Development of flexible, sustainable and automated platform for high accuracy manufacturing operations in medium and large complex components using spherical robot and laser tracker on overhead crane

The main objective is to design a flexible and sustainable platform that automates high precision manufacturing operations in mid- and large sized parts or structures (typically from 10 meters long and above) and to develop a full scale demonstrator. The proposed system will consist in a conventional spherical robot mounted on a simple structure such as an overhead travelling crane, controlled by a friendly high-level control system with the suitable ICT support. This structure will be able to cover a very large working area, releasing the 100% of shop-floor, and will allow the robot or set of robots to have a huge workspace. It is planned for the working area to be split into discrete areas, by dividing it into sectors shaped as three-dimensional cubes. Using the latest technology in laser tracker a system will be developed to continuously monitor the position of the robot, and to adapt its behaviour to the on-going measurement, thus achieving the excellent accuracy expected (ie. a tolerance of ┬▒0.4mm in a 100 meters long part). As result the new development will allow very precise manufacturing processes of mid- and large sized complex parts and structures, with tolerances very similar to the high-accuracy achieved for smaller parts standards, not yet reached for large parts in the current state of the art. Furthermore, European factories, including SMEs, will be able to have a very flexible multi-process manufacturing machine, with a very low investment, compared to big machines the accuracy of which is based on their mechanical design.
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Start date: 01-11-2012
End date: 31-10-2015
Total budget - Public funding: 4 345 909,00 Euro - 2 761 000,00 Euro
Call topic: High-performance manufacturing technologies in terms of efficiency (volumes, speed, process capability etc), robustness an (FoF.NMP.2012-4)

This is a set of Specific Objectives and Research & Innovation Objectives that is subject to a consultation in preparation of the Made In Europe Partnership.  For more guidance about the consultation, please see