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Francesco LEALI

Professore Ordinario
Dipartimento di Ingegneria "Enzo Ferrari"


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Pubblicazioni

2024 - Powder bed fusion integrated product and process design for additive manufacturing: a systematic approach driven by simulation [Articolo su rivista]
Dalpadulo, Enrico; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper presents a computer-based methodology to support the design for additive manufacturing of metal components. Metal additive manufacturing, and in particular powder bed fusion systems, are playing a prominent role in the industry 4.0 scenario. The state of the art concerning design methods and tools to support design for additive manufacturing is reviewed by the authors. The key phases of product design and process design to achieve lightweight functional designs and reliable processes are deepened, and the computer-aided technologies to support the approaches implementation are described. Indeed, the state of the art design for additive manufacturing general workflow can be enriched by holistic approaches, use of numerical simulation, and integration and automation between the required tasks. The paper provides a methodology based on the systematic use of numerical simulation to achieve the optimization of both products and associated processes. To take advantage of the holistic perspective, the approach relies on the use of integrated product-process design platforms, allowing to streamline the digital process chain. Product design is based on the systematic integration of topology optimization and automatized tools for concept development and selection and subsequent product simulation driven design refinement. Process design is based on a systematic use of process simulation to prevent manufacturing flaws related to the high thermal gradients of metal processes and minimize residual stress and deformations. This is achieved by working on both the build cycles layouts and the 3D models' distortion compensation. An automotive use case of product and process design performed through the proposed simulation-driven integrated approach is provided to assess the actual method suitability for effective re-designs of additive manufacturing high-performance metal products. The bridged gaps are systematically outlined, and further developments are discussed.


2023 - A Keyword, Taxonomy and Cartographic Research Review of Sustainability Concepts for Production Scheduling in Manufacturing Systems [Articolo su rivista]
Bertolini, M.; Leali, F.; Mezzogori, D.; Renzi, C.
abstract

The concept of sustainability is defined as composed of three pillars: social, environmental, and economic. Social sustainability implies a commitment to equity in terms of several “interrelated and mutually supportive” principles of a “sustainable society”; this concept includes attitude change, the Earth’s vitality and diversity conservation, and a global alliance to achieve sustainability. The social and environmental aspects of sustainability are related in the way sustainability indicators are related to “quality of life” and “ecological sustainability”. The increasing interest in green and sustainable products and production has influenced research interests regarding sustainable scheduling problems in manufacturing systems. This study is aimed both at reducing pollutant emissions and increasing production efficiency: this topic is known as Green Scheduling. Existing literature research reviews on Green Scheduling Problems have pointed out both theoretical and practical aspects of this topic. The proposed work is a critical review of the scientific literature with a three-pronged approach based on keywords, taxonomy analysis, and research mapping. Specific research questions have been proposed to highlight the benefits and related objectives of this review: to discover the most widely used methodologies for solving SPGs in manufacturing and identify interesting development models, as well as the least studied domains and algorithms. The literature was analysed in order to define a map of the main research fields on SPG, highlight mainstream SPG research, propose an efficient view of emerging research areas, propose a taxonomy of SPG by collecting multiple keywords into semantic clusters, and analyse the literature according to a semantic knowledge approach. At the same time, GSP researchers are provided with an efficient view of emerging research areas, allowing them to avoid missing key research areas and focus on emerging ones.


2023 - Directed Energy Deposition Process Simulation to Sustain Design for Additive Remanufacturing Approaches [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract


2022 - A Review of Automotive Spare-Part Reconstruction Based on Additive Manufacturing [Articolo su rivista]
Dalpadulo, E.; Petruccioli, A.; Gherardini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

In the Industry 4.0 scenario, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies play a fundamental role in the automotive field, even in more traditional sectors such as the restoration of vintage cars. Car manufacturers and restorers benefit from a digital production workflow to reproduce spare parts that are no longer available on the market, starting with original components, even if they are damaged. This review focuses on this market niche that, due to its growing importance in terms of applications and related industries, can be a significant demonstrator of future trends in the automotive supply chain. Through selected case studies and industrial applications, this study analyses the implications of AM from multiple perspectives. Firstly, various types of AM processes are used, although some are predominant due to their cost-effectiveness and, therefore, their better accessibility and wide diffusion. In some applications, AM is used as an intermediate process to develop production equipment (so-called rapid tooling), with further implications in the digitalisation of conventional primary technologies and the entire production process. Secondly, the additive process allows for on-demand, one-off, or small-batch production. Finally, the ever-growing variety of spare parts introduces new problems and challenges, generating constant opportunities to improve the finish and performance of parts, as well as the types of processes and materials, sometimes directly involving AM solution providers.


