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FoFdation project partners, Artis and Delcam, start machining trials

The Airbus aerospace test part machined during trials at Delcam

German FoFdation partner Artis visited Delcam in Birmingham for three days at the end of November to install, and to train staff on using, process monitoring equipment on one of the CNC machines inside Delcam’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility. The second objective was to perform the first set of machining experiments to use the process monitoring equipment and to log process conditions to validate the R&D developments carried out by Delcam in order to improve the lead time and surface quality in milling processes.

The 4th Work Package of the FoFdation project focuses on two main tasks. The first one, led by Delcam, focuses on developing kinematic and dynamic models to achieve a realistic estimate of machining time and representation of surface quality. The second task, led by Artis, focuses on monitoring and processing real-time process information during machining to enable corrective actions to avoid damage to the tool, part or machine. The workshop in Birmingham brought together the two research tasks; using the process monitoring data logging capabilities it is possible to capture measurements data, which in turn are needed to validate the developed models with respect to estimation of machining time and representation of surface quality.

Simulation developments are taking place in Delcam’s CAM software PowerMILL. The new algorithms will improve the predictability of time estimation and simulated surface quality using new kinematic and dynamic models incorporating the most important identified process parameters such as spindle torque, axis feedrate and machine accelerations.

Delcam’s DMU160 five-axis milling machine has been equipped with Artis’ CTM process monitoring card, providing tools to, for instance, avoid tool breakage or part damage due to tool wear. In parallel to the commercially available hardware, several R&D results and new developments were also tested and installed at Delcam’s facilities.

Machining experiments were carried out throughout the three days and, while machining was taking place, several members of the Delcam staff were trained in operating Artis’ hardware and software components for future experiments within FoFdation. The project team will continue with machining experiments across Europe, including experiments at Artis, ECN (France), CRF (Italy) and ETHZ (Switzerland), where the team will all use a common test piece from the aerospace industry, provided by project co-ordinator Airbus.

This project is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) adopted in 2008. The EERP proposes the launch of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in three sectors, one of them being Factories of the Future (FoF).
Factories of the Future is a EUR 1.2 billion program in which the European Commission and industry are collaborating in research to support the development and innovation of new enabling technologies for the EU manufacturing sector. For further information please visit:

18 December 2012

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