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Minimizing exposure of humans to potential carcinogenic dust and increasing competitiveness with robots in composite parts machining.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FIBREMACH (Minimizing exposure of humans to potential carcinogenic dust and increasing competitiveness with robots in composite parts machining.)

Período documentado: 2021-06-01 hasta 2022-05-31

Manufacturing is one of the strongest motors of the European economy. Around 1 out of 10 of all enterprises in the EU-27's non-financial business economy belong to the manufacturing industry, employing 28.5 million people in almost 2 million enterprises and generating 1820 billion € of value . Since 2014 the European Commission is actively stimulating the introduction of new technologies leading to flexible manufacturing, clean processes and improved production to increase the competitiveness of the EU manufacturing industry and invert its decline , which went from 18.5% GDP in the year 2000 to 14.9% in 2018 .
There is a clear trend in the manufacturing industry to replace metal parts by composite parts in order to reduce the weight of the components and increase the performance of products in sectors as diverse as transportation, energy generation, and construction. The global composites market size was expected to grow from USD 74 billion in 2020 to USD 112.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 8.8%, but unfortunately the EU market share is not growing as rapidly as the composites industry around the world .
European manufacturing companies need to increase their production flexibility since in an everyday basis new composite parts are being designed for products as diverse as aircrafts, automobiles and consumer goods. Currently used milling-machines are not suited for that flexibility. Current robotic solutions don’t meet the accuracy requirements (+/- 0.25mm) of composite parts in sectors such as aerospace, wind power and automotive that are gaining momentum in the EU Green Deal for transport optimization, electrification and clean energy generation. Moreover, EU composite manufacturing industry is extremely concerned with the dust generated during composite machining due to the potential cancer risk related to the breathing of fibres and resin, and severe health issues on skin, eyes, lungs and liver. In an industry survey on carbon fibre machining 81% of respondents agreed that there is “very high” or “high” need for new actions in order to extract dust from the working area .FIBREMACH will substitute milling-machines and manual cutting of composites with a safe, accurate and low cost robot.
FIBREMACH project answers the needs of EU composite part manufacturers and the EC trends in Advanced Manufacturing Key Enabling Technology for cleaner processes and to increase the competitiveness of the EU industry by proposing a robotic system that will disrupt current state of the art of composite machining including an internal dust suction system (98% suction) for improved health and safety conditions by minimizing the exposure of humans to dust with fibres and resins, reduced energy consumption (22% less), increased performance (3 times more accurate than current robot systems) and continuous process monitoring and control for “right the first time” machining, while being 68% cheaper than milling machines. FIBREMACH project will bring to the market a patented and award-winning novel technology for internal suction of dust generated during machining through hollow cutting tools and spindle, minimizing the exposure of humans to fibres and resins, providing a higher suction capability and automatic tool change capability increasing productivity. A scalable industrial robotic architecture will be used to provide flexibility to EU composite part manufacturers by better adapting the machining system to their changing production needs, requiring a much lower investment than traditional machine tools and therefore making companies that currently mill, trim and drill composites manually or by milling machines, such as AERNNOVA, adopt a robotized solution for increased protection of the workers and higher productivity. FIBREMACH new approach (based on ALDAKIN’s expertise in increase robot accuracy) is possible thanks to PERON’s spindle (with the innovative 98% dust suction system) and FACET’s customised tooling (specific design that directs machined dust towards the inside of the tool and spindle).
The following results have been obtained up to now in the project:
-Completed an internal suction system redesigned to include the necessary features to make composite dust suction feasible
-The family of internal suction compatible companion tools
-Robot enhancement systems based on accuracy increasing technologies, composite machining process control and cloud-based monitoring systems testing
-Creation and maintenance of plans and procedures for the activities related to dissemination, training, exploitation, standardization, and external communication
-Identification of the set of standards which are relevant for the foreseen technical work in the project and defining actions that will enable the results of FIBREMACH to contribute to the corresponding standardization efforts
-Preparation of various types of communication materials (leaflets, brochures, videos, presentations, posters, etc.)
-Publication of dissemination articles (journal, conference, workshop articles) as well as giving multiple public speeches and different venues
-Organization of several events with potential customers to discuss possible real-life adaptations of the system
FIBREMACH is a game changer project proposing breakthrough innovations for the composite machining industry:
• Machining spindle with internal suction in the precise machining point (edge of the tool), instead of the current suction-hoods targeting the whole area, using a specially designed pull-stud and rear stator and rotor joint using Venturi effect for increased suction.
• Special design PCD cutting tools: opposed to current standard, the custom tools will force the dust to go inside of the tool. Includes new geometries of the edge of the cutting tools, enlarged size of the hole with vibration and productivity analysis.
• Removes the health concerns associated to composite machining from the source and in addition provides:
o Reduced energy consumption for suction by 50%, in overall saving 22% of energy currently required for machining.
o No need to stop and clean the equipment every day to prevent wear produced by abrasive dust particles on guideways.
o Being dust electricity conductor, no more electric shortcuts when dust enters the electric and electronic components.
• Provides an accurate, cost-effective and high-productivity composite machining system thanks to the robot’s integrated
accuracy increasing technologies at a fraction of the cost of a traditional milling machine.
• Integrates an automatic machine learning backed monitoring system that assists the operator to obtain defect-free machined parts, in combination with latest ICT for total process traceability, with data accessible 24/7 in the cloud.
• Makes adaptation to new production requirements possible, being designed from the beginning to be easily migrated to a larger or smaller robot and mount the robot on a linear track or AGV to increase its working volume.
General FIBREMACH brochure part 1
General FIBREMACH brochure part 2