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ADALAM Report Summary

Project ID: 637045

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ADALAM (Sensor based adaptive laser micromachining using ultrashort pulse lasers for zero-failure manufacturing)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Miniaturization, advanced high performance materials and functional surface structures are all drivers behind key enabling technologies in high added value production. It is in such areas that ultrashort pulse lasers have enabled completely new machining concepts, where the big advantages of laser machining are combined with a quasi non-thermal and therefore mild process, which can be used to machine any material with high precision.
However, an important obstacle that hinders the full exploitation of the unique process characteristics is the lack of a smart/adaptive machining technology. The laser process in principle is very accurate, but small deviations - e.g. in the materials to be processed - can compromise the accuracy to a very large extend. Therefore feedback systems are needed in order to keep the process accurate
For that reasons, ADALAM will develop an adaptive laser micromachining system, based on ultrashort pulsed laser ablation and a novel depth measurement sensor, together with advanced data analysis software and automated system calibration routines.
The technology developed in ADALAM will generate completely new solutions for manufacturing of high-quality and innovative products, enabled by the flexibility of adaptive laser micromachining. Indeed, this higher degree of adaptation in the machining process will reduce the effort needed to obtain stable fabrication of components and enable new applications in diverse markets, by adding accuracy, flexibility and control.
The availability of an adaptive machining process associated to an inline distance measurement system in ADALAM is aimed at industrial application and can also serve as a development tool for future smart laser based manufacturing systems. The calibration of the measurement system as well as the complete solution (machine architecture, inline measurement system) regarding aspects as traceability and certification will be a central part of the objective.
ADALAM project is designed to deliver convincing evidence to the industry of the benefits of the use of adaptive ultra-short pulsed laser based manufacturing systems and its monitoring and control with in-line dimensional metrology as well as final quality assurance for a considerably enhancement of the exploitation and usage of material and resources and the consequent generation of high quality final products. So, in order to evaluate the impact in the market and the benefits of the ADALAM approach for the industry, within the project three industrial representative applications will be developed:
• adapting a micromachining process to process deviations
• adapting a micromachining process to defect detection and removal present on a workpiece
• steering and adapting a texturing process regarding deviations in shape and position of complex 3D shapes
Unimetrik S.A. is coordinating the project consortium, which combines 11 excellent partners from 5 different countries covering a wide range of competences. All consortium partners involved are leading experts within their fields, representing the entire value-chain from developer, supplier and integrator to end-user. The full list of consortium partners includes Unimetrik, CARSA, Datapixel, DEMCON, FOCAL, Fraunhofer IPT, Lumentum, Lightmotif, Sandvik Coromant, Sill Optics, Xycarb Ceramics.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first year of the ADALAM project all work packages have developed relevant tasks, generating, at least, one deliverable detailing the work done. In summary, each WP has developed the following work:
• WP1 Project Management: In relation to the project management, it has been carried out all the tasks needed for the launching of the project and the definition of the common framework with the aim of a smooth management structure. Initially, during the initial weeks of the project, the consortium signed the Consortium Agreement, defining the internal regulatory framework. Then, in order to monitor the development of the technical tasks, biweekly coordination meetings are scheduled every alternate Monday at 15.30 h CET. During these meetings every WP leader summarize the status of the WP and highlight the main achievement or discuss/clarify any concrete aspect to the rest of the consortium. At deliverable level, every document is internally revised for a no-expert partner in order to ensure that the content may be understood for general public; this aspect is especially important for public reports. Also, a wiki space was create for documentation management, but due to functional problems, the consortium agreed to look for new solutions.
• WP2 Inline topography sensor: This has been the WP with more technical work developed during the first year of the project. It has been developed five public demonstrator with components needed for the adequate data acquisition required to implement the adaptive loop. All these components are detailed described in WP2 section and in deliverables D2.1 (Inline measurement system v1), D2.2 (Automatic adjustable reference path system), D2.3 (Active alignment unit for beam coupling and sensor integration based on adaptive optics) and D2.4 (Process optimized high NA scanning objective), also published in the project website. Although some additional tests will be needed (see section 3.1 for more information), all the expected objectives have been covered. Once these components are designed, implemented and tested, they will be mechanically, optically and at software level integrated in WP3.
• WP3 Adaptive laser micromachining system: The main objective achieve during this period has been the mechanical integration of the first generation topography sensor. Furthermore, WP3 partners have been working on the concept of the alignment system (Beam measurement system) and flied calibration system, contributing to the second objective of the WP. Finally, in relation to the third objective, and due to the WP rescheduling, initial design of the control software has been started. As a consequence of the work carried out, the expected deliverable about the first generation adaptive laser micromachining system, D3.1, was submitted in due time.
• WP4 System Calibration, Traceability and Certification: the main WP objective for this period was the design of the dimensional patterns needed for the evaluation and calibration of the topography sensor and the 5 axis positioning machine. All this work is detailed in D4.1, where the main methodologies used for system evaluation are described and dedicated patterns depending on the system properties were defined. Also, initial description of the error sources have been identified, but this work will represent the core for the second period, defining expected theoretical error sources and evaluating them by exploiting the patterns and the associated measuring methodology.
• WP5 Active Micromilling: This WP has also fulfilled most of the expected objectives for the period. Firstly, all the requirements for laser based micromilling of steel and hardmetal have been defined in collaboration between Lightmotif and Sandvik Coromant. Then, the requirement and technical specifications definition, as well as components tests have been carried out but the final laser source is not available yet. All the information concerning this design and specifications are detailed in D5.1. Then, WP partners continued working on the milling toolkit (initially based on a non-adaptive process). For the milling characterization, Lightmotif is using an existing 10 ps laser, the work is completed for steel and now work is focused on hardmetal supplied by Sandvik Coromant.
• WP6 Defect detection and removal on wafer carriers: Within this period, the main objective is the improvement of the inline measurement system. In order to achieve it, intense work has been carried out for the definition of the defect spectrum, D6.1, and its metrological characterization, D6.2. When completed, the work was focused on the process requirements, in order to define the analysis of the defect and which information is needed for an efficient laser process. This information has been collected in an internal document that is updated as the work is been completed.
• WP7 Recognition and Texturing of Complex Tool Features: This WP has been developed in parallel with WP6, so all the expected objectives have also been completed. Initial work has been focused on the definition of the product and expected feature spectrum (geometries used for texturing), which is documented in D7.1. This information was also used for the metrological characterization, D7.2 and the definition of the process requirements.
It is worth to be mentioned the involvement of the end user partners for the definition and characterization of their use cases. They have defined real problems from their working scenarios, for which the ADALAM project will develop solutions based on adaptive laser micromachining. These showcases will demonstrate the advantages of this method to a large audience.
• WP8 Dissemination and exploitation: The main goal of this period is the generation of a project brand image. This objective has been completed by the implementation of a project website that has been updated periodically publishing main dissemination activities such as conferences and fairs, and also all the public material generated through the project, from posters and leaflet for general dissemination to technical deliverables in a dedicated section called “Results”. In addition, to increase the public presence of the project a Twitter account was created and some LinkedIn discussions opened. For the exploitation, initial work has been carried out for the definition of the individual and joint business models from the expected results developed in the project.
In conclusion, during this first year of the project almost all the expected objective have been properly fulfilled, with five public demos as a representative example of the work carried out.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

