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Next-generation digitalised production line

Project for the ‘innovative production’ of spare and series parts launched

Posted on 29 May 2020 and read 608 times
Next-generation digitalised production lineThe PolyLine project has brought together 15 industrial and research partners in Germany to develop a next-generation ‘digitalised production line’ that will be used to produce plastic parts for the automotive industry. Their aim is to complement conventional production techniques (such as machining and casting) with additive manufacturing (AM) in the form of high-throughput systems.

The 10.7 million euro project is being funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research and will run for three years. It was officially launched in March with a meeting of all the consortium partners at EOS (in Krailling near Munich), which is leading the project and is a ‘technology provider’ world-wide for industrial 3-D printing of metals and plastics.

The company says that, while AM can produce almost any geometry and even complex structures, “the lack of standards across process chains means that both the vertical and horizontal integration of additive manufacturing processes in conventional lines can only be implemented to a limited extent, due to AM-specific workflows and the generally low level of automation of the physical handling and transport processes.

“In order to achieve the project objective, it is important to record and document all central characteristic values and quality criteria from the CAD model to the final part.

“The individual sub-processes of production — from process preparation to the selective laser-sintering process, cooling and unpacking, as well as cleaning and post-processing — will be automated and integrated into the planned production line, in which all the technological elements of an SLS production chain will be fully linked for the first time.”

Those working with EOS on this project are: BMW Group; Bernd Olschner GmbH; Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH; 3YourMind; Additive Marking GmbH; DyeMansion GmbH; Optris Ltd; Krumm-tec; Paderborn University; Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV; Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML; Dortmund University of Technology; University of Augsburg; and University Duisburg Essen.