Boosting the adoption of Ultrashort Pulsed Laser large scale structuring with an agile, dexterous and efficient manufacturing platform
Laser manufacturing offers the capacity to produce complex parts with custom surfaces, more easily than ever before. The EU-funded OPeraTIC project aspires to use high-power ultra-short pulsed lasers (USPLs) to make surface micromachining of large 3D parts more efficient and sustainable. Through the use of advanced optics, precise robotic arms, and artificial-intelligence planning, researchers will make USPL manufacturing more reliable and replicable.
The industry sector was responsible for 37% of the total global energy use in 2017, representing a 1% annual increase in energy consumption from 2010, with growth of 1.7% in 2017 following much slower growth of 0.1% the previous year. The increase in energy consumption is driven by escalating production in energy-intensive industry subsectors.
The primary characteristic of Industry 4.0 is the digitalization of manufacturing processes, which offers opportunities for energy saving through the optimization of or replacement of technologies, the application of new software tools for energy efficiency management or adaptation in the business processes. Energy efficiency remains one of the most effective short to medium term targets to reduce industry carbon footprint and needs to be considered at all stages of the manufacturing process.
OPeraTIC will develop a highly efficient and modular manufacturing platform to boost the adoption of high-power Ultra-Short Pulsed Lasers, as a sustainable alternative to current surface processing. The OPeraTIC open, interoperable and expandable architecture will tackle the industrial entrance barriers of laser microstructuring of large 3D parts.
It provides the required productivity/quality through different developments:
- combination of advanced optical modules for beam transport and manipulation;
- dexterous and precision robotic manipulator;
- AI-enhanced process planning and adaptability.
OPeraTIC will develop a system architecture for the upscaling of USPL machines to large envelope and complex trajectories, driven by a novel RAMI4.0-compliant controller. The project proposes an I4.0-compliant platform for systematic data exchange and integrated bidirectional communication (Automation-ML and OPC-UA standards) between real environment and its digital representation. This end-to-end seamless connection enhances a Machine Intelligence Framework for the definition of Zero Defect Manufacturing strategies, empowered by AI and real-time monitorization and control, for process optimization.
A consortium of 4 top Research Institutions and 7 laser sector industry partners, backed by 2 adoption-oriented partners, will demonstrate OPeraTIC potential on relevant and high impact large-scale use-cases by 4 industrial end-users in the automotive, aeronautic, lighting, and white goods sectors.
AIMEN Centro Tecnologico, AUTOTECH ENGINEERING AIE, UNIMORE – Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Arcelik AS, Steinbeis Innovation gGmbH – SEZ, K-LOOPS SRL, TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET DRESDEN, LASER ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS SA, PT PHOTONIC TOOLS GMBH, EDGEWAVE GMBH, DIRECT MACHINING CONTROL UAB, MECCANO SRL, QIOVA, SOFITEC AERO SL, EUROPEAN FEDERATION FOR WELDING JOINING AND CUTTING, DESIGN LED PRODUCTS LTD, THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK