamic supply chain optimisation and reconfiguration. Moreover, XMEC has always being devoted its efforts to cutting-edge research by applying emerging technologies and techniques, and has already carried out some pioneering work in low-carbon and sustainable manufacturing and clouding manufacturing. Currently, the major research areas covered by XMEC include:
- Agility and manufacturing strategies
- Low-carbon and sustainable manufacturing
- Supply chain design, optimisation and management
- Complex system modelling, simulation and optimisation
XMEC also provides vital support to industry by identifying and transferring best practices and applications from its research findings to both national and international companies. Over the past decade, XMEC has worked together with more than 50 national and international companies including large enterprises and SMEs in over 20 collaborative research projects and 15 KTP projects. By delivering outstanding research results, XMEC has built its international reputation in the specific fields related and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with more than 15 companies such as IBM, Lanner Group, ABP, Ginsters Food, Yeo Valley, CASA China etc.
XMEC has a lean team currently with one director, three academic staffs, three research staffs and 7 PhD students. It has contributed over 120 high quality publications since established.