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Determination of process variables in melt-based manufacturing processes

: Thombansen, U.; Purrio, M.; Buchholz, G.; Hermanns, T.; Molitor, T.; Willms, K.; Schulz, W.; Reisgen, U.


International journal of computer integrated manufacturing 29 (2016), No.11, pp.1147-1158
ISSN: 0951-192X
ISSN: 1362-3052
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ILT ()

Industrial manufacturing requires continuous production at reliable quality to be competitive. Many manufacturing processes are run close to their technological limits to increase productivity what leads to a significant threat of malfunction in the case of limited control over setting parameters or deviating boundary conditions.
This paper discusses the difficulties of determining process variables during manufacturing for two melt-based manufacturing processes, laser cutting and gas metal arc welding. Both manufacturing processes show a highly dynamic and complex behaviour which today prevents a physical description of all interactions of the process variables. On the practical side, even the dominant process variables cannot be measured as they are not directly accessible.
The approach that is presented here suggests a combined solution with both modelling and measuring tools that connect through surrogate criteria. It involves a simplified modelling of the manufacturing process that describes the process behaviour well enough and that can be evaluated numerically within a short time frame. The measurement evaluates a property of the process which is well accessible. This ensures robust signal processing and stable information about the surrogate criterion. In combination with the simplified model, the operating point of the process can easily be determined.
For laser cutting of metal sheets and gas metal arc welding, it is demonstrated how to acquire information about the process and how to model surrogates. The research is focused on providing tools for fast machine set-up and for components which can be used for self-optimisation.