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FP6

HARDPRECISION — Result In Brief

Project ID: 17857
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Netherlands

Better milling technology for EU tool and die industry

The European tool and die industry is hard pressed to increase market competitiveness in the face of international competition. Significantly reducing production times and processes, and improving on manufacturing technologies for better parts will help achieve this.
Better milling technology for EU tool and die industry
The 'Simultaneous five-axis hard milling for highest precision' (Hardprecision) project aimed to develop a five-axis hard milling process for extreme precision with technology capable of producing high-quality products at considerably less total throughput times. The EU-funded project sought to optimise a milling machine by applying lightweight parts, and to enhance milling technology for high hard materials through process monitoring. Another aim was to develop a quality control system based on part measurement within the machine tool.

Project outcomes have substantially enhanced knowledge of five-axis hard milling technology for a better understanding of the hard milling process itself. The milling technology, when based on barrel tool geometry, can significantly cut manufacturing times and be successfully applied for highly complex manufacturing processes. Knowledge generated in this area can be used to develop new products and end-user services.

Project work has also led to a better understanding of machine tool components, which can be used to enhance and optimise the hard milling machine tool already being used by certain small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one of which was a project partner. Hardprecision's measurements of acoustic emission signals enabled a better understanding of their behaviour in the hard milling process. This information can be used to improve strategies for process stability, and for detecting tool wear and breakage.

Knowledge generated on enhancing the process chain by modifying the production of machine parts has the potential to increase market competitiveness and results obtained by end users. Hardprecision results have been disseminated to a large audience through journal and conference presentations, as well as at the 2007 Euromold fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

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