Who is the woman leading this innovation?
Anna Valente is leading this innovation, she head of ARM Automation, Robotics and Machines Laboratory at SUPSI-DTI.
About the innovator
ARM (Automation, Robotics and Machines) laboratory is part of the Institute of Systems and Technologies for Sustainable Production (ISTePS). ISTePS is part of DTI (Department of Industrial Technologies) with SUPSI (University of Applied Science of Southern Switzerland). ARM mission is to design and engineer prototypes of robots and machines for advanced manufacturing technologies. This includes the overall robot and machine mechatronic solution, the control and monitoring systems. Remarkable examples of our previous work are a reconfigurable robotic arm reaching 5 micron accuracy in positioning and the largest machine solution integrating deposition and subtraction technologies for processing metal components.
What is the innovation
4D Hybrid project has been funded under the H2020 Call 723795 and involves 20 Partners from 10 different Countries. The project is coordinated by Prima Industrie and the consortium involves 12 industrial players operating as technology suppliers and end users. SUPSI is responsible for the research and technical coordination of 4D Hybrid.
The 4D Hybrid main objective is to develop a new concept of hybrid additive manufacturing supporting the Maintenance Repairing Operation MRO value chain with particular focus on medium to large size high added value components. In detail, this entails the development of compact and low-cost modules including laser source, deposition head, sensors and control that can be integrated on robots and machines; such modules embed various technologies to enable additive and subtractive technologies - such as Direct Energy Deposition (DED) and Ablation or Cold Spray (CS) – in addition to technologies for monitoring and inspection.
4D Hybrid equipment portfolio is conceived for running both in a standard production facility and in off-shore harsh environment. This makes the project results suitable for aerospace, oil&gas and power generation industries.
The modularity concept together with the adoption of complex sensor-based monitoring systems will enrich the current state-of-the-art hybrid solutions with promising prototypes (TRL7) aiming to provide new possibilities for production and repairing sectors where a multitude of technologies and equipment will be flexibly adopted.
Out of the lab. Into the market
The project exploitation strategy relies upon major industrial stakeholders of the project consortium that are very active in the MRO industry. For example Prima Industrie will include in the company product portfolio the deposition modules for DED and Comau will launch a new generation of robots for additive manufacturing and milling operations.
With SUPSI, ARM Lab – thanks to a rich industrial network of partners - deeply operates in supporting National and European industries to enable the adoption of cutting-edge solutions. 4D Hybrid modules can be integrated in any sort of manufacturing equipment thus avoiding major overhaul at industrial level. With this regard, a key sensitive aspect for us is to deploy solutions that are frictionless for end-users and demand for a very limited ramp-up time. This should ensure a faster and efficient absorption of project results.
Also, 4D Hybrid demonstrators are currently running in ARM physical laboratories to support side activities, such as industrial mandates and equipment commissioning to industrial customers; this boost our comprehension of advantages and drawbacks during the modules’ integration in the overall production infrastructure and industrial value chain. The idea is always to target the realization of reliable and industrially robust solutions.
Benefits of participation in Horizon 2020
Thanks to H2020 4D Hybrid project we have been able to improve our knowledge and capabilities on additive and subtractive technologies, with respect to different aspects such as design and developing of equipment (up to TRL7), advanced monitoring solutions and CAD/CAM processes and design of hybrid process recipes for high carbon content alloys. In addition, a major outcome was given by the knowledge gained in the design and developing of different hybrid process recipes for many metallic materials, ranging from common steels, such as AISI316L, up to tough materials, such as Ni-based and high-carbon content alloys.