The industrial objective of the proposed RTD is to provide SME engineering companies with an expert management system that allows the control and maintenance of metalworking fluids, increasing their lifetime, reducing their ecological impact and assuring the correct cutting performance. It will be specifically designed for SMEs with diverse machining operations and stand alone machine tools, with separate and isolated fluid sumps. With a recent report suggesting that metalworking fluids and lubricants represent about 16% of manufacturing costs, and disposal charges increasing rapidly, long service life is becoming even more important. The clear indication is that there are real economic savings to be made by extending the working life of metalworking fluids, and that effective management of the fluids receives a low priority in the majority of companies, due to lack of awareness, knowledge and access to simple cost effective management tools. The proposed RTD aims to develop a low cost PC based system to assist SMEs achieve better metalworking fluid management and achieve cost savings. The system aims to at least double the typical lifetime of a metalworking fluid, thus creating a 50% reduction in direct purchase and disposal costs, and halving the environmental impact of fluid use. Further savings in indirect costs of fluid use (e.g. poor product quality, excessive tool wear caused by poor fluid condition) are also expected. The technology objectives relate to the development of: * An expert system that models the relationship between the chphysical condition of a fluid and its operational performances.system that incorporates novel features such a self learning facilities, and that gives full diagnosis of problem situations with details of corron. * Novel, low cost, fluid condition monitoring apparatus and int kits. These will be achieved by employing an approach that builds on the excellent work carried out by Tekniker and Pera in metalworking fluid technology, and drawing technology developed in other expert system fields to produce a system suitable for application in SMEs.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
M8 8QG Manchester
CF1 5EJ East Moors
CB2 5QZ Cambridge - Barrington
1070 AP Amsterdam
CV4 9AF Coventry
LE13 0PB Melton Mowbray - Leicestershire