HyProCell realised pilot cells to prove its automated hybrid production workflows in real settings by manufacturing real parts. Some of the key innovations are:
Developed and customised different software to streamline the AM workflow in the cells. NetFabb and PowerShape Utility were used for PBF process in the SLM Pilot and PowerMill for LMD and five-axis machining. Design and Process Data is made accessible for anyone anywhere and anytime by using Autodesk’s Cloud Solutions based on Fusion Team deployment.
Developed OPC Unified Architecture Adapters and Middleware Components that enable data acquisition and process control for both additive and conventional manufacturing machines. These enable data acquisition and process control for both additive and conventional manufacturing machines in the context of a reconfigurable and standardised system architecture. Using this architecture not only the production was modularised, but also the engineering processes were decoupled, the development of each cell could be done independently and encapsulated regarding the inner functionality.
Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
Developed an MES that not only collects, displays and stores cell status information and order status tracking, but also acts as a dispatcher of information between the integration layer and other components of the system. The MES is fully implemented in SLM Pilot Cells.
LBAM Machine Enhancements
Added external controls to the LBAM Adira machine and made it operational as a connected module of an integrated production process. Specific novel features included a) TLM moveable chamber concept uses a modular processing head over the machine table; b) Automatic back door for robot access; c) Robot arm with dust box (including sealing elements); d) Auto de-powdering module coupled to the process chamber; and e) Process development to work with Nitrogen as inert gas when Nickel based alloy is processed.
Adapted the Hybrid LMD Hamuel machine achieving superior control capacities, including a laser line scanning system for in-process geometrical control.
Robotics & Part Handling
Sourced suitable robotic arms and designed robust pallet systems capable of handling the parts in the pilots. The systems demonstrated can handle parts with dimensions of 400x500mm and weight of 400kg. A novel dust box system and handling arm was specifically developed for SLM pilot cell.