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Advanced manufacturing solutions tightly aligned with business needs

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AVANGARD (Advanced manufacturing solutions tightly aligned with business needs)

Período documentado: 2019-10-15 hasta 2021-04-14

AVANGARD aims to the conceptual transformation of existing Production Systems of safe, secured, efficient, affordable urban fully electric vehicles. A flexible manufacturing environment based on a rapid and seamless reconfiguration of machinery and robots is the core of the project as a response to operational or business events.
To meet these macro objectives the research activities of AVANGARD are aiming at implementing a flexible, agile and lean low investment production environment.
To such a purpose, AVANGARD focuses on the deployment of three novel processing units into an existing Microfactory testbed conceived to produce urban electric vehicles.
The novel production modules are state-of-the-art multipurpose and multifunctional demonstrators on their own, specifically:
- Robotized integration of laser cutting-shaping-welding for 3D components
- Supersonic deposition of metallic powders for high-speed 3D printing
- Large volume and high-speed 3D polymeric printing
The operation of the AVANGARD pilot will be demonstrated manufacturing I-Bikes, I-CARS and innovative battery packs.
Systems of mobility are fundamentally important to the health and sustainability of society. The movement of goods and people drives economies and greater interconnection. The supply chain and logistics systems have enabled rising prosperity and driven the success of digital commerce to rely heavily on advances in communication, automation, and transport.
In summary, the (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) objectives are:
- Advance the current testbed concept for the flexible manufacturing of fully electric vehicles by adding the new 3 production modules
- Use digital technologies to radically rethink how components and systems can be manufactured allowing large savings in the necessary investment
- Apply rational Industry 4.0 concepts to flexible manufacture a variety of different vehicle concepts
- Demonstrate large energy and material savings in the proposed pilot aiming at an energy independent manufacturing plants
- Demonstrate the operation of the proposed pilot manufacturing working prototypes of 2-4 wheels Electric Vehicles and novel battery packs
- Apply the currently most advanced technologies to secure the manufacturing plants: for this purpose, quantum-based technologies will be applied
- Develop a cloud-based environment supported by blockchain technologies
- Develop business models and methodologies for collaborative manufacturing
The advancement of the current testbed concept has been demonstrated in the manufacturing of full-body frames avoiding any kind of stamping using only robotized laser-cut tubes welded by wire welding.
The innovative Prima power laser system has been studied and prepared to laser cut door panels.
Demonstration of new battery tray manufactured only through laser cutting and bending of thin metal sheets.
Completed the first part of the feasibility study of the superfast deposition of metal powders with a preliminary CAD design of the complete system and theoretical study of the needed nozzle.
Demonstrated the use of large-format 3D printing producing various types of front Grills and headlamp holders used in the running demonstrators.
The design of the micro-factory plant has been completed to produce 50 vehicles a day as a mix of VANs, Pick Ups and Passenger Vehicles aiming at responding to the need of the urban market. The design of the plant is conceived to be flexible, agile and lean minimizing energy use and within mind 100% tracking of all processes, components and systems.
Several business models have been studied aiming at applying the most suitable approaches to the micro-factory concept.
The replication of the micro-factory is under study in several regions of the consortium members. By the time of this report, seven European regions are being analyzed: Castilla and León (Spain), Greece, Poland, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Malta. A specific detailed case study has also been completed for Malta. During the second period the study will be extended to Finland.
The analysis of calculating the energy consumption of all processes is ongoing. The micro-factory plant based on two floors production is supposed to be constructed with about 700kW of PV panels capable of the bidirectional connection of up to 250 vehicles to the grid.
Battery packs assembled adopting the direct cell to pack “lasagna” approach has been demonstrated.
Novel miniature hardware has been developed and demonstrated to allow fast and secured communication also against future quantum-based attacks.
The developed system can be used to upgrade the firmware of the vehicles as well as to manage the full micro-factory or the full supply chain.
The design of the digital infrastructure considers both a single micro-factory as well as a network of micro-factories.
Examples of blockchain-certified processes have been implemented in three specific use cases.
The capability to quickly tailor the production to specific market demand is a key aspect for the pilot proposed in AVANGARD. The fast reconfiguration of the production line to produce very different vehicle architectures is demonstrated. Only minor changes are necessary for the templates used to produce the chassis. The changes in the production line are managed through Ind4.0 procedures having no equivalent in the classical automotive world where changes in the chassis require huge investments and complex production steps. The manufacturing modules added into the pilot are specifically conceived to produce a variety of very different products mainly through software variation: with the new PRIMA machine solution, the system can be quickly re-configured (less than 10 minutes) from cutting to welding process changing the head. The CNC automatically changes configuration and technological parameters without switch off the system.
The pilot proposed in AVANGARD is confirmed to represent a form of energy and materials saving per which many components and systems are manufactured eliminating expensive molds and stamping. The proposed automated laser cutting of tubes allows the production of complex 3D structures that also eliminates the need for 3D printing. All together the advantages of digital technologies are taken first of all by a radical rethinking of the products leading to high resource efficiency.
With the new studies conducted on manufacturing methods, it will be demonstrated how it is possible to build the skeleton and battery packs without using expensive molds and special glues, while still guaranteeing all the specifications and regulations for the EVs.
The first result of the simulation is that the innovative shape of the wheels allows them to remain in the condition of a full elastic field.
High impact is also assured by certifying all production processes and reporting the full LCA for both processes and the demonstrators developed. For this purpose, Blockchain is adopted to record and control the improvement of all production processes and materials used.
The proposed integrated environmental assessment of different technologies/ manufacturing lines developed will support decision making and will provide quantitative data to ensure that the technological improvement is accompanied by the overall environmental improvement – ecodesign.
First LCA has been conducted on some technologies applied within the project, like additive manufacturing and other laser processing.
Supersonic metallic deposition cell
Prima Power multi process laser cell concept
4WD Passenger and VAN
Large volume polymeric 3D printing cell
Cloud integrations
Body frame Assembly parts details
Architecture overview
Sustainability business case
Battery pack assembly phase