Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.
New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products
Implementing innovative concepts, such as for more efficient engines, mostly accompanies with advances in manufacturing technologies. Production tolerances of modern plants thus suffice to process metal components in the micrometer range and are just a thousandth of a millimeter thick. At the same time, a plant must be highly flexible so it can compensate for any fluctuations in raw materials and manufacture a wide range of products. That is why production technology’s next aim is to have plants that can manufacture individual components with the precision and at the cost of mass production.
Laser Measurement Technology as a Key Component
Sensors that can work precisely and reliably even under unfavorable conditions are paramount to monitoring and regulating such manufacturing processes. Interferometers are used under laboratory conditions to measure the shape of components with the highest precision – for example, thickness of sheet metal, roundness of rollers, and eccentricity of waves. In fact, Interferometers are so precise that they can be used to determine not just the component’s shape but also its surface roughness.
Sensors with Digitized Expert Knowledge
To this end, an interferometer’s settings must be adapted precisely to the measurement task at hand. This especially requires correct exposure time and focus; similar to taking a photo. In April this year, the collaborative project INSPIRE was started with the aim of developing an interferometer that can adapt to varying measuring conditions. “The sensors will have digitized expert knowledge and can autonomously optimize the settings,” explains Dr. Hölters from Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen. He coordinates the INSPIRE project, in which four other small and medium-sized enterprises are participating. With the development of fast control electronics, the sensors can adapt to rapidly changing measuring conditions within microseconds. This development will benefit conventional processes such as the cold rolling of sheet metal as well as machining processes such as welding.
Collaborative Project INSPIRE
The project idea of “Interferometric Distance Sensors with Automated Subsystems for Precision Inline Measurement to Regulate Automated Manufacturing Processes,” which in German produces the acronym INSPIRE, convinced the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to pledge half the funding for the three-year long collaborative project as part of the “Digital Optics” funding initiative. Companies participating in the INSPIRE project are LSA – Laser Analytical Systems & Automation GmbH and Beratron GmbH from Aachen, HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH from Kleinmachnow, and Friedrich Vollmer Feinmessgerätebau GmbH from Hagen.
Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Hölters
Clinical Diagnostics and Microsurgical Systems Group
Phone +49 241 8906-436
Petra Nolis M.A. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science
Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy