Project Overview

 

The mission

The primary goal of MEGaFiT is to develop and integrate all necessary technologies that create the basis to reduce the number of defects in manufacturing of complex high-precision metal parts. This will be achieved by developing and integrating in-depth process knowledge, in-line measurement and real-time adaptive process control. The MEGaFiT consortium consists of 17 partners who together cover the required knowledge and expertise in all these fields. Proof will be given on two pilot production lines in industrial settings, one on multi-stage micro-forming and one on additive manufacturing of customized parts.

 

Background

High-precision metal parts are at the heart of many high-added value products, in sectors such as healthcare, consumer goods, watches, automotive and energy. Four observations can be made for today’s manufacturing of such parts:

  1. The process typically involves many complex multi-step process chains. However, still excessive and expensive finishing processes are needed in order to acquire the final specifications.
  2. The defect rates are high, typically between 1-15%, resulting in high cost prices.
  3. There is a continuous trend for more demanding specifications (higher quality, smaller features, lower costs), while simultaneously batch sizes decrease and product variety increases. This results in a smaller number of identical products, which in turn hampers the build-up of experience.
  4. The current approach to increase process robustness by applying the well-known Six-Sigma methodology to reduce defects is exhausted for these types of manufacturing processes, due to process and part complexity. A next breakthrough is needed for further defect reduction.

A real breakthrough is needed to face today’s global competition of developed non-EU countries. This breakthrough will be established by applying adaptive process control. Adaptive control is needed in situations where uncontrolled fluctuations occur which result in defects. It adjusts the process system by a control law in order to cope with these uncertainties. Adaptive process control has been applied successfully in other industries. The biggest bottlenecks are: process control algorithms for complete manufacturing process chains (>20 steps); missing in-depth knowledge of micro-forming and additive manufacturing; and the lack of in-line measurements at required accuracy and speed. With the recent developments in these fields and expertise of the involved partners we will further improve these technologies and bring them together to approach zero-defect manufacturing.

 

Objectives

In order to reduce the number of defects by adaptive process control, the relevant process variables and interactions have to be identified. As this is time-consuming, costly and difficult on the physical manufacturing process, this will be done on numerical models (WP3). However, as the numerical models will be too time-consuming for evaluation by the real-time in-line process control, the main interactions identified in WP3 will be captured in metamodels that are easy-to-evaluate (WP4). Fast in-line measurements will be developed to feed the control system with real-time information (WP5). To make adjustments in the process, actuating mechanisms have to be developed and the metamodels have to be implemented into the process control unit (WP6). All above developed knowledge and systems will be integrated into the two pilot production lines in industrial settings to prove the chosen approach in order to fulfill the main goal of reducing defects (WP7).

Applying the developed methodology and technologies will result in an expected simultaneous reduction of:

  • defects from 5-15% to below 1%;
  • cost by  at least 20%;
  • material and energy consumption by at least 20%;
  • number of finishing operations by  at least 35%.

The knowledge-based MEGaFiT results are also applicable in different sectors, leading to low defects despite customization trends. MEGaFiT will therefore help in assuring a competitive and sustainable European manufacturing industry.

 

Project data

Project title: Manufacturing Error-free Goods at First Time
Project acronym: MEGaFiT
Project start: December 1st, 2011
Duration: 36 months
Funding theme: FoF.NMP.2011-5, “Towards zero-defect manufacturing”
Total budget: € 10.6 million
Funding: €7.15 million
Project coordinator: Remco van Ravenswaaij, Philips

 

 

MEGaFiT is co-funded by the European Commission under grant agreement n° 285030

Copyright © 2017 www.megafit-project.eu. All Rights Reserved.

For more information please contact info@megafit-project.eu