Skip to main content

Smart solution for connecting process with material characteristics to achieve new generation of digital materials for the automotive industry.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DigiMAT (Smart solution for connecting process with material characteristics to achieve new generation of digital materials for the automotive industry.)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31

Automotive is a sector with significant weight in the European Industry, GPD and employment. It is a very competitive market in which the main driving force is to improve performance while the costs are maintained or even reduced. The DigiMAT project focuses on the validation in real condition of the technological and methodological solution of developing two new digital cast iron materials: higher yield strength material (15% strengthened) and a high machinability material (10% improved) to be applied to brake anchor and housing, respectively. The lighter and cost-effective brake will be homologated in CONTINENTAL bench tests, fulfilling all the strict automotive standards.
The DigiMAT project will launch into the market smart module “DigiMAT” able to develop the intelligent algorithms to connect process with material characteristics to achieve new generation of digital materials with tailored characteristics, demonstrated its performance in lighter components and reducing energy and raw material consumption in their manufacturing process.
The new smart data management module “DigiMAT module” has been developed by VEIGALAN SME specialized in ICT solutions for foundry sector. Its development is supported by a sensor network and an advanced data management system already running in AAPICO iron foundry.
Digital materials can have a wide impact in industry and society. The smart DigiMAT module consists on a specific algorithm for each digital material developed combined with an automatic protocol definitions system that will conform a specific methodology, this methodology is leaded by Azterlan. The system acquires, stores, processes and analyses the data coming from a previously defined set of trials. Its validation is going to be completed with the homologation of new digital materials by CONTINENTAL (TIER 1) and by their introduction in the AAPICO foundry portfolio. In parallel, CONTINENTAL will develop a lighter anchor based on the developed high yield material. This lighter anchor integrated into a new brake system will be functionally homologated.
Finally, partners will commonly develop a business plan for quick take up of the project results. It is expected that the new developed solution will reach in next five years to the 35% of the European iron foundry market and 10% of the Worldwide level.
WP1 is devoted to the management of the project, leaded by VEIGALAN as project coordinator and by AZTERLAN as technical manager, with the involvement of the rest of the partners. Main management activities during this first reporting period were: organisation of six project meetings at different locations, the preparation of the CA and first amendment.
WP5 devoted to dissemination and exploitation activities leaded by AAPICO has issued four deliverables related to market research, signed agreement, dissemination and commercialisation and updated business plan.
Technical contribution is concentrated in WP2 and WP3, as it is described below. WP4 activities related to the design of lighter anchor was started in advance to assure its delivery on time. In order to correctly integrate the new module into the current AAPICO ecosystem, several meetings were carried out to define the situation of the information systems of AAPICO at that moment. AAPICO uses several computer tools, for example, the Olimpo system, developed by Azterlan which could be considered as a virtual twin: it provides a virtual visualization of the moulding line, as well as predictions about the metal treatments and the mould to be cast.
Once the most important agents of the plant were identified, in the following technical discussions, the requirements that the new DigiMAT module should have were defined. Then, several queries were made to their databases, listing the data to be recovered and verifying that most of the data could be unequivocally linked through the different identifiers. Although most of the important parameters already exist in the database, there was still some process data that could be important for the studies.
On the other hand, in order to obtain an optimal output result, both the tensile tests and the part machining must be perfectly identified. For this, a procedure has been developed and AAPICO’s operators were trained by AZTERLAN.
The project consists mainly in two technical objectives:
-The prediction of the high elastic yield, three different studies have been carried out. In the first two studies the correlation was not satisfactory, but these two studies have been used to identified correctly the necessary data for the third study. With the last study has been possible to develop the algorithms and actuation protocols to get this main goal of the project.
-The prediction related with the machinability, it is on going due to the delays of specifications and in the definition of which is the best way to measure this property.
Based on the requirements established in previous stages, VEIGALAN researchers designed and developed a system consisting of three elements: DigiMAT Cloud Service, DigiMAT Smart Module Manager and DigiMAT Smart Module Dashboard.
Main innovations of the DigiMAT Project are:
-DIGIMAT SMART MODULE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF TAILORED MADE GRADES: Product data analysis based on statistical control tools and process adjustment based on human decisions is improved by “A digital prediction modelling based on the best combination of 8 mathematical models such as Artificial Neural networks, Bayesian Networks, Naïve Bayes, etc.”
-METHODOLOGY FOR IN REAL TIME PROTOCOL APPLICATION: Decision system is based on expert people and after data analysis is improved by “on-line intelligent system that allows to forecast the results and if unexpected deviation occurs, the new established actuations protocols are applied”.
-CAST IRON PRODUCT WITH HIGHER MECHANICAL PROPERTIES: Existing cast iron manufacturing grades allows significant variation ranges in mechanical properties and thus high security coefficients are applied in the design phase of the components; are improved by “New cast iron grades with tailored made mechanical properties and with a reduced variation range”.
- CAST IRON GRADE WITH IMPROVED MACHINABILITY: Many processes and product variables affecting machinability are unknown nowadays; which will be improved by “expert knowledge on main process variables and product characteristics affecting machinability”.
The main exploitable results are:
R1-The smart module for digital materials manufacturing.
R2-Actuation protocols and specific controls for tailor-made digital materials implementation.
R3–Digital material 1: Cast iron grade with higher mechanical performance and the relevant manufacturing route.
R4–Digital material 2: Cast iron grade with improved machinability, and the relevant manufacturing route.
R5–Improved brake system, based on the new lighter anchor and cost-effective housing.
The DigiMAT project will have a high impact in all the partners of the consortium and it is expected a cascade impact on the EU industry, having its main influence on automotive sector. The project will have direct impact on different applications initially where ductile iron and specific parameters are desired such as yield strength or machinability. Thus, different automotive components are related, and several European iron part manufacturing processes and end-users will receive a significant impact.
Smart module interface and Salomon algorithms