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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 1 - 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: 2016-10-01 to 2018-03-31

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. So, the lack of maturity of the technology of LMD, together with a lack of quality of the components manufactured, can be a drag on the commercialization of hybrid equipment.
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 will tackle the following technical objectives:
1) To develop a Knowledge-Based Expert Database integrating process and materials knowledge
2) To develop CAx technologies with embedded database about combined LMD and machining processes
3) To develop and implement an efficient monitoring and control system
4) To develop and integrate Smart components with integrated sensors
5) To develop and implement an integrated process-machine-tools package
The solution will be 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). Thus, the PARADDISE project will conceive a process-machine-tools solution (see figure 1).
Up to date, the most relevant results achieved have been:
- In WP1 two use cases for the validation of PARADDISE concept have been defined: Extrusion screw (Michelin) and Low Pressure Turbine Case (GKN Aerospace).
- In WP2 a LMD process database have been developed, which is composed by 12 technical tables containing the relevant information for the process. In addition, a HMI application (Human Machine Interface) is being developed in order to interact the end-user with the database. Regarding the characterization of the LMD process, several materials have been characterized in terms of productivity, geometry, powder efficiency and MDR (Material Deposition Rate) as a function of process parameters. On the other hand, the analysis of the effect of cutting fluid on the porosity formation during LMD process have been carried out. Finally, a system for integrating cameras based on the structured light technology into the ADD&PROCESS machine is being developed and calibrated.
- In WP3, via API (Advanced Programming Interface) programming, new option has been added to the main menu in NX. This module was created programming a user-friendly interface and integrated with existing CAD and CAM modules. The new template combines both additive manufacturing and machining and is designed to define step by step all parameters, such us the nozzle or parameters and strategy used in each operation. The developed CAE module is based on previously developed model for laser cladding process simulation called LATHEM. On the basis of the LATHEM and using the Matlab environment, the model is modified and adapted for the LMD process.
- In WP4, in a first step the monitoring of the LMD process has been developed applying different sensors, e.g. interferometric sensor unit (IDM), CCD camera, powder flow sensors. These LMD head integrated devices are applied for process monitoring of the track height, powder mass flow and melt pool characteristics. Beside quality analysis monitoring results are used as input for the process parameter database and simulation. Based on the analysis of the identified input parameters and the monitoring results, a process model which represents the process characteristics and is prerequisite for the closed loop control has been developed. To achieve a reliable process, closed loop control cycles are developed for building height, powder mass flow and melt pool temperature. Based on several experiments and the process model, the concepts for each of the control cycles and their interaction have been developed and partly tested on the SINUMERIK controlled machine.
"There is a high difficulty of commercialization of the existing hybrid machines in the market, still being a range of machines that has not accessed a significant part of the expected market. The reasons for the low sales of these machines can be diverse, but all experts agree in highlighting that the main obstacles to the industrialization of these systems are ""the lack of control and monitoring systems to reduce dispersion of results of the LMD process, the need for training for designers, the lack of programming systems and a priori verification of the process and the lack of industrial standards for Additive Manufacturing "".
The main results expected in PARADDISE project are:
1) Monitoring and Closed loop control system for hybrid AM &SM manufacturing:
2) CAx Technologies for hybrid manufacturing
3) LMD Materials and process database
4) Measuring system integrated in machine for part detection and location based in structured light technology
5) Powder recycling system
6) Smart components: LMD Head and Powder Feeder
7) International standards on test methods and procedures for the characterization of Aerospace parts produced by AM technologies
Thus, in view of the developments and progress being 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.
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Schematic view of the PARADDISE solution