Multi-Technology Production Systems
||A formalized approach based on scientific methodologies that enables the systematic design of Multi-Technology Platforms (MTPs)|
(1) Systematic exploitation of potentials of MTPs
The growing demand for individualized commodities requires new solutions for a highly flexible, yet cost-efficient production. Hence, this research area addresses the question of how different manufacturing technologies can be combined and employed in practice. Reaching across the project a generalized design methodology for Multi-Technology Platforms (MTP) and a complementary model for profitability assessment are investigated. By means of various physical demonstrators scientific-technological approaches are implemented and validated. In doing so the increased process complexity shall be controlled in a way that the strengths of the individual manufacturing technologies are leveraged.
As a part of the diverse research activities it was possible to enrich the demonstrators regarding several different aspects. A major step was the purchase of a new machine for friction stir welding. The machine is significantly more powerful than the old machine and is already used for investigation of different facets of joining. For the immediate future the integration of a system for conductive support of the friction stir welding process is planned.
In the MTP “Multi-Technology Machining Center” a new process of robot based deburring has been integrated in addition to the laser and milling processes. A software supported method has been developed to allow integrated planning of milling and deburring. This is an essential step towards the targeted simultaneous cooperation of robot and milling spindle on the same workpiece. For a better estimation of the effects of laser machining in regard to adjacent processes the design of a comparable test bench consisting of rotary-swivel-table and machining bed has been initiated.
For the demonstrator „Hybrid Sheet Metal Machining Center“, a machine for combined stretch forming and incremental sheet forming, particularly the laser integration has been advanced. For the laser supported incremental sheet forming process a temperature control has been deployed and is stabilizing the process in general. Previous challenges regarding an overheating of the material have thereby been resolved. Additionally the machine has been fitted with new laser-cutting optics to enable a new sheet cutting process.
During 2016 the qualification of technological concepts and solutions developed within the course of the project are focused in respect to their posterior, industrial application. For example, for Conductive Friction Stir Welding a combination of metrological and simulation-based methods should enable the optimization of process parameters to increase the mechanical characteristics of jointed composites. Afterwards, the collected findings will be validated based on new material combinations. An analogue validation strategy is chosen for the planning chain for simultaneous milling and robot deburring. Here, further workpieces are used to confirm the potential of a wide industrial applicability. Reaching across the project, reference architectures for Multi-Technology Platforms are determined which allow for a key-characteristics-based dimensioning of machines during their design phase.
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Technical Demonstrator "Integrative Sheet Metal Processing Centre"