The European ADALAM project aims to develop a sensor-based adaptive micromachining system for zero-failure manufacturing, based on ultrashort-pulse laser ablation and a novel depth measurement sensor, together with advanced data analysis software and automated system calibration routines. The technology developed will generate new solutions for manufacturing of high-quality and innovative products, such as adaptive micromilling of 2.5D structures, defect detection and removal, and texturing of complex tool features.
Miniaturisation, advanced highperformance materials and functional surface structures are all drivers behind key enabling technologies in high-end production. Ultrashort-pulse lasers have enabled new machining concepts, where the big advantages of laser machining are combined with a quasi-non-thermal and hence mild process, which can be used to machine any material with high precision.
Current laser-based machine systems for microprocessing are built on a precision motion axis combined with a scanner using galvanometric moving mirrors. An innovative machine concept is presented by the company Lightmotif (Figure 1). This system enables high-precision micromachining of different structures over workpieces from small to large sizes.
However, there is a significant barrier for the full exploitation of the potential process characteristics, namely the lack of a smart/adaptive machining technology. The laser process in principle is very accurate, but small deviations, e.g. in the materials to be processed, can compromise the process results and the product functionalities to a very large extent. Therefore, feedback systems are needed to keep the process stable and constant, warranting an accurate result.
The European ADALAM project was set-up to deliver convincing evidence to SMEs of the benefits of the use of adaptive ultrashortpulse laser based manufacturing systems and the monitoring and control with inline dimensional metrology as well as final quality assurance. All these goals lead to a considerable enhancement of the exploitation and usage of material and resources and the consequent generation of high-quality final products.
This Horizon 2020 project runs from 2015 to 2017 and is being coordinated by Unimetrik, a Spanish metrologic service company and calibration laboratory. Within the project one working group
concentrates on the development of the inline high-precision measurement system under the coordination of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, Germany.
Contributors include the Spanish companies Unimetrik and Datapixel, the German company Sill Optics, as well as the Dutch companies DEMCON, Focal and Lightmotif.