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Hybrid automated machine integrating concurrent manufacturing processes, increasing the production volume of functional on-demand using high multi-material deposition rates

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - KRAKEN (Hybrid automated machine integrating concurrent manufacturing processes, increasing the production volume of functional on-demand using high multi-material deposition rates)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-09-30

Different concepts were identified around the realms of KRAKEN in 2016, these correspond to both current challenges and solutions proposed in the project. The challenges are still relevant in 2019, and include shrinkage, residual stresses, warpage, part deformation, inability to sustainably deal with small series or ad-hoc production, horizontal shortcomings of AM across different markets, excess of inventory,excess of waste material, excess of needed workfloor space, too complex supply chains and others.
It is for this reason that the KRAKEN consortium has been working during 2016-2019 in the fields of hybrid manufacturing, control and CAM software, dissemination, exploitation and demonstration through a number of industrial examples.
KRAKEN's objectives were to merge the MEGAROB subtractive machine (working area 20x6x3 metres) together with high efficient metallic (10 kg/h deposition rate) and novel non-metallic (180kg/h deposition rate) additive technologies. KRAKEN aimed at developing a hybrid manufacturing machine to equip industry with an all-in-one affordable machine for the customised design, production/repair and quality control of functional parts (made in aluminium, thermoset or both materials combined) from 0,1m to 20m through subtractive and novel additive technologies. KRAKEN also aimed at being able to produce and repair functional parts with dimensional tolerances under 0.3 millimetres and surface roughness under Ra 0,1 μm.
The KRAKEN consortium, coordinated by AITIIP, is integrated by 15 partners from 8 different countries. The project lasts 36 months and has a budget of 5.9M€, 30% of which is allocated to SMEs. Other partners who participate are Acciona (Spain), Planit and Vero UK Software (United Kingdom), Leica Geosystems (Switzerland), CSEM (Switzerland), Pininfarina (Italy), Vision Business Consultants (Greece), Autonomous Systems (Romania), Centro Richerche FIAT (Italy), Cecimo (Belgium), Espace 2001 SA (Luxembourg), Alchemie Ltd (United Kingdom), Arasol (Spain), TWI (United Kingdom) and Teamnet World Professional Services (Romania).
At M36, KRAKEN has progressed and ended satisfactorily and its key objectives – sustaining the expected impact – have remained strong, achieved and relevant. There is still room for progress and improvements in the future, mainly in the development of new resin materials and further automation of the processes.
The first period of the project gravitated around three different but interconnected lines of work: hybrid manufacturing, software and market positioning (exploitation and dissemination). This is, M18 left us with key developments in the fields of metal additive, resin additive, subtractive, low-level software (esp. controllers and robot models), alfa versions of the GUI and CAM softwares, and big expectations for the demonstrators to come. During the second period, a vast amount of work has been carried out around the themes of integration, demonstration and exploitation/dissemination.
By the end of the project, the final and updated list of Key Exploitable Results, an updated analysis of the AM market, the KRAKEN Lean Business Model Canvas, the “KRAKEN AM as a Service” Business Plan and different subscription models, and key exploitation strategies for each KER (SWOT analysis, target market, IPR routes…) were delivered. Key results include the Resin Extrusion AM machine, the Extrusion Resin PU3720 adapted to AM, Vision Process Monitoring System (VPMS), the e-Learning Platform and new AM modules for EDGECAM.
The commercial parts to be manufactured in WP7 underwent some sort of adaptation in order to balance between benchmarking and the reality of the timeframe of the project and the TRL in M30 (between 5 and 6). KRAKEN has compared, once WP7 has finished, its cost effectiveness in relation to (1) the current combination of technologies that are presently used by the WP7 demo partners and (2) those new KRAKEN technologies able to implement parts with the similar size and complexity. Impact-wise, these should be noted:
- The investment needed for the implementation of a reference panel with Pultrusion was calculated, and then the (current) initial investment in equipment to implement the KRAKEN technology adapted to the production of lining panels similar to the demonstrator ones was estimated to be around 625 k€, without taking into account the installation costs (around 75 k€). This means a 6% reduction approximately with respect to the reference technology
- In addition, the floor space required for a proper implementation of the pultrusion technology, from the technical, logistics and H&S point of view, has been estimated to be around 1500-2000m2. On the other hand, the floor space needed to implement the KRAKEN technology is around a mere 306 m2.
- The automotive industry supported these results as well, with a 25% investment reduction respect to current technologies (considering 2/3 sub-components integrated into the same cycle); being these current technologies injection moulding and FDM
- Time-wise, a number of improvements have been done at software level which are necessarily contributing to a faster design phase: better and more usable GUI, better APIs for the LEICA Tracker and a vastly improved CAM software via EDGECAM that has been loaded with capabilities
- The setup time (in this case, period of time that elapses from having the material, equipment, mould and part design, ready, until a stable panel production is achieved) has also been analysed for both reference and KRAKEN technology. This process can last a few hours (up to a maximum of one day) in the case of KRAKEN, while for the reference technology, this period is often several weeks (an average of 15 days), depending on the complexity of the geometry. If we add the lead-time to the equation, considering this to include the time for the production of the pultrusion mould having the geometry of the part this can mean adding 4 to 6 more months.
- KRAKEN is able to create localised manufacturing environments and reduce the length of supply chains, as a direct result from the project concept itself.
The KRAKEN system
The KRAKEN system printing resin
The KRAKEN system (detail)
Logo of the project