The use of semi-finished components made of carbon fiber composites (CFCs) is growing strongly in the automotive, aeronautical, transport sectors and also in other sectors, such as wind turbines manufacturing. The reason for this diffusion is due to the high performance of rigidity and often critical characteristics in mechanical constructions for high-tech uses. The manufacturing sector of these components is mainly composed by small subcontracting companies. The current production approach (mainly manual) is not compatible with the strong growth in demand for CFC components from the sectors listed above. Therefore, a modular and flexible solution is required that can support the growth of demand in this industrial sector.
The obstacle to a wider diffusion of CFC components is due to their high cost caused also by the current low level of automation of the production cycle. A more extensive use of CFC products requires that companies focus on computer aided design / manufacturing methods and systems. Therefore, the introduction of integrated production systems, consisting of robotized cell modules, will favor the adoption by companies of the aforementioned sector (whose market has a strong development potential) of an Industry 4.0 model.
The ROBO project aims to develop a robotic production system that integrates the final stages of milling, sanding and gluing of CFC components into a flexible automated system.
In particular, the ROBO project studies which operations of the final cycle of the CFC components manufacture can be conveniently robotized and develops a prototype of a multifunctional robotic cell, that is able to carry out more operations through different “End-Effectors” (sanders, cutters, bits for drilling, glue dispensers etc). The processing cycle to be performed can be previously programmed and simulated off-line. The ROBO multi-functional robotic cell is used to demonstrate the technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the new flexible automation process.
The ROBO partners have all the complementary skills necessary to achieve the expected result: Fabrica Machinale s.r.l. regarding robotic automation systems, VALCO MELTON SLU (Navarra) regarding electronic gluing systems, BERCELLA S.r.l. (Parma) regarding industrial applications and the production cycle of CFC components.
Project cost: 535.000 €
Grant: 214.000 €
Starting year: 2018