Research & development
FAGIMA ADDITIVE 4.0 PROJECT
Project financed within the framework of the POR FESR Tuscany 2014-2020
Announcement No. 2: Strategic research and development projects for MSMEs
DURATION OF THE PROJECT FROM 01/18 TO 12/20
TYPE OF SERVICE B11-B13
DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES:
- Reporting and project management
- Definition of specifications and constraints
- State of the art analysis
- Definition of conceptual hypotheses for solving development critical issues
- Detailed electromechanical design, prototypes
- Validation and testing
- D11 SAL and partial reporting, Interim and final reports
- D21 – Shared list of specifications and constraints, objective quantification and weights
- D31 Patent search, D32 Evaluation of patent protection opportunities and possible protection directions
- D41 List of solutions and concepts for the solution of project critical issues defined according to systematic problem solving techniques such as Triz and Axiomatic
- Design, D42 Evaluation and validation of solutions and concepts D 51 Sketches, diagrams and descriptive drawings of the solutions
- D 51 Sketches, diagrams and descriptive drawings of the solutions
- D 61 Prototype creations D 62 tests and results D 63 Calculations, diagrams, drawings and definitive models of the hybrid machine architecture for mixed additive-subtractive machining defined by the project.
The project aims to develop numerically controlled machines with mixed additive-subtractive technology for the processing of metals, even on large dimensions, with a strong innovative character and characterized by a boost in automation, the ability to collaborate and the ability to operate without human supervision as foreseen from the “Industry 4.0” paradigm
As is known, in recent years technologies and devices related to additive manufacturing have emerged more and more evidently, in particular this has happened since 2012, the year in which many patents relating to additive manufacturing expired, allowing many players in the world to undertake the development and creation of additive systems resulting in greater diffusion and reduction of the overall costs of the systems.
In particular, we have seen an interesting evolution in the field of metal additive production, also driven by the interest of large groups, in particular for creations in the field of large axial compressors and turbines, in the aeronautical field, and in the world of mold makers.
In these sectors the creations are almost all “prototype” and in any case made to order on machines which have high purchase costs, due both to the complexity of their parts and to the almost “unique” character of the individual creations.
The final cost of the piece has less impact than mass production in which the unit cost is one of the main levers and where the geometric characteristics of the pieces lead, with traditional techniques, to very expensive manufacturing or to the adoption of compromises in design, suffice it think about the configuration and creation of cooling channels with complex geometries inside turbine blades which with traditional techniques must be created by removal from the solid while with additive techniques they arise directly in the piece during processing.
For this reason, in these sectors, additive manufacturing has emerged which is characterized by generally higher costs due mainly to the energy used in the process and the typically very long processing times, but which allow extreme freedom in the forms of implementation.
In this field, two main technologies have emerged as successful, the sintering or direct fusion of powders (BPF) and the deposition of molten metal obtained with plasma or laser (LMD), solutions however affected by the typical problems of additive production, i.e. poor dimensional precision and poor surface quality and high surface roughness.
Recently, therefore, some companies have begun the development of hybrid or mixed systems that combine additive technologies, mainly LMD, with classic subtractive technologies on CNC machines.
To date, however, there are not many companies operating in the sector, none in Italy and few in Europe and often these are creations characterized by the simple coupling of an LMD station to an existing traditional machine.
As part of the innovation and development plan for its machines, Fagima Fresatrici has decided to tackle the development of an architecture of hybrid, mixed additive-subtractive machines, specifically designed for the organic solution of the critical issues linked to these applications, machines by their nature highly innovative and characterized by a push towards the “Industry 4.0” paradigm.