Cutting machine tools are considered as a key factor in industrial production. On one hand the capabilities of machine tools have been continuously enhanced and optimized. On the other hand there are already a large number of older machine tools in use. Due to the low working accuracy and low machining efficiency, these older machine tools can no longer be applied effectively in global value creation and such machines are considered as outdated machines.
Within the framework of B5-project, the working accuracy of outdated milling machines has been improved by using the adaptronic add-on components. Comprehensive measurements and analysis of working accuracy, efficiency and productivity of exemplary machine tools have been carried out in order to identify the weak spots and improvement potentials of such machines under ordinary working conditions. Based on the results, an innovative approach has been developed which requires minimum resource consumption in comparison to existing alternatives such as retrofitting and renewal. For this the energy resources, financial resources and raw material resources for manufacturing and operating of target machine tools and add-on components have been taken into consideration. The developed solution includes a system of a highly accurate and highly robust compensation table and corresponding controlling system. This system can measure a considerable share of occurring disturbances during machining and compensate calculated deviations.
The focus of the first funding period is to increase the working accuracy of three-axis milling machines without exchanging existing components and systems. In this context different competing factors affect the sustainability impact of B5-approch significantly. These include investment and operating costs, energy consumption in manufacturing and operational phase and quantitative enhancement of functionality. A share of these parameters and their influence on sustainability dimensions have been already evaluated by means of measurements, analyses and researches in cooperation with other CRC-projects. Based on knowledge gained, an add-on efficiency increasing system for outdated milling machines shall be developed within the second funding period. The above system in combination with extension of accuracy increasing system enables a considerable improvement in efficiency, productivity and accuracy of outdated machine tools.