In close cooperation with the machining industry, the project team of the EXIST – Transfer of research project "Quantify" is developing a software platform that can predict the quality of complex components based on machine data and indicate quality defects at an early stage. In this way, inspection times and production costs can be reduced significantly.
The quality assurance of machined components, for example for aerospace or medical industries, accounts for a considerable proportion of the manufacturing costs. Depending on the industry, downstream inspection of component quality accounts for up to 25 percent of production costs. Quality inspection of complex components using conventional measurement methods such as optical and tactile metrology is also very time-consuming – measurements can take up to 20 percent of lead times.
The aim of the "Quantify" transfer of research project is to support the metalworking industry in reducing inspection costs in production and improving component quality. To this end, the project team is implementing a data-based process in the "Predictive-Quality" software, which utilizes internal machine and sensor data. The software uses this database to create a digital twin of the finished component, which is compared with its CAD model, and makes quality deviations immediately visible.
With the help of sophisticated technology models, the software can precisely map the manufacturing process: Process forces, component and tool deviations, tool wear and other parameters that interact during machining are taken into account by the models, providing the user with a precise evaluation of component accuracy immediately after machining. In addition, the software is planned to offer a range of user-friendly analysis tools and allow the configuration of workflows to automate recurring inspection steps.
Initially, a stand-alone solution for predicting component quality is under development. Later, the software will be supplemented with interfaces to CAM systems and other relevant information systems for quality assurance. In the medium term, this will enable integration into common Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms. Then the software can serve as a hub for data-driven and end-to-end quality assessment along the entire value chain of planning, manufacturing and quality assurance. With the help of artificial intelligence, data could be analyzed during various manufacturing steps and interrelationships could be presented.
Via a Fraunhofer spin-off, the project team is pursuing its goal of an initial software prototype that will be further developed to market maturity in collaboration with the machining industry starting this summer. To this end, the specific requirements of the partner companies are to be taken into account. Interested companies are cordially invited to contact the project team.
The "Quantify" project team is working with agile software development methods (SCRUM) to develop the first prototype. The team receives support both from its industry partners, who are involved in the development of the software as lead users, and from the technical expertise of an advisory board. This ensures a suitable orientation to the company's needs and market requirements.
The "Quantify" project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the EXIST transfer of research program.
Funding code: 03EFQNW27
Project Management Jülich | Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH