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An Open Pilot Line at IREPA LASER

General

IREPA LASER is an industrial research and development company specialized in laser processes and materials, with a laser machine base including over 20 devices to support all companies in their needs.


The main service is to offer customers tailored industrial solutions to support them in their product development and manufacturing engineering projects. This service is focused on three main skill areas: Additive Manufacturing, surface functionalization and welding. IREPA LASER is also a laser training centre and can train individuals in the use of laser technology.

Integradde

IREPA LASER is involved within INTEGRADDE project for the development of a new manufacturing methodology capable of ensuring the manufacturability, reliability and quality of a target metal component from initial product design via Direct Energy Deposition (DED) technologies. An open-pilot line will be implemented at IREPA LASER, which will allow a continuous validation and deployment of specific developments towards industrialization.

AM technologies at IREPA LASER for the open pilot line

The general INTEGRADDE concept and end-to-end the solution is being deployed at IREPA facilities to test and review as early adopter of this manufacturing methodology. Data collected from different steps are implemented through the digital thread with the final aim to improve the quality of the parts manufactured.


The development of this concept uses of the equipment features of IREPA LASER.

A machine is dedicated to DED-powder (MAGIC system) with 2 lasers (IPG YLR500, and IPG DLR2000), the original MacroCLAD head from IREPA LASER, and a powder feeder from MEDICOAT.

A new hardware has been recently implemented at IREPA LASER. This new robotic system consists of 2 robots, one of which is installed on a linear 5m axis, a rotary table able to support 3T. 2 fibre lasers (IPG laser YLS) bring their laser beam to the DED-powder and DED-wire heads. Profinet network is used to connect and control all this equipment. This novel machine has been designed in order to work on a large scale parts (up to 5m long), with the selected two processes: DED-powder and DED-wire. 


Sensors and data collection

Using previous existing LMD-p infrastructure, several developments on process window development, monitoring and control have been carried out. Particularly, efforts have been focused on data collection from CNC and image-based process monitoring information. Data are collected from process sensors (such as image-based data from an NIT camera, temperature) and CNC positions synchronously during the additive manufacturing process. These datasets have been processed, in collaboration with AIMEN, NIT, ATOS and CEA, to generate a 3D representation of the parts being built.

Concerning the digital thread, IREPA has recently migrated on a new CAD-CAM software: SIEMENS NX with the ‘multiaxis deposition module’ for DED machine programming. In collaboration with the partner ‘University of Coimbra’, the use of the AML format in development.

Process development

Process development is carried out by using the two DED processes: DED-p and DED-w.

Concerning the DED-w, the PRECITEC Head named ‘Coax Printer’ is used. The upgraded version of this head has been recently received and implemented. It allows recording the interaction between beam-wire-substrate during the deposition with a coaxial vision in order to get more data for the control process.