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28 March 2024

Digital Twins Enabling Intelligent Manufacturing: From Methodology to Application

Digital twin technology develops virtual models of objects digitally, simulating their real-world behavior based on data. It aims to reduce product development cycles and costs through feedback between the virtual and real worlds, data fusion analysis, and iterative decision-making optimization. Traditional manufacturing processes often face challenges such as poor real-time monitoring and interaction during machining, difficulties in diagnosing equipment failures, and significant errors in machining. Digital twin technology offers a powerful solution to these issues. Initially, a comprehensive review of the research literature was conducted to assess the current research scope and trends. This was followed by an explanation of the basic concepts of digital twins and the technical pathway for integrating digital twins into intelligent manufacturing including outlining the essential technologies for creating a system of interaction between the virtual and real worlds, enabling multimodel fusion, data sensing, algorithm-based prediction, and intelligent decision-making. Moreover, the application of digital twins in intelligent manufacturing throughout the product life cycle was detailed, covering product design, manufacturing, and service stages. Specifically, in the manufacturing phase, a model based on heat conduction theory and visualization was used to construct a time-varying error model for the motion axis, leading to experiments predicting the time-varying error in the hole spacing of a workpiece. These experiments achieved a minimum prediction error of only 0.2 μm compared to the actual error. By compensating for time-varying errors in real time, the variability in the hole spacing error decreased by 69.19%. This paper concludes by summarizing the current state of digital twins in intelligent manufacturing and projecting future trends in key technologies, application areas, and data use, providing a basis for further research.

Keywords: Digital twin; Intelligent Manufacturing; Machining; Sustainable manufacturing


31 January 2024

Design of Intelligent and Sustainable Manufacturing Production Line for Automobile Wheel Hub

The wheel hub is an important part of the automobile, and machining affects its service life and driving safety. With the increasing demand for wheel productivity and machining accuracy in the automotive transport sector, automotive wheel production lines are gradually replacing human production. However, the technical difficulties of conventional automotive wheel production lines include insufficient intelligence, low machining precision, and large use of cutting fluid. This paper aims to address these research constraints. The intelligent, sustainable manufacturing production line for automobile wheel hub is designed. First, the machining of automotive wheel hubs is analyzed, and the overall layout of the production line is designed. Next, the process equipment system including the fixture and the minimum quantity lubrication (MQL) system are designed. The fixture achieves self-positioning and clamping functions through a linkage mechanism and a crank–slider mechanism, respectively, and the reliability of the mechanism is analyzed. Finally, the trajectory planning of the robot with dual clamping stations is performed by RobotStodio. Results show the machining parameters for a machining a wheel hub with a diameter of 580 mm are rotational speed of 2500 rpm, cutting depth of 4 mm, feed rate of 0.5 mm/r, and minimum clamping force of 10881.75 N. The average time to move the wheel hub between the roller table and each machine tool is 27 s, a reduction of 6 s compared with the manual handling time. The MQL system effectively reduces the use of cutting fluid. This production line can provide a basis and reference for actual production by reasonably planning the wheel hub production line.

Keywords: Automobile wheel hub; Production line; Machining; Fixture; Sustainable manufacturing


29 December 2023

A State-of-the-art Review on the Intelligent Tool Holders in Machining

In the manufacturing process, in addition to the properties of material itself, the quality of a product is directly related to the cutting process. Cutting force and cutting heat are two crucial factors in cutting processing. Researchers can analyze various signals during cutting process, such as cutting force signal, vibration signal, temperature signal, etc., which can regulate force and temperature, optimize the cutting process, and improve product quality. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to various signals in cutting process. Meanwhile, good-quality signal data sets will greatly reduce time, resource and labor costs for subsequent use or analysis of researchers. Therefore, how to collect high-quality signals effectively and accurately is the first step. At present, researchers prefer to use various sensors to collect signals. With the advancement of science and technology, intelligent tool holder appears in researchers’ vision. It integrates multiple systems such as sensors, data collection, data transmission, and power supply on the tool holder. It replaces traditional wired sensors, and it is highly interactive with CNC machine tools. This paper will carry out a systematic review and prospect from three aspects: the structural design of the intelligent tool holder, the signal monitoring technology of the intelligent tool holder, and the tool condition monitoring of the intelligent tool holder.

Keywords: Intelligent tool holder; Signal monitoring; Tool condition monitoring; Signal processing algorithm