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Cooperative Research and Innovation Projects >Call 2018 >

2ARMY – Automated Additive Repair and Manufacturing System

The 2ARMY project is focused on important development steps needed to realize an on-demand production of spare parts and automated repairing of worn metallic components in an automated robotic cell using a wire and arc-based additive manufacturing process. A number of different 3D-shape acquisition systems will be evaluated according to the project requirements and the most suitable one will be implemented in an already existing robotic cell and infrastructure. Necessary algorithms and system solutions for the detection of a damaged region, the toolpath generation and the optimization of the WAAM-repair welding process will be developed and a secure database to store and analyze process-relevant data in order to optimize the parts quality will be designed and set up during the project.

Continuous development of additive manufacturing technologies especially within the last decade offers new opportunities for production of metallic parts. The project 2ARMY addresses the growing needs regarding to the on-demand production of spare parts and the repairing of worn metallic components. There are important development stages, which must be done as part of this project to allow further implementation of the mobile and more or less autonomous robotic cell for wire and arc based additive manufacturing and repair of metallic parts. There are currently significant challenges in particular but not exclusively with the quality of additively manufactured parts. It is important to continuously acquire the real shape of the part and compute the difference to desired part geometry during the process and be able to automatically detect the damaged regions of the part, as well to choose suitable manufacturing strategy. Therefore, every single aspect, such as a particularly appropriate 3D-scanning system including its integration with available project-infrastructure, algorithms for automatic detection of the damaged regions of the part, process optimization for repair welding and a secure database for logging and analysis of the possible impact on the quality of the part should boost and ensure the success of the project 2ARMY. The possibility to produce the old and eventually not anymore available parts in sufficient quality, as well as to maintain existing worn parts, is going to have a positive economic impact on the lifetime of related systems and can be especially relevant for military use. The mobile maintenance units can be supported in this context with additive manufactured spare parts or with additive repair of the damaged parts. This should significantly improve the availability of the mostly important weapon systems and equipment on the battlefield. For this reason, all systems and methods being developed during the project 2ARMY have to be evaluated and approved on the basis of one military-related part. One damaged part has to be repaired, and one spare part has to be produced respectively by wire and arc additive manufacturing.