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Intelligent data-driven pipeline for the manufacturing of certified metal parts through Direct Energy Deposition processes

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INTEGRADDE (Intelligent data-driven pipeline for the manufacturing of certified metal parts through Direct Energy Deposition processes)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-03-31

INTEGRADDE Project (Intelligent data-driven pipeline for the manufacturing of certified metal parts through Direct Energy Deposition process) is a European H2020 flagship project, involving 26 partners from 11 countries with a budget allocation of almost 17 million €. INTEGRADDE aims to develop a novel end-to-end solution capable of demonstrating the potential of Additive Manufacturing (AM) -in Directed Energy Deposition (DED) processes- for the manufacturing of metal parts in real manufacturing conditions.

Also, its ambition is to develop advances beyond the state of art in: i) DED processes for the manufacturing of medium/large-sized parts; ii) Cybersecured and digital thread iii) Product engineering; iv) Online control in metal-based AM; v) Cognitive automation and Artificial Intelligence; vi) Inline inspection, metrology and post-processing.

AM is an innovative, cutting age technology with endless usages. It has unmeasurable potential for the industry: adding flexibility to the whole process and changing how products are designed, manufactured, and consumed. Unfortunately, due to costs and the appearance of unpredictable defects in the final metal parts, the AM adoption towards a massive scale in the metal industry has not been achieved yet. In this regard, one of fundamental goals of the INTEGRADDE project is to boost the uptake of AM as a disruptive technology in the European metal industry: 3D printing of medium- and large- sized metal parts, validated in key European strategic sectors (5 End-Users): aeronautical, metal-mechanical, automotive and civil construction through the implementation of industrial-driven pilot lines. Moreover, a network of open pilot-lines, as well as the implementation of a multisectoral showroom, will boost the adoption of AM technologies by European industry.

To do that, novel approaches and technology-driven research are required for:
Prediction and minimisation of distortion: to prevent, detect and avoid defects.
Implementing a Quality by Design manufacturing strategy, aiming a zero-defect manufacturing approach.
Developing a Intelligent data-driven pipeline enabling a bidirectional dataflow for a seamless integration along the value chain: from the initial product design until the certification.

INTEGRADDE concept is a fully integrated automation methodology for the development of an end-to-end digital manufacturing solution by combining automatic topology optimisation algorithms for optimised design, multi-scale modelling providing feedback for optimising design and building strategy, a hardware-independent process planning, online control and distributed NDT for the manufacturing of certified metal parts. In this regard, a self-adaptive control is adopted for implementing of non-propagation of defects strategy. Finally, Artificial Intelligence assisting in the optimisation of new metal parts will be implemented.
In this first period INTEGRADDE will innovate through:
- Definition of an interoperable communication protocol for data exchange between the AM stages.
- Definition of the INTEGRADDE digital platform for orchestration and connectivity of the different stages involved in AM.
- Feedstock material specification and guidelines.
- Process window development and testing and collection of experimental data.
- Automatic topology iterative and layout optimization methods in product/component design.
- Multiphysics FEM-based simulation (macro-: Distortion prediction; micro-: meltpool modelling)
- Interoperable CAD/CAM for offline programming.
- Common hardware implementation for monitoring and control.
- Implementation of real-time control strategies managing heat-accumulation during the building process.
- Investigation on NDT and metrology solutions for quality assurance.
- Investigation on data analytics and artificial intelligence.
- Advise on the creation of new procedures for standardization and certification of manufactured parts.
Potential expected impacts. In general, for society:
• Innovation: tools, knowledge and know-how developed along INTEGRADDE will certainly enhance the innovation capacity through a deep reassessment and breakthrough in AM. Technology transfer and outreach activities will ensure impact availability of the project results to EU industry and academia.
• Competitiveness: project results will strengthen INTEGRADDE industrial partners market positioning: commercialising unique and innovative technology solutions that can significantly improve competitiveness of AM, enabling high performance and efficient manufacturing, lot size, time-to-market, design-freedom. Reinforcing Europe’s industrial competitiveness and leadership.
• Growth and “more and better” jobs: INTEGRADDE will contribute to high quality job creation in the manufacturing industry, specifically in high added-value jobs. Open seminars and Guidelines will be made for training the European workforce and gaining new relevant skills.
• Environmental: INTEGRADDE is aligned with EU environmental challenges optimising sustainable production and efficiency. For instance, in the aircraft industry, the stakes are huge: up to 90% of the materials end up being wasted. INTEGRADDE will enable the integration of DED AM processes into current industrial production lines. With AM, waste will be reduced to practically zero.
• Contribution to EU Policies and Initiatives. INTEGRADDE as flagship H2020 project aims an intelligent, sustainable, and inclusive growth and will became a leveraging effect on other sources of funding.

INTEGRADDE will enhance the quality of life of European citizens: changing how cars, ships, planes, or bridges, are built. Or even the tools with which all these things are made, triggering a paradigm shift in the society.
More explicitly, in figures below, is the impact expected for the industry:
• To increase the reliability in AM processes by 40% and manufacturing speeds by 25%.
• To improve the capacity to manufacture a good piece at first by 40% and in product quality by 40%.
• To reduce time to market by 25%. New certification schemes for metal parts printed in 3D.
• New standardization procedures not included in the current ISO / ASTM / CEN CENELEC.

SMEs can also benefit from INTEGRADDE contemplates thanks to the RTO network which will offer services oriented to SMEs. Before being marketed a service network will be offered and managed for free through an Expression-Of-Interest Call to raise awareness among Metalworking companies at EU level, to identify the critical mass interested in implementing INTEGRADDE and to validate the network operation, services and acceptance.