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Production Dependent Adaptive Machine Tool (CHAMELEON)
Start date: 01 Dec 2008, End date: 30 Nov 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Machine tools are a key component in industrial production processes as they provide an important contribution to the added value of manufactured products. They are based on mechanical structures conceived as a result of optimised designs in order to achieve the required performances for each one of the machining processes. The relatively recent irruption of mechatronic concepts, which take advantage of the incorporation of active devices and certain degree of “intelligence” to the mechanical structures, allowed to break limits and provide increased performances to the base mechanical structures and hence to machine tools. The present project proposes a new approach in the exploitation of active intelligent devices integrated in machine tools. The main idea is to equip a machine-tool with a variety of active intelligent devices, which would be intelligently activated and parameterised in order to change the overall configuration and performances. This way, the machine would be rapidly configured to the different and even conflicting conditions or performances required for the target machining operation (e.g. roughing operation on hard steel, requiring a stiff machine versus high speed machining on aluminium, which requires a light highly dynamic machine). As result of this approach, a base mechanical structure equipped with an assortment of intelligent devices could be configured as a different machine depending on the selected gadgets, so that the resulting characteristics and performances of the machine could be adapted to those required by each particular machining operation, this is a chameleon-like machine tool concept. The main objective of the project is to develop a new concept of machine tool so that it is completely configurable and adaptive, based in mechatronic devices, in order to cope with multiple and even opposed requirements of the machining operations, so that the range of target machining operations is dramatically increased.
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