Research Projects

FORSAL

Robotized foundry for the health of the workforce

Sector

Smart Manufacturing

Project Summary

Within the foundry industry, large castings (weighing up to several tens of tons), used for power generation or machine tool applications, constitute a range of products with extremely high added value. These castings are made primarily of steel or cast iron, depending on their intended use or performance. Paradoxically, the realization of these products, which have exceptional quality requirements, still requires laborious manual processes to be carried out by the operator (polishing, grinding, deburring, etc.). These procedures cause significant ergonomic and vibro-acoustic comfort problems for operators, potentially leading to occupational diseases.

The Project therefore aims to:

  • Define the technical-operational requirements for interactive robotic equipment adapted to perform the above-mentioned operations on large castings;
  • Design this robotic equipment, taking into account the constraints (materials, geometries, product requirements) of the foundry partners;
  • Produce a robotic system prototype for machining steel castings;
  • Validate the prototype and define guidelines to develop similar systems for iron foundry.

Innovation

The robotic equipment developed by the project for grinding, deburring, de-scoring and repairing castings is a first for most ferrous alloy foundries. The direct benefits that can be identified are varied:

  • Improved working conditions for operators,
  • Reduction of health problems for workers (the current vibro-acoustic working conditions may induce occupational diseases),
  • Organizational improvement (problems related to workers’ health requires frequent shift rotation involving many personnel),
  • Improved quality of finished castings, since the equipment introduced can certainly guarantee repeatability and reliability in individual technological operations,
  • Introduction of a system to validate the quality of the manufactured product by means of dedicated instrumentation based on 3D artificial vision.

ES Role

EnginSoft is responsible for the mechanical design of the robotic solutions, and the vibro-acoustic simulations.

Partners

ADI TOOLS SPA, BNP SRL, BUSON SRL, ENGINSOFT SPA, FONDERIA CORRA' SPA, IT+ROBOTICS SRL, SAFAS SPA, UNIVERSITA' DI PADOVA - DTG.

Funding Scheme

Funding Scheme POR - Obiettivo "Incremento dell'attività di innovazione delle imprese" - Parte FESR fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale 2014 - 2020
"Project co-funded by POR ERDF 2014-2020 Regione del Veneto" - AXIS 1 "RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION" ACTION 1.1.4 "Support for collaborative R&D activities for the development of new sustainable technologies, new products and services"

“Progetto finanziato con il POR FESR 2014-2020 Regione del Veneto” - ASSE 1 “RICERCA, SVILUPPO TECNOLOGICO E INNOVAZIONE” AZIONE 1.1.4 “Sostegno alle attività collaborative di R&S per lo sviluppo di nuove tecnologie sostenibili, di nuovi prodotti e servizi”

Importo finanziamento: € 1.007.700,00 / Grant Amount: € 1.007.700,00

FORSAL

Project web site

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Duration

36 months

Period

November 2017 - October 2020

Coordinator

CONSORZIO SPRING

Reference in EnginSoft

Nicola Gramegna

Partners Number

9

Project insight

Safety, health, and ergonomics of metalworkers engaged in manual grinding and finishing operations

Developing a prototype solution to reduce vibrations to their hands and arms

by G. Morandina, A. Trevisan | EnginSoft
P. Pasqualotto, M. Chiodin | SAFAS
A. Trevisani, D. Richiedei | University of Padua
A. Ragazzon, A. Parolin | BNP

Futurities - Summer 2022

The FORSAL project has successfully designed and prototyped a system that reduces the vibrations transmitted to operators by the grinders used for the finishing processes on foundry castings. This article introduces the ergonomic issues related to grinding operations, and then focuses on the design and validation of a vibration reduction system that can also be used outside the foundry environment.

Read the article Read the article
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