Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Production certainty

30.04.2013
Production processes are becoming increasingly complex and effective. Fraunhofer researchers are presenting a new form of laser-based material processing at the LASER World of Photonics Trade Fair and Congress in Munich from 13-16 May 2013 (Hall C2, Booth 330). For the first time, surfaces can be treated, then imperfections detected and immediately corrected in a single step.

Leather seats, leather steering wheels, and dashboards of wood are accessories frequently included in luxury automobiles. The interior of a medium-priced car looks very similar. The steering wheels exhibit a textured finish that also reminds one of leather.


Laser-based micro-finished surface.
© Fraunhofer IPT

“Until now, micro-finishes were tooled or etched,” explains Guilherme Mallmann, scientific staff member in the production measurement department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen. To manufacture a texture like this requires several steps at present however, according to the expert, who continues: “With the laser, you can create these finishes more simply and in just one single step.”

During Project Scan4surf over the last two years, a new kind of laser-based micro-finishing was created at IPT in conjunction with industrial partners. The process can be controlled and simultaneously monitored in a single step during production. A modular high-resolution in-line measurement system monitors the pieces during and after micro-finishing. The process is based around an optical sensor that measures depth without making contact. An opto-electronic measurement unit records the spectrum of the interference signal. The measurement beam uses the same beam path as that for the surface finishing. The researchers use low-coherence-length interferometry for this.
“When you throw a pebble into a lake, waves form at the point where the pebble penetrated the water’s surface. If several pebbles fall into the water simultaneously, the waves superpose themselves on one another and propagate. Our technique works in a similar fashion – using light, however. In this instance, the measurement beam travels to the surface of the piece. The object that has been processed reflects the measurement beam and we use this to measure the absolute distance to the piece,” explains Mallmann.

The camera and measurement unit are mounted in a box that is about the size of a small PC. The camera is connected to a computer that processes the data it receives and immediately intercedes in case of an imperfection. This facilitates quality control during production by means of simultaneous computer-assisted adjustment of the process in real time.
“If imperfections arose during processing, they were only detected at the end, until now. If texturing of the surface is too shallow or too deep at a few locations on the surface, for instance because the temperature changed during processing or external influences from other machinery disrupted the accuracy, this is adjusted for immediately,” says Mallmann. At the LASER World of PHOTONICS Trade Fair and Congress Fraunhofer reseachers will be showing a prototype of the system.

The new process creates new opportunities for surface processing and increases flexibility in selecting materials. A big advantage is that the system can be easily retrofitted to existing production facilities. Possible applications include automatic positioning of work pieces and their calibration, automatic process initialization, adaptive fabrication and in-situ quality audits, in repair processes for precision machining, electronics, medical and automobile technology as well as in tool making.

Guilherme Mallmann | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2013/april/production-certainty.html

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Fraunhofer HHI with latest VR technologies at NAB in Las Vegas
24.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht Kiel nano research at the Hannover Messe
21.04.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>