INTElligent FIXtures for the manufacturing of low rigidity components

Duration: 1 July 2013 – 30 June 2016
Type: FP7-ICT Project
Official Project Website: INTEFIX CORDIS WEBSITE

In the manufacturing industry, the machining of medium and big size parts with the required and suitable precision is a challenge, especially in high added value products manufactured in small or single-unit batches made of high performance materials like in aeronautic, space or energy sectors, where conventional process engineering and test/error methods are not completely efficient. INTEFIX aims to increase the performance of the machining processes by the use of intelligent fixture systems, allowing the monitoring, control and adaptation of the process to obtain suitable results according to precision, quality and cost requirements. The main outcome of INTEFIX project will be the integration of new and state of the art technologies (sensors, actuators, control algorithms, simulation tools…) applied to the workpiece handling systems to develop intelligent and modular fixtures capable of modify the behavior and interactions between the process and systems in machining operations; reducing time and costs with improved performance and capabilities. The proposed intelligent-modular fixture is a step forward to the smart manufacturing, providing new features of automation, flexibility, versatility, cost-efficiency and accuracy to the current, state of the art, manufacturing systems and equipment. The intelligent fixture will provide sensors and active drives to obtain a suitable fix of the component modifying the force and position of active locators and clamps, in order to select the suitable static and dynamic behavior of the machine-fixture system for improving the process (setup, deformations, vibrations…). This implies a fast-reliable connection and data transfer between the different ICT systems (CNC, PLC, sensors, actuators, CAD-CAM…) using ad-hoc methodologies and software. Furthermore, the use of modular elements eases disassembling and reuse of the advanced components improving the flexibility and sustainability of the manufacturing process.