ADALAM is developing a new approach for zero defect manufacturing that is based on two main topics:

1. In line topography sensor: The integration of this interferometric sensor (based on low frequence coherence) with ultrashort pulse laser process in feedback controlled systems has not be done so far. But there are also, some innovative developments that contribute to increase the impact of this solution: optimized scanning objective with enhance numerical aperture, active alignment unit for beam coupling, sensor integration based on adaptive optics and automatic point cloud analysis software for feature detection and characterization for the generation of qualified information.

2. Adaptive laser micromachining system: Enabled by the integration of the inline topography sensor in the laser machining system. Also, the automation of the information extraction from the data acquired and the customization of the delivery information to the control system, allow ADALAM to face many different application scenarios where this kind of adaptive process represent an advance beyond the state of the art.

Concerning the project impact, there are five main topics addressed in the project. The approaches described in the DoA to contribute to and measure the impact are still valid. They are briefly summarized in the following paragraphs.

I. Reinforced capacity to manufacture high-quality and innovative products and to penetrate new application areas
The information contained in the DoA for this impact is still relevant. The integration of all the elements being developed in the project will allow the generation of a high quality and flexible laser based machine enabling the zero failure manufacturing.

II. Strengthened market position of European producers of laser-based manufacturing equipment, their suppliers and of the users of the equipment
ADALAM partners are developing a solution by the integration of the knowledge coming from all the value chain, end-users, technology providers and machine producers. Also, the implementation of innovative approaches such as the integration of topography sensor and software analysis for monitoring and drive the adaptive process is help to improve the European laser-related market. Also the main goal of zero-failure manufacturing enable the approach to a huge market that is tending to represent 20 % of the European GDP. Furthermore, as mentioned in the DoA, each of the partner expects to generate a new product from the project, improving the presence in the market with innovative solutions.

III. Increased capability for better and faster reaction to market changes by being able to use holistic global and local optimization algorithms in a collaborative value chain
The proposed solution in the ADALAM project is highly customizable depending on the case: the laser source depending on the material and action to be developed, the data acquisition and pointcloud analysis software, large working volume for different part sizes,… Besides, the adaptive process enable the monitoring of the laser-based process, enabling any reaction in case of deviation from expected results.

IV. Environmental impacts
The technology to be implemented in ADALAM will enable an adaptive laser manufacturing, which will be able to reduce considerably the number of rejected parts leading to zero-failure process. Herewith a substantial decrease of the overall material and resource utilization will be achieved.
Furthermore the substitution of standard tools for micro manufacturing as micro milling tools by ultra-short pulsed laser will lead to a direct reduction of maintenance, operation costs and to an elimination of tool wear and the consequent manufacturing of rejects as well as time and material intensive tool changes.
The project is also addressing specific environmental related benefits for the different applications such as reducing machine load, machine operating costs, maintenance, down time and energy utilisation in the texturing case and less energy consumption in households all over the world as well as the usage of a lighting solution free of toxic chemicals (ecologically friendly) in the defect carrier removal case.

V. Socially important impacts
The development of innovative approach for the exploitation of laser technology in real industrial cases, enable the generation of better solutions in the market for a better quality of life. Moreover, the implementation of such technologies in the industry generates a market demand of high qualified workers, contributing to the decrease of the young unemployment rate (specially dramatic in suthern countries).

Related information

Record Number: 190279 / Last updated on: 2016-11-14
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