Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research project AutoAdd: Paving the way for additive manufacturing for the automotive industry

22.11.2018

Five companies and two research institutes were involved in one of the most exciting technical issues in production. Coordinated by Daimler AG and within the framework of the BMBF funding initiative “Photonic Process Chains”, these project partners examined the “Integration of Additive Manufacturing Processes in Automobile Series Production – AutoAdd”. They focused on the metallic, additive manufacturing process developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany: Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), also known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM).

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) wants to literally bring light into production under the term “Photonic Process Chains”.


Test piece, with supports removed with a wet-chemical process.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany


Additive Manufacturing factory design of the future.

© TRUMPF, Ditzingen, Germany

Research projects are to integrate photon-based manufacturing processes such as metal 3D printing into product planning processes. The project aims to develop flexible, hybrid manufacturing conceptual designs, which the industry can use to produce individualized and complex products more efficiently than before.

Hybrid process chain to reduce unit costs

Of the 14 joint projects within the funding initiative, the AutoAdd project aimed to make it easier for the automotive industry to use additive manufacturing within three years.

The project partners focused on integrating the LPBF process chain in the automotive mass production environment to create a hybrid process chain and, thus, to reduce unit costs.

The BMW Group and Daimler defined the requirements for the additive process chain, which the high-tech company TRUMPF and research institute Fraunhofer ILT used to develop various LPBF plant and finishing conceptual designs.

The result was potentially production-ready optical designs as well as a modular system architecture, which, for example, enables the use of multiple beam sources and a so-called interchangeable cylinder principle.

In addition, the project team developed promising automatable post-processing concepts, including removal of support structures, and analyzed novel scalable materials produced by GKN.

Finally, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) evaluated the new factory designs: Using a simulation model, the engineers of the wbk Institute for Production Science visualized an exemplary, conventional process chain, in which they were able to design various possible LPBF plant concepts. With methods such as cost or benchmark analyzes, they were able to compare the new approaches from a technical and economic point of view with previous ones.

Additive mass manufacturing made possible

The results of the three-year joint project are quite impressive: Since modular cylinders and the use of wet-chemical immersion baths can now be used to remove, batchwise, components in the post-processing step, the entire process chain can be automated and non-productive time saved.

This can increase the overall profitability. The AutoAdd project team has also developed common metrics for evaluating LPBF manufacturing equipment and identified them for the most popular equipment manufacturers as part of a large-scale benchmarking exercise.

By using standardized benchmark jobs with different test specimens, industrial users can now calculate transferable key figures with which they will be able to find the most economical system for their purposes.

In addition, a fundamental step was taken: One of the most important points needed to make additive manufacturing technology ready for series production – the reproducibility of the mechanical properties – was demonstrated and evaluated in several state-of-the-art facilities. Integrating an economic additive process chain in automotive mass production can now be considered possible after the end of the project.

From an academic point of view, the research project also brought about positive effects: Content emerged from AutoAdd for four dissertations, and the knowledge thus gained can also be used for lectures. Moreover, in 2019 there will be another project, partly based on the present results, dealing with the line-integration of additive manufacturing processes to implement the designed additive process chain.

Research project »Integration of Additive Manufacturing Processes in Automobile Production -AutoAdd«

Project partners:

- Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Munich, Germany
- Daimler AG, Ulm, Germany
- Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, Aachen, Germany
- GKN Sinter Metals Engineering GmbH, Radevormwald, Germany
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
- netfabb GmbH, Lupburg, Germany
- TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH, Ditzingen, Germany

Project period: June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2018
Project volume: €3.37 million, (about a 57 percent share of funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF).

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Tobias Schmithüsen
Group Laser Powder Bed Fusion
Telephone +49 241 8906-568
tobias.schmithuesen@ilt.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.ilt.fraunhofer.de/en
https://www.photonikforschung.de/projekte/photonische-prozessketten/projekt/auto...

Petra Nolis M.A. | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Decontaminating pesticide-polluted water using engineered nanomaterial and sunlight
16.01.2020 | Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS

nachricht TUM Agenda 2030: Combining forces for additive manufacturing
09.10.2019 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

Im Focus: NASA's Curiosity rover finds clues to chilly ancient Mars buried in rocks

By studying the chemical elements on Mars today -- including carbon and oxygen -- scientists can work backwards to piece together the history of a planet that once had the conditions necessary to support life.

Weaving this story, element by element, from roughly 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) away is a painstaking process. But scientists aren't the type...

Im Focus: Making quantum 'waves' in ultrathin materials

Study co-led by Berkeley Lab reveals how wavelike plasmons could power up a new class of sensing and photochemical technologies at the nanoscale

Wavelike, collective oscillations of electrons known as "plasmons" are very important for determining the optical and electronic properties of metals.

Im Focus: When proteins work together, but travel alone

Proteins, the microscopic “workhorses” that perform all the functions essential to life, are team players: in order to do their job, they often need to assemble into precise structures called protein complexes. These complexes, however, can be dynamic and short-lived, with proteins coming together but disbanding soon after.

In a new paper published in PNAS, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, the University of Oxford, and Sorbonne...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New gravitational-wave model can bring neutron stars into even sharper focus

22.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

A replaceable, more efficient filter for N95 masks

22.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

Capturing the coordinated dance between electrons and nuclei in a light-excited molecule

22.05.2020 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>