The Computerized Numerical Control cell covers a broad spectrum of machining processes with three different systems. A high-speed 5-axis system and a 3-axis milling machine are available for machining plastics, steel and non-ferrous metals. Of particular interest is, among other things, the possibility of high-speed machining of fiber composite materials at up to 75,000 rpm. In addition to these systems, a five-axis universal turning center is also available for the production of non-rotationally symmetrical turned parts. The systems help in the field of sample preparation as well as component manufacturing for the Halle 43 – Future Fabrication. They are combined with other manufacturing processes, such as additive manufacturing, to obtain optimal surfaces. The researchers monitor the processes with different using cutting edge sensor technologies and evaluate the resulting data using artificial intelligence methods. In addition to concepts for process documentation and real-time monitoring, the University of Augsburg is also researching methods for predictive maintenance or optimized tool exchange.
Non-destructive inspection (NDI) is an indispensable part of the manufacturing process, especially for safety-relevant, highly stressed structural components, e.g. in the aerospace industry. Depending on the process, highly qualified personnel must be employed for the inspection. In the context of a multimodal NDI cell, inspection objects are detected fully automatically and inspected non-destructively in a robot-based manner using different inspection methods (thermography, ultrasound, optical, ...). For this purpose, an AI-based system creates an individual inspection program according to the requirements of the examination object. Here, AI methods should help to design efficient inspection concepts or, optionally, to optimize the inspection with regard to diagnostic quality in the case of high requirements. Following the test, the resulting data from different test methods are merged and automatically evaluated by artificial intelligence methods. This produces precise, reliable, and reproducible test results for quality assurance and for feeding the results back into production for process optimization.
Computed Tomography Systems
Computed tomography (CT) systems use X-rays for non-destructive testing of components. Such systems are used, among other things, for precise component testing in development and during series production. CT X-ray technology provides a non-destructive insight into components. For conventional computed tomography systems, the size of the objects to be examined is often severely limited with tolerable dimensions of up to one meter. Llarger components or systems can only be scanned with highly specialized equipment. The solution to this problem is a cutting-edge robotic tomography system. Two collaborating robots form the heart of the system, one carrying the X-ray source and the other the detector. This enables scanning of large and complex geometries. The flexibility of the robots also allows a wide variety of inspection tasks to be handled with just one setup. The system therefore enables the examination of components created in the Halle 43 – Future Fabrication, and feedback of this information into production for process optimization. In addition, smaller plants or testing machines can also be monitored in-situ using the CT the system.
Robot-Assisted Component Testing
The research objective of robot-based component testing is the implementation of a flexible test rig for the mechanical characterization of components, which are, for example, produced in Hall 43. The cell consists of two heavy-duty robots for applying loads to the test specimen, each equipped with force-moment sensors, a clamping field for securimg the test specimen, and a linear testing cylinder for additional loads. In addition, optical sensor are available for measuring the deformation of the component. The major advantage of this system compared to conventional test rigs or testing machines lies in its flexibility, the diverse possibilities for applying loads, and the potential size of the components to be tested. The current scientific challenges involve planning complex test movements, programming dynamic robot applications, and automating specific tests.
Hybrid Injection Moulding Facility
For the hybrid injection moulding process, a complex system consisting of a vertical clamping unit, mobile mould slide and 2K plastification units in combination with the injection moulding of metallic components (especially metallic glasses) is available. The vertical clamping unit, together with the mobile mould slide, enables the easy insertion of semi-finished products such as fibre-reinforced tapes or recycled fabrics. With the plasticising units, thermoset, thermoplastic or physically foamed polymers can be processed in any combination in 2C injection moulding, resulting in optimum process and material variability. The combination of (fibre-reinforced) polymers with the injection moulding of metallic components and the automated process linkage opens up further exciting possibilities for developing and producing hybrid materials in a near-series environment.
In the "Mixed Robotics" cell, the focus is on developing a flexible machining and handling robot cell. The goal is to enable various types of robots, such as industrial robots, collaborative robots, and mobile robots, to collaborate with each other and with humans. The research focuses on the development of plug-and-produce concepts, multi-robot-collaboration, and human-robot-collaboration. Additionally, the study explores how AI-based methods can be used to detect humans in the vicinity of robots, as well as how machining and handling processes can be planned and optimized.
Friction Stir Welding
Compared to other joining processes, Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a new type of joining process and is used in various industries such as aerospace, the automotive industry or railways. The FSW process is particularly suitable for metals and alloys that are difficult to weld. Different types of equipment can be used for this, such as a robot-based system or a gantry system. Robot-based FSW offers the advantage of more flexible geometric path guidance, whereas the strength of gantry systems lies in the joining of simpler geometries with greater process forces and high shape and position tolerances, especially in series production.
Our modular system allows you to integrate your own system with us. For such a cooperation, we offer individual approaches and characteristics. Please feel free to contact us: