The overall objectives of KnowEDM are to improve the competitiveness of the mould and precision component manufacturing sector and preserve jobs for future employment through a 50% lead-time reduction and a 30% cost reduction for the tool making and precision engineering sector. A third overall objective is to improve attractiveness for young people through changing from labour intensive to knowledge intensive work.
The making of mould tools and precision engineering components is a very labour intensive, craftsmanship based activity. For one of the most important machining processes in this activity, Electrode Discharge Machining (EDM), reliable machining time calculation is not possible, which makes it impossible to optimise the total manufacturing process, reduce cost and to shorten lead time. The unpopular image of this sector makes it very difficult to find young skilled technicians for NC programming and operating advanced CAD/CAM systems. This sector in Europe, having a 12 Billion Euro turnover (of which about 75%, 9 Billion Euro, is attributable to SMEs), is now under sustained competitive pressure and is steadily losing market share to the Far East. Now there is an urgent need for innovation, costs saving and shorten delivery times.
The objectives will be achieved by development of integrated knowledge -based Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) technology for design and manufacture of moulds and precision components in order to streamline production. The technical objectives of the project will be met by knowledge-based systems and will achieve: "Automated calculation of EDM time (WP1). "Automated design and manufacturing of EDM-electrodes (WP2, 3). "Integrated knowledge-based design review of mould tools (WP4). Integrated manufacture of mould tools and precision components and established rules for deciding which features to EDM and what to High Speed Mill (HSM) for optimised machining of parts of particular geometry (WP5).
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects