Ship’s propellers, parts for wind energy converters, turbine housings – such large-volume castings can only be produced with special molds. The procedure is elaborate and cost-intensive because foundry workers must still perform most of the work steps manually.
In the future, industrial robots will support skilled workers when they fabricate molds: Together with their partner firm Modell- und Formenbau GmbH Sachsen-Anhalt MFSA, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg have developed a procedure for this. “The robots produce large-volume models and molds faster and less expensively. Depending on the process, this can cut costs by up to a third.
Various tools can be combined flexibly with one another,” explains Torsten Felsch, Research Manager at the Fraunhofer IFF. The molds are milled directly out of a block – without losing time on a product model. KUKA Roboter GmbH in Augsburg is supporting this project: Thus, among other things, a standard KUKA robot is being utilized. The Fraunhofer researchers are scrutinizing the basics of robot use: Which milling path is optimal? How can algorithms be used to calculate it? What tools are best for robot use? Their colleagues at MFSA are implementing the findings directly in production.
Another method is often more cost effective for large quantities than direct milling: Since a mold is destroyed when a finished casting is extracted, workers first fashion a model of the casting to be produced, which serves as a pattern for molds. “The models are built up in layers. Usually, a worker saws out the individual sheets, bonds them atop one another and then machines the shape with a milling machine. Industrial robots will be able to take this over in the future,” says Felsch. How exactly does that function though?
First, the KUKA robot mixes a liquid two-component foam and applies one foam layer after another to the machined surface. Since an average layer is two centimeters thick, a relatively rough model of a casting is produced. Just as in direct milling, the software then supplies the milling parameters to the robot: Where must how much material be removed? What tool is best to use? The robotic machining processes are currently still in development. They could be supporting foundries in their work in one to two years.
Torsten Felsch | alfa
Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon
27.06.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
Air pollution casts shadow over solar energy production
27.06.2017 | Duke University
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy