Friday, April 13, 2012

News: Research goes beyond the COMET


TEKS is continuing to work on a major pan-European collaborative research project callled COMET, which aims to develop industrial robots into cost effective, accurate and reliable machining solutions.

The French SME, which has a R&D facility in Rotherham, is actively involved in process design and optimisation and advanced manufacturing in the aerospace, energy and sport sectors.

Most manufacturers currently use cells made up of CNC machining systems and use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs when manufacturing their products using automation.

TEKS and their project partners are working to increase the accuracy of a robotic machining system, well beyond current standard, and make them comparable to current CNC milling machine tools. The innovative robot-based machining systems that are being developed are flexible, reliable and predictable and could provide an average of 30% cost efficiency savings in comparison to machine tools.

The project, which also includes The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing as a partner, is addressing the fact that industrial robots lack absolute positioning accuracy, are unable to reject disturbances in terms of process forces and lack reliable programming and simulation tools to ensure right first time machining, once production commences.

The main aim of the project is to use a number of innovative approaches to overcome the traditional disadvantages of robots to manufacture precision components (such as in aluminium for the aerospace sector) and COMET is set to achieve this goal.

TEKS has recently been exploring the potential of the COMET technology in other market sectors. One particular application comes from the civil engineering sector and the use of long range laser scanning to accurately record topographical features.

Where a survey of a quarry or opencast mine would create a massive data file of around 30-40 GB, COMET technology enables the data to be surfaced and then machined out of a light weight material such as polystyrene using a robot. The resulting model can then be easily displayed without the need for expensive computer hardware.

Mark Packham, director of Mining Surveys, a specialist surveying firm in Chesterfield, said: "We are very interested in this technology and see a great potential for it, it combines our speed and accuracy with hands on visualization not possible to date."

The COMET project is co-funded by the European Commission as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) adopted in 2008.

TEKS website

Comet website



Supported by:
More news...

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP