EasiTAP – Development of a combined and automated hard turning and polishing production system

EasiTAP is a research project, founded by the European Commission (FP7, Research for Benefit of SMEs, PID: 262216) with the goal to improve the competiveness of European SMEs. These are faced with a steady loss of competitiveness due to competitors from low wage countries on the one hand and due to increasing demands on part quality and variety on the other hand, which cannot be fulfilled economically anymore by existing manufacturing technologies. To improve the competiveness of European SMEs, in easiTAP a production system is developed, which allows a fully automatic, fast and flexible production of hardened rotationally symmetric parts with high surface quality demands. This will be achieved by a three fold approach:

  • A fully automatic polishing device will be integrated into a hard turning machine to polish hard turned parts right in one machine/clamping. By this it will be possible to produce optical surface qualities without the need of manual labour.
  • A novel optical measurement device will be integrated in a turning machine, which allows the exact geometrical measurement of the used cutting tool as well as occurring tool wear. By this it will be possible to compensate form errors online in conjunction with the controlling of the lathe.
  • A new monitoring system will be integrated into a hard turning machine, which will detect and avoid the generation of undesirable sub-surface defects like so called white layers or residual stresses.

By this following benefits can be achieved for the benefit of SMEs:

  • Significant decreased production time in polishing operations
  • Increased repetitive accuracy in polishing operations
  • Reduced non-productive times
  • More accurate hard turning operations
  • Increases service life of used tools