Micro and Ultra-Precision Machining
The growing demand for micro products and miniaturized components in small and medium quantities requires flexible micro machining processes. Besides classical ultra-precision machining for the production of optical components, the possibilities of micro grinding, micro milling and micro drilling with tool diameters of less than 50 µm are investigated at the FBK. The research activities include tool development as well as the investigation of cutting processes and process-machine-interactions, which highly influence the machining result. Moreover, micro machining tools and special machine components are developed.
The research field of machining technology focuses on the investigation of possibilities for the functionalization of surfaces. In this way, besides the mere generation of the components' geometry, the material properties can be precisely influenced which results in extended lifetime or enhanced functionality. For this purpose, the design of cutting tools and adjustments of the cutting process are investigated. The tools are optimized with regard to their wear, chip and burr formation and the improved use of cutting fluids. The functionalization of surfaces by means of process control is achieved, for example, by adapting the process kinematics or using cryogenic fluids.
Research on additive manufacturing at FBK focuses on processes for the production of metallic components such as powder bed and laser deposition technology. The work concentrates on process chain analyses, the investigation of the relationships between process control and resulting component properties and on the energetic aspects of additive manufacturing.
Furthermore, the possibilities of machining additively manufactured components and the interactions between additive manufacturing and machining are investigated in order to produce functional surfaces.
In addition, industry-related feasibility studies are carried out and the planning, application and optimization of additive manufacturing processes are investigated.
Digital Technologies for Manufacturing Systems
The introduction and use of digital technologies offer extensive potentials for planning and operation of manufacturing systems and the improvement of the processes therein. The FBK explores the utilisation of these technologies. Therefore, in addition to basic research, practical methods are developed, customer-oriented solutions elaborated and exemplary demonstrator systems implemented.
One focus is digital modelling of various aspects of the manufacturing system. Based on the information and data from manufacturing systems, simulations are developed and data-based methods are utilized case-specifically. Furthermore, organizational and technical effects of the digital technology introduction in manufacturing systems are analyzed. To support the planning, operation and optimization of manufacturing systems, approaches of virtual and augmented reality are explored. Besides the use of established technologies, new technological tends and developments are continuously evaluated and used with regard to their application relevance.
Sustainability in Manufacturing
The research field "Sustainability in Manufacturing" deals with the development of methods for planning, evaluating and improving the ecological sustainability of factories, machines and processes. This integrated view includes the life cycle-oriented analysis of each step of industrial value networks for products and product-service systems. Using representative use cases, approaches are developed, which enables the systematic capture, modelling and improvement of ecological sustainability through innovative technologies and methods. This research field is oriented towards the sustainable development goals of the United Nations "Industry, innovation and infrastructure", "Responsible consumption and production" and "Climate actions".