We interviewed Felix Vidal, Research Strategy Manager in Smart Manufacturing at AIMEN, the leading partner of the INTEGRADDE PROJECT.
What is AIMEN and how did you start working on Additive Manufacturing?
AIMEN is a competence centre in laser processing and additive manufacturing. One of the main research areas has been focussing on guaranteeing the quality of the component processed by laser by researching on the manufacturability.
The complexity of Additive Manufacturing which involves a non-linear relationship between quality-related magnitudes and the process parameters needed for manufacturing a component opens new challenges in the development of novel control strategies capable of implementing new methodologies to ensure the manufacturability of the components with Additive Manufacturing.
Therefore, a multidisciplinary team involving knowledge in laser-based processing together with robotics, control and data analytics will be needed to work in the Additive Manufacturing domain with a holistic perspective.
This integrated approach opens new opportunities for defining novel digital infrastructures addressing the manufacturability of a component by Additive Manufacturing from the initial concept design by linking different vision and perspectives in design and engineering, metallurgy, control and optimisation, and data analytics.
What is the biggest challenge for a professional in this field?
Accomplish the INTEGRADDE project goal. The INTEGRADDE aim is to develop an end-to-end Digital Manufacturing solution, enabling a cybersecured bidirectional dataflow for seamless integration across the entire Additive Manufacturing (AM) chain: the digital thread. What does it mean? In AM the final finish and post-processing are less critical. But, technically, there are still some important challenges or limitations in AM which we will have to deal with such as limited multi-material capabilities, high material costs, and design: geometry, size or scalability limitations, etc.
But they are also opportunities in this field: the time and the technology are quite “ripe” to enter a market that is demanding customised products and services.
In terms of management, INTEGRADDE is definitely the biggest challenge that I had to face so far: a European flagship project, involving 26 partners from 11 countries and a budget of almost 17 million euros. It is demanding but also stimulating.
What is INTEGRADDE?
INTEGRADDE project objective is the development of a new methodology to integrate the whole stages of the AM process. It will allow the manufacture of metal parts by AM:
· Under real manufacturing conditions.
· Serving as an example to demonstrate the applicability of AM in Europe.
To achieve this goal, the Consortium will develop and implement a strategy of continuous and seamless control of the whole AM processes through all stages: from the initial product design stage to its final verification and certification.
Why is this project considered a flagship project for the EC?
The flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe provides a long-term framework for actions in many policy areas, supporting policy agendas for climate change, energy, industry, raw materials, regional development, etc.
AM is a key enabling technology for Europe’s industry. Horizon2020, provides funding for projects in the area of Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), one of them: Advanced Manufacturing and Processing.
The INTEGRADDE initiative pursues one of the fundamental objectives of the European Commission to further progress in the Industry 4.0 era: deploy 3D printing in European manufacturing industries.
Furthermore, in the Horizon 2020 “NMBP 2018 work programme”, the Transforming European Industry part is dedicated to the integration of digitisation and other enabling technologies – such as AM – to transform European manufacturing from a cost-based
Regarding the citizens, INTEGRADDE will change the way in which cars, ships, planes, bridges, etc. are made. It will even change the tools with which all these things are built. It could trigger a shift of paradigm in society.
How can companies benefit from it?
Thinking of the SMEs, they can also benefit from: INTEGRADDE contemplates the creation of a network of technology centers which will offer services oriented to SMEs. Before being market it will be offered and managed network services for free through an Expression-Of-Interest Call (EOI) by FBA: to raise awareness among Metalworking companies at EU level, to identify the critical mass interested in implementing INTEGRADDE and to validate the network operation, services, and acceptance.
These services will be offered at no cost for the selected applicants. These services will be served on a revenue-basis (guaranteeing sustainability beyond the project). The expected SMEs which will apply to the EOI Call and the successful results will be used to convince authorities in the added value that their co-investment may generate.
How can people interested in the project learn more about it and participate?
For further information, http://www.integraddeproject.eu is the website of the project. And the project profiles created in the social networks Twitter and Linkedin, are updated regularly. Even in CORDIS, there is some high-quality information regarding INTEGRADDE project. If you are an SME or a person interested in the INTEGRADDE Project you can reach us in: pm.integradde.@aimen.es