Flexible fabrication of lightweight aluminium tran.. (FlexiFab)
Flexible fabrication of lightweight aluminium transport structures
Start date: Nov 1, 2013,
End date: Oct 31, 2016
The Flexi-Fab project aims to develop a flexible FSW welding system capable of automatically fabricating complex structures, in a variety of joint configurations, from a range of aluminium alloy grades and thicknesses used in the transport sector.Flexi-Fab will deliver significant benefits to the metal working and fabrication industry by providing a cost-effective method of fabricating aluminium structures that will enable:• European fabricators, metal-workers and welding companies to effectively compete in the growing use of aluminium alloys for use in the light-weight transport sector.• Capitalising on the increasing pressure to replace traditional iron and steel material with aluminium alloys to reduce weight and thus fuel consumption of vehicles, trains, ships/boats and aeroplanes.• A reduction in the costs associated with the fabrication of aluminium structures, especially focussed on components used within the transport sectors.• The development of new and protectable IP in the area of automated aluminium welding systems - to protect European manufacturing industries competitiveness and enhance the move into the ‘knowledge-based’ manufacturing sector.EWF - The European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting (EWF), which represents the European SME metalworking community (via membership of 32 national European associations), has initiated this project to facilitate the adoption of automation within the aluminium joining industry. The successful implementation of the Flexi-Fab project will enable their members to optimise labour efficiency of highly skilled manual welders, safeguard their health (and working length of their careers), increase productivity of European companies and reduce costs so that they can more effectively compete with global players, particularly those in China and India.
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