Meltio Engine integration with Robot

The Meltio Engine has been successfully integrated with the YASKAWA robot and the first experiments regarding the Additive process have been conducted.

Integration of the Meltio Engine with the YASKAWA GP225 robot within the HybridR project has been accomplished on Gizelis Robotics premises, from the HybridR project consortium with ANiMA assistance.

       Figure 1: YASKAWA robot and Meltio Engine after the integration

Meltio Engine uses Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), which is a Directed Energy Deposition (DED) process that supports both powder and wire form material printing. Multi Material printing is also feasible, supporting materials such as Stainless Steel, Titanium and Nickel. Robotics based AM enables in-line AM as a sub-process in an existing production flow, allowing us to accomplish multiple manufacturing processes (machining, cladding etc.) and quality inspection systems such as 3D scanners in a single manufacturing cell.

Figure 2: Additive process snapshot


Process development

After the integration was completed, a series of experiments have been conducted from the consortium towards process development for 316 Stainless Steel. Several test coupons have been printed, ranging from single tracks and layers up to simple shapes such as cubes. Different process parameters have been used to understand the system behavior and extract the best process window for this specific material.

                                                                                                                                         Figure 3: Printed test coupons

Design of a Portable Robotic Machining Cell

HybridR consortium is using Digital Twins to support the design and development of the portable hybrid manufacturing cell.

Hybrid manufacturing opens the pathway for in-situ repair of high-value industrial components for industries, such as aerospace, oil and gas, etc. A portable robotic cell for repair enables the solution to move to the problem, allowing supply management practices such as just-in-time manufacturing, shortening the supply chain and dramatically increasing the sustainability of the repair operation for large-scale industrial components, by significantly reducing the required transports. To this end, HybridR is developing such a cell with a specific focus on repair of high-value components, apart from green field manufacturing.

In cases of portable manufacturing cells for hybrid manufacturing development, the design of the load bearing structure of the cell becomes significantly complicated, since it needs to provide the required stiffness to support the machining loads, while minimizing the weight to enhance portability. The final accuracy of the machining system depends on the behavior of the frame structure which is loaded under static, dynamic, and thermal loads.

To support this design optimization effort within the HybridR project, the Digital Twin of the robotic machining process has been exploited, taking into account both the process and the robotic arm to set the boundary conditions for the design of the load bearing structure. The use of the digital twin to build the boundary conditions for the simulation of the robotic cell can effectively lead to a virtual prototype of the whole system that can reduce the need for physical prototyping and trial and error approaches.


                                                                                                                                                                             Figure 1: Overview of the used design approach


Three different simulations have been performed during the design stage of the load bearing structure, in order to create a successful design that will ensure a safe and reliable operation and transportation:

  • Simulation of the material removal process by using the Multi-Body Simulation for the robotic arm, considering both the flexibility from its joints and links.
  • A static structural simulation was performed to estimate the stresses and deformations on the load bearing structure during transportation scenarios.
  • A harmonic response analysis using as input the forces that was calculated from the machining process simulation.

                                                                                                                    Figure 2: Static and harmonic response analysis simulation results (ANSYS)


Through the knowledge of the dynamic behavior of the portable hybrid manufacturing cell, gained by these simulations, it was possible to design a lightweight, yet highly stiff, load bearing structure to support the machining loads and ensure high accuracy of the milling process.


                                                                                                                                                                                                               Figure 3: Complete cell render