Polishing is the last and the most essential process step in the process chain for steel mold manufacturing to guarantee the required form accuracy and especially the surface roughness. This is the case for polishing of molds for optics manufacturing as well as mold making in the field of automotive or consumer products. One of the characteristics of the current process chain is that in most cases this last step is done manually which is extremely time consuming and cost intensive. Moreover the polishing result is crucially depending on the workers skill. Currently market ready available polishing ma-chines for automated finishing are either for direct optics manufacturing in glass or limited in the machinable surface complexity. To overcome these limitations research partners from university and industry plan to develop and evaluate a fully automated custom-configurable polishing machine which for the first time allows for conducting an automated and reproducible finishing process. Furthermore, the CONFinish project enables the cost-efficient finishing of mold inserts with optical functionality and by this means an important economical advantage for manufacturing in high-wage countries, in particular for small and medium sized mold making companies in Europe. Both time and costs for the finishing step can be reduced by about 30 % utilizing the proposed automated approach. The project will have a duration of 36 months. Project partners with different expertise in the ad-dressed research fields will be working together. In order to ensure thorough consideration of all aspects of the research and development tasks a detailed strategy and work plan has been derived. Within three major project phases starting with the definition of requirements and demonstrators, followed by the machine design and closing with the finishing of defined mold geometries, the overall project goal will be obtained.
|Effective start/end date||1/09/10 → 31/08/13|
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