Mo|Di|Pro – Modular Digitalisation for Profile Bending
Following up on the Contour Measurement in Profile Bending (KonPro) project, a modular and retrofit-capable construction kit is to be developed that will bring old systems in the field of profile bending up to the state of the art. With the help of the modular system, controlled automated profile bending on existing systems is to be realized. This will help to strengthen the position of medium-sized companies in the long term.
Three-roll profile bending offers highly variable application options in terms of the geometries that can be produced. Components can be provided with any radii by the process, whereby an iterative process with step-by-step approach to a target geometry is often used here. The KonPro project simplifies the process of profile bending in that, for the first time, mobile contour measurement with target/actual comparison is possible. This makes it possible to dispense with the manual, sometimes time-consuming measurement of secants and stitch dimensions or comparison gauges and thus significantly reduce non-productive process time. In the MoDiPro project, this approach to contour measurement is to be used and, in addition, the three-roll profile bending system is to be expanded to enable “in-process” contour measurement. Additionally, automation and control of the profile bending process on existing systems will follow. Due to their design, profile bending machines often achieve long operating times, which means that many systems have already been in use for decades. From the point of view of production technology, these systems can still be used today, but manual process control creates a business disadvantage for the company due to the high effort required compared to an automated system. In order to keep the investment hurdle as low as possible, a modular construction kit is being developed as part of this project that makes it possible to digitize existing plants and automate process control.
Based on real data, at first a numerical simulation is created and on that base a machine learning model is trained, which will ultimately also physically map the connection between the semi-finished product and the final geometry on the plant. The three-roll profile bending machine will be equipped with modular sensors and actuators to capture all process and product parameters necessary for process control. The collected data will be stored in a database system and, based on the data, the machine learning model will be further refined with each manufactured part.
In addition to the PtU in the areas of numerical simulation and machine learning, the companies Herkules Wetzlar GmbH as developer of bending machines and major project driver and the company AKC Angersbach + Kaiser Computer GmbH with special expertise in software and blank manufacturing are involved in the overall project.