The research team in the field of production process engineering of the Polytechnic College of Córdoba is working with machine learning in mold manufacturing. This system enables the production of containers and molds, from sheet metal, using a punch and a machining center.
In accordance with Pablo Romeroprofessor at University of Córdoba (UCO) and one of the researchers responsible for the work, the main advantage of this method is its flexibility and speed. “If you want to make a mold or tray with a certain geometry, you simply design it and send it to the machine; In some time you will have a model in your hands”, he points out.
In addition, he adds that the research staff emphasizes that this machine learning reduces time and costs, since molds and presses are not needed to produce the molds.
Machine learning is a discipline in the field Artificial Intelligence which, through algorithms, gives computers the ability to identify patterns in massive data and make predictions (predictive analysis). This learning allows computers to perform certain tasks autonomously, that is, without the need for programming.
Advantages of machine learning in the process
Machine learning, one of the most flourishing tools in Industry 4.0. Specifically, they used an algorithm that, if properly trained, is capable of predicting whether the mold geometry is correct or not.
In this way, the process parameters can be selected in advance, which enable the production of molds with greater geometric precision. To test the strength of the proposed methodology, the researchers produced small batches of hamburger molds using different parameters and strategies.
Then the geometry of the mold was measured using a coordinate measuring machine. The obtained geometric data were used for training and testing the algorithm.
This project brings several additional innovations. On the one hand, we work with aluminized steel sheet, a material widely used in Mold making. This material has a steel core and aluminum protection on both sides.
In conventional incremental molding processes, the punch used for deformation tears away the aluminum, which is one of the conditions for the mold to come into contact with the food. To avoid damaging the aluminum layer, a sacrificial sheet is placed between the drill and the mold to prevent direct contact and protect the coating.
You may be interested in: Pasta with seafood, a new option for a healthy diet