Nikon Metrology Research Projects
From 2012-10-01 to 2014-09-30
Today different types of sensors are available for dimensional measurement techniques, each with their own advantages and limitations. Optical sensors are faster but less accurate than tactile sensors . X-ray computer tomography enables measurement of the internal structures of objects. However, companies from various sectors are experiencing difficulties in the geometric quality control of components where the requirements and conditions are so strict, that classic mono - sensor systems prove inadequate. Examples are large objects with small , precise form elements (that require large measurement range combined with high resolution and accuracy), high precision objects with complex shape (e.g. complex gears, automotive components or medical applications), or complex surfaces with optically inaccessible features. With multi-sensor coordinate measurement techniques, the benefits of different sensor types can be combined to achieve, through synergies, rapid , complete and accurate measurements. Different manufacturers of geometric measurement equipment and service providers have recently expanded their offerings with multi-sensor technology for 3D measurements. Some devices allow executing different measurements in a single setup, which makes the process cost and time efficient, and thus very interesting to use for many companies.
The main objective of the project is therefore to guide the introduction and exploration of the industrial application of multi-sensor coordinate measurement technology for accurate and fast measurement of complex products
The project is a Flemish technology transfer project, executed by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Mechanical Engineering Department and Thomas More - Campus De Nayer. Nikon Metrology is part of the industrial user commission, together with Sirris, LayerWise, Atlas Copco Airpower, Argon Measuring Solutions, VCST Industrial Products, Borit, E.S. Tooling, IT Goddeeris, TE Connectivity and WEMA.
From 2013-10-01 to 2017-09-30
The non-destructive quality control of a wide variety of high-added value products, produced by innovative manufacturing techniques, remains a challenge. Examples include additive manufacturing parts, micro parts, and fibre reinforced composite parts. Common to these workpieces is the dependency of their performance on internal and inaccessible elements. Nevertheless, customers in multiple sectors are requesting certified quality and reliability.
For the last few years industrial Computed Tomography (CT) has been regarded as a promising technology, which can evolve towards integrated quality control of complex workpieces combining dimensional metrology and material defect analysis. However, major challenges remain in order to exploit its full potential. Meeting these requires a broad range of expertise, including physics, dimensional metrology, non-destructive testing, material sciences, precision engineering, and manufacturing engineering. Due to the distinct interdisciplinary character, there is a strong need for young researchers with a broad range of competences to achieve the envisaged innovation breakthrough in the EU industry.
The INTERAQCT project has been conceived as a pan-European industrial-academic initiative that will provide the unique and encompassing training environment required, by bringing together expertise from industry and academia in each of these domains (CT-equipment, CT-software, NDT, dimensional metrology, additive manufacturing, micro-manufacturing, composite manufacturing).
The research will develop procedures for fast and accurate CT model acquisition, with special emphasis on multi-material parts. Furthermore, INTERAQCT targets quantification and improvement of the reliability of CT measurement results, by determining the probability of detection of material defects as well as by achieving metrological traceability. In addition, CT based quality improvement loops will be targeted for key emerging manufacturing technologies.
The project is coordinated by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Mechanical Engineering Department. X-TEK Systems Ltd, a Nikon Metrology company, is one of the industrial partners. Other partners include Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits - IIS, University of Applied Science Upper Austria, Research Group Computed Tomography, Universita Degli Studi di Padova, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, RWTH Aachen, Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering – WZL, Volume Graphics GMBH, Materialise NV, Physikaltisch-Technische Bundesanstalt - PTB, and National Physical Laboratory - NPL, U.K. The associated partners are LayerWise, Novo Nordisk A/S, Borealis Polyolefine GMBH, Eltek S.P.A., Argon Measuring Solutions, Nuovo Pignone S.R.L. and Kiekert AG.
From 2012-10-01 to 2015-09-30
The Hi-Micro project intends to realise an innovative approach for the design, manufacturing and quality control of tool inserts to achieve significant breakthrough in mass production of precision 3D micro-parts, through further developing both enabling manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing (AM), micro electrical discharge machining (micro-EDM), micro electro-chemical machining (micro-ECM) and micro-milling, and unique metrology and quality control methods such as computer-tomography (CT) metrology and digital holography. Together with industrial technology providers, the Hi-Micro project will further bolster the performance of industrial equipment for mass production of precision 3D micro-parts, through modular design of tool insert units with improved thermal management capability, development of on-machine handling system and in-line quality control device. Activities will run over the entire value chain of mass production of precision 3D micro-parts, from product and tool insert design, manufacturing of tool inserts, micro injection moulding processes, to the production equipment and quality control in the whole production chain.
The project is coordinated by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Mechanical Engineering Department. X-TEK Systems Ltd, a Nikon Metrology company, is responsible for the CT metrology solutions in this project. Other partners include Universität Bremen, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Technische Universität Chemnitz, KLÖCKNER DESMA Schuhmaschinen GmbH, Xaar Technology Limited, Polyoptics GmbH, LayerWise NV, Formatec Technical Ceramics BV and Sophion Bioscience A/S.
From 2011-06-01 to 2014-05-31
Lightweight components and their energy-efficient production will form one of the most important key factors for the European industry to fulfil the ever increasing global demands. Nowadays, for 3D-shaped, multi-layered products based on flexible materials only specialized and semi-automated manufacturing equipment is available. The project Integrated Process Chain for Automated and Flexible Production of Fibre-Reinforced Plastic Products (FibreChain) aims at the development of worldwide first automated turnkey manufacturing systems for fibre-reinforced thermoplastic composites (FRTC) addressing public and private transportation, mechanical, chemical and civil engineering as well as consumer goods.
A multidisciplinary consortium of 17 partners from 7 European countries with outstanding competencies in material, machine tools, manufacturing, laser technology, metrology, simulation and control will accomplish an integrated process chain.
The project is coordinated by the Frauhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT). Nikon Metrology is responsible for the metrology solutions in this project. Other partners include the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), University of Twente, Department of Engineering Technology, Czech Technical University of Prague, Research Center of Manufacturing Technology (RCMT), TWI ltd., Advanced Fibre Placement Technology BV (AFPT BV), TenCate Advanced Composites BV, Trumpf Laser-und Systemtechnik GmbH, TPR Fiberdur GMBH & CO KG., MX. CompoSYS Ltd. Germany, STE DES FIBRES DE CARBONE SA (Soficar), Suprem SA, Strojírna TYC SRO, Missler Software SAS, bF1 Systems Ltd., CTG, part of UTC Aerospace Systems, and Precitec KG.