Description du projet :
Metal extrusion is a versatile way to produce parts with a complex shape, in large quantities at a relatively low cost. The ability to produce custom shapes specific to customer's applications is also a major advantage. As a
result, extruded aluminium profiles are widely used in construction, transportation, aerospace and other industries.
However, their complexity, large size and relative low cost is also source of engineering problems: As applications become more and more advanced, customer require tighter and tighter dimensional tolerances, both in the
cross section profile and along the length of the extruded part.
Metrology on those extruded part is complicated. Firstly because of their size: A typical extrusion is delivered in length of 20 to 30 meter. Secondly, because of their complexity: Each profile is unique and most have internal geometry. Finally, because they are produced at relatively low cost, large investments for new technologies must be economically viable.
As a result, no commercial solution is available to offer non-contact in production metrology for this type of manufacturing. Extruder carry on using age-old techniques for in production quality control: Samples are cut at the head and tail of each extruded length. The samples are then measured manually using callipers.
Each measurement made is compared with the tolerance on a drawing. Each measurement is then entered in a database.
This quality control method happens at the end of the production line, after the extrusion, quenching, cooling, stretching and cutting to size stages. When defect are detected at the end of the line, several tones of product
have already gone through the extrusion press A Viable solution to precisely measure extruded profile in production would be invaluable to manufacturers.
Firstly, it would help automate their quality control process. In the current Industry 4.0 paradigm, it would help collect more and more data. This data could then be used to improve the process and learn how to reach better and better tolerances. This would reduce costly rework and scraping of manufactured parts. It would then allow the manufacturer to offer high precision tolerance on specific geometry for a premium. Manufacturer could also start to offer digitally augmented products, delivered with their full digital quality control 3D model. This would allow customer to use that data for better planning of their process, for instance, by paring specific sections of profile that are due to be soldered together for optimum fit. And so on.
As part of this project, we are planning to bring together existing metrology technologies and build a fully functional 'Proof of Concept' system for accurately measuring aluminium extrusion up to 30cm thick, 75cm wide and 30m long. This Viable Large Scale in Production Metrology POC will be tested as part of this project for a 1-month period in production at the Constellium Valais extrusion press.
The outcome of this project will act as a springboard to gain further external funding, both in the form of 'mandate' from Constellium and in the form of 'innovation' projects funded by either of Innosuisse or European funds.
Research team within HES-SO:
Zahno Silvan, Amand Axel, Corre Jérôme
Partenaires académiques: VS - Institut Systèmes industriels
Durée du projet:
26.02.2020 - 01.03.2022