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A Productive, Affordable and Reliable solution for large scale manufacturing of metallic components by combining laser-based ADDItive and Subtractive processes with high Efficiency

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PARADDISE (A Productive, Affordable and Reliable solution for large scale manufacturing of metallic components by combining laser-based ADDItive and Subtractive processes with high Efficiency)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2020-11-30

The Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) is a process that can be integrated into robots or large machine tools and is applied to pieces of high added value. At present, the main manufacturers of machine tools worldwide are implementing the process of LMD in their machines, which are known as hybrid machines. Although there are already some hybrid machines available in the market, it is still a little mature technology and for its industrial application it requires a greater deepening in the development of auxiliary elements, programming systems, control, etc.
In this sense, the PARADDISE project aims to make a quantitative and qualitative leap in laser-based additive manufacturing technology for metallic components, by increasing the reliability of the LMD process, its integration with subtractive processes, and by developing a set of tools and ad-hoc technologies that facilitate the integration of DML with consolidated conventional manufacturing methods. In this way, there will be scope for wider adoption of this technology in larger and more numerous market segments. With the aim of achieving this overall goal, the project aimed to develop the following tools:
1) A Database integrating process and materials knowledge
2) CAx technologies with embedded database about combined LMD and machining processes
3) An efficient monitoring and control system
4) Smart components with integrated sensors
5) An integrated process-machine-tools package
The PARADDISE solution has been integrated in the ‘ZVH45/1600 Add+Process’ hybrid machine from IBARMIA manufacturer (PARADDISE partner), which is already available in the market as well as at TECNALIA’s facilities (PARADDISE coordinator). In addition, this solution has been tested through 2 industrial use cases: i) A rubber extrusion screw (Michelin); and ii) a LPT Case (GAN).
For the first use case, the PARADDISE project has served to fabricate or recondition extrusion screws to significantly enlarge their life for tire manufacturing. As a result, MICHELIN has installed, during the PARADDISE period, an IBARMIA Hybrid machine at the facilities of Clermont-Ferrand. This hybrid machine is larger than the one available at TECNALIA but features the same laser source and LMD head elements.
For the second use case two approaches were applied. The first one addressed the verification of the feasibility of the manufacturing of the entire LPT case by LMD. The second approach addressed the deposition of LMD features (bosses, rails and flanges) over a previously fabricated base case. Most significant results are related to the second approach and, within such results, the deposition of Inconel 718 feedstock with the purpose to perform repair activities to the LPT cases should become a strong candidate for effective industrialization.
The PARADDISE project obtained 11 Exploitable results:
1) Hybrid Machine for LMD and Machining (milling and turning), with integrated smart technologies.
2) Closed loop technology for hybrid manufacturing for SINUMERIK 840D for the control of layer height and powder mass flow rate.
3) A smart LMD Head with integrated interferometric sensor unit (IDM).
4) A Smart powder feeder using the FlowWatch sensor, integrated into the test setup in Munich as well as the transfer to the ‘ZVH45/1600 Add+Process’ hybrid machine.
5) Monitoring system for metal LMD process based on layer height, melt pool size and temperature, and powder mass flow rate.
6) LMD materials and process database: composed by 12 technical tables containing the relevant information for the process in terms of productivity, geometry, powder efficiency, MDR (Material Deposition Rate) and microstructure as a function of process parameters for the following materials: Inconel 718, Hastelloy X, Eutroloy 16606, Eutroloy 16006 (equivalent to Stellite 6), Colmonoy 56 and AISI 316L.
7) CAx technologies for hybrid manufacturing: Creation of a new module in NX with no restrictions and focused on LMD and machining combination, including:
o CAM module based on API designed to offer different additive strategies for 3-axis and 5-axis.
o a CAE module based on previously developed model for laser cladding process simulation called LATHEM.
o A virtual simulation for collision free deposition has been integrated into the CAM module.
8) Metal powder recycling system: system and procedure to reuse the metal powder wasted in LMD process, which can be as high as 80% depending on the configuration and spot size. The results show that manufactured parts maintain the physical properties and the integrity after 5 cycles of recycling.
9) International Standards on test methods and procedures for the characterization of Aerospace parts produced by AM technologies
10) Hard coating Extrusion Screw by means of hybrid technology
11) Measuring system integrated in machine for part detection and location based on structured light technology.
Regarding dissemination, exploitation and standardization activities, the most relevant results achieved have been:
- More than 30 dissemination activities (scientific papers published + oral presentations in conferences).
- Participation into 4 exhibitions
- 1 Patent and 1 patent application
- Report on the business plan of ISO TC 261 as well as on standards of other ISO and CEN TCs that are relevant for AM technology.
- Participation in 7 Standardisation meetings
In view of the developments and progress made, the PARADDISE project opportunity is focused on the development of solutions and technologies that accelerate the introduction of the LMD + machining process in the market.
Social Impacts:
PARADDISE will spread the AM within industrial partners and networks a view of PARADDISE AM Services as an evolution of conventional manufacturing, as a means for overcoming this socio-cultural limitation.
Concerning the direct impact of PARADDlSE on job creation among key stakeholders of the manufacturing value chain, the main quantitative leap will come from the PARADDISE Services Ecosystem that will be created during the project life, and that will cover services along the life cycle of mechanical products of complex geometries. These services will start at their conception and design stage, offering services linked to optimally designing parts to take most profit for LMD+Machining operations as well as for optimally selecting the appropriate combination of operations. These services will also include the manufacturing stage, offering services such as appropriate tuning of machine parameters and maintenance services. Finally, there will be additional services such as training to employees interested in implementing the PARADDISE approach in their processes.
On the other hand, there will be also remarkable job creation linked to the development of the PARADDISE results. This job creation will cover qualified profiles such as software engineers for the PARADDISE CAx technologies, design engineers for designing appropriate components and equipment for the combined LMD+Subtractive, production engineers for supporting customized and on-demand manufacturing of complex parts, lawyers for defining IPR for the new developments, etc.
Extrusion Screw
LPT Case
Schematic view of the PARADDISE solution