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Quick process and tool design for advanced multi-axis milling of hard-to-machine materials (QuickPro)
Start date: Sep 1, 2011, End date: Dec 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

European SMEs from the manufacturing sector are facing increasing competition, since manufacturing is migrating to low-cost countries even for manufacturing of high value parts in aeronautical or the mold making industry. To remain competitive SMEs must conceive radical new production solutions. Mostly new innovative products come along with the introduction of advanced materials like super alloys or super hard steels, which are extremely hard to machine. However, successful introduction in innovative products requires economic manufacturing processes in a short period of time. In this challenging field most SMEs apply high-performance multi-axis milling. This technology offers maximum flexibility in terms of part geometry and material, but it also requires comprehensive process knowledge.Thus, the main objective of this proposal is to create a novel and holistic, knowledge-based development platform that rapidly provides optimum process design for advanced milling tasks covering tailored coated milling tools including adapted parameter sets and strategies. Process layout must ensure maximum tool life by minimum use of lubricant. The platform will enable the SMEs to achieve a delivery time reduction of highly efficient manufactured components by at least 25% and will consequently enable potential customers to reduce time-to-market and costs for their high quality products made of hard-to-machine materials. This will finally and sustainable strengthen the position and competitiveness of European SMEs in growing markets.Participating SMEs will also contribute to reduce energy consumption by the efficient use of material resources in manufacturing. In addition they will directly contribute to increase energy efficiency at the OEMs mass production (innovative dies and molds) as well as at the OEMs products (lighter jet engines with lower CO2 emission). Both are examples which lead to a significant improvement of environmental and health conditions in Europe.

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