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Reduction of noise emission on machine tools

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Silencing noisy machinery with active damping

A Belgian engineering firm has invented a device based on active damping theory and demonstrated its advanced performance characteristics during the NOISELESS project.

Industrial Technologies

Operators of machine tools are often exposed to dangerous levels of noise and vibration. A group of ten organisations hailing from six different EU Member States joined forces to address this issue. The research project, entitled NOISELESS, was funded in part by the GROWTH Programme. Micromega Dynamics, a NOISELESS partner from Belgium, developed an Active Damping Device (ADD) suitable for a number of applications. Active damping attempts to reduce noise and vibration directly at the source as opposed to traditional measures that try to conceal these phenomena with enclosures. The heart of the ADD is a sealed electro-mechanical actuator. It can be operated remotely with the aid of a box containing the essential power and control electronics. The advantage of the Belgian ADD is that it can be attached directly to its target. In addition, it has been designed to cover a wide range of frequencies, from 20Hz to 2kHz. The new ADD was tested during NOISELESS, achieving 15% damping in several industrial applications. The most remarkable aspect of this result is that it was attained on the first try without any prior knowledge of the machinery. By eliminating the need for specific tuning, Micromega Dynamics has acquired a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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