2022 - A method for yield and cycle time improvements in Al alloy casting with enhanced conductivity steel for die construction [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, A.; Salvati, E.; Magistrelli, A.; Brambilla, E.; Veronesi, P.; Leali, F.
abstract

A die for Al alloy casting must be designed to achieve the expected quality levels. Moreover, the casting unit cost must be regarded as the objective function to be minimised It can be expressed as a function of the quantity of materials and energy to be used, cycle time and equipment investment. This work compares the performance of the die with inserts manufactured using the usual 1.2343 steel with that of the innovative 1.2383. The latter is considered due to its enhanced thermal conductivity, despite being more expensive. Simulation experiments are designed to evaluate different die layouts. The quality design solutions are evaluated against the cost objective function in order to identify the optimal die choice. A case study on gravity die casting (GDC) of an AlSi7Mg0.3 engine head shows faster solidification dynamics when using 1.2383 instead of 1.2343 steel. This reduces the feeder volume, thus increasing the production yield and speeding up the cycle time with a leverage effect. The higher investment cost for the inserts is rapidly returned thanks to the reduction in variable costs. The Return On Investment (ROI) with the improved die in the new solution is short compared with the life of the die.


2022 - Additive Remanufacturing Integrated Design Approach for Performance Improvement of Automotive Components [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, Enrico; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco
abstract


2022 - An Analytical Model for Robot-Based Grinding of Axisymmetric Mold Inserts Using a Rotary Unit [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Tamassia, E.; Hahnel, S.; Pini, F.; Grunwald, T.; Bergs, T.; Leali, F.
abstract

The grinding of mold inserts used for injection molding aims to improve the surface roughness according to precise quality standards. The insert surface must also have a surface topography that facilitates the release of the plastic material at the end of the injection process. In particular, fine machining lines must be parallel to the extraction direction from the mold to avoid the sticking of plastic material and subsequent surface damages compromising the functionality of the finished product. However, this step in the production chain is most often conducted manually. This paper presents an analytical model to grind a truncated cone-shaped mold insert for the mass production of plastic cups. The automated solution consists of a flexible robotic system equipped with a rotating external axis to improve the accessibility of the tool to the surface to be machined. The tool path programming requires the development of an analytical model considering the simultaneous motion of the insert and the robot joints. The effectiveness of the developed model is evaluated in terms of final surface quality, grinding lines direction, and total process time. The automated strategy developed can be easily implemented with machine tools and applied to inserts with different axisymmetric geometries.


2022 - An Integrated Modular Design and Group Decision-Making Method in Complex Design Environments [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Renzi, C.; Leali, F.
abstract

This paper deals with the design of novel products, conceived in a complex design environment, under strict constraints and several disciplines involved in. As an application, the design of micro-bioreactors for tissue-engineering is proposed. To date, in-vitro two-dimensional (2D) culture systems have been widely used to study the mechanisms underlying cell biology. However, 3D culture systems and platforms have showed to better mimic the real tissue environment. The design of a 3D culture system of bioreactor is challenging due to several criteria derived from several disciplines, as biotechnology, engineering, and manufacturing. To this aim, a two-step integrated modular design and group multi-criteria decision-making method is proposed. In step one, a functional analysis is carried out, first, to point out the interfaces between parts and the function of each part in the assembly. Generated design alternatives have been selected by means of a group Fuzzy-TOPSIS technique, in step two. The proposed integrated design method has shown efficient in the early stages of design of novel products in complex design environments.


2022 - Assessment of close-range photogrammetry for the low cost development of 3D models of car bodywork components [Articolo su rivista]
Petruccioli, A.; Gherardini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Close-range photogrammetry (C-RP) is a widespread and efficient technology to obtain digital models of physical objects. Typical limitations as sharped geometry, shiny surface finishing and light conditions can be overcome by using high-end equipment, which results in increased costs and requires specific skills in human operators. This paper aims to investigate whether a low-cost and simplified approach to C-RP makes it suitable for the 3D acquisition of bodywork components and similar free-form artefacts, as an affordable alternative to 3D scanning in fields where a lower value of accuracy is required. Hence, two commercial C-RP software were used to 3D capture handcrafted car body panels and compare the C-RP models using a 3D scan as a reference within an inspection software. Two case studies are considered: a 1:5 scale model of the front bonnet of a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa from 1958 and a head lamp housing of a Ferrari 275 GTB from 1962. Considering the complexity of double curvature surfaces and the reflection due to material and surface treatment, both these artefacts require some pre-processing operations and an adequate set-up to perform image acquisition. These case studies represent a relevant application for the field of classic vehicle restoration, where C-RP could be a promising technique to support panel beaters and craftsmen during rebuilt operations of masks and bodywork spare parts of high-end historic cars.


2022 - Correction to: Assessment of close-range photogrammetry for the low cost development of 3D models of car bodywork components (International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing (IJIDeM), (2022), 16, 2, (703-713), 10.1007/s12008-022-00865-6) [Articolo su rivista]
Petruccioli, A.; Gherardini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Authorswould like to correct Figure 1 and Image credits with the updated version. The corrected version of Figure 1 and Image credits updated here. The original article has been corrected.


2022 - Investigation of Warpage and Tolerances in Injection Moulding Components Based on Simulation and Experimental Validation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Garlaschelli, G.; Gherardini, F.; Malagola, S.; Leali, F.
abstract

This paper presents a systematic approach to model and simulate the influence that the variation of process parameters has on the final quality of an injection moulded component. In the first phase, we define a multi-steps procedure to develop a reliable digital model of the injection moulding process by the fine-tuning of the part cavity and the mould elements (e.g. detail simplification, discretization and mesh density, elements modelling, etc.) using real data as validation. In the second phase, we investigate the correlation between selected process parameters and the final tolerances of the moulded component, based on a Design of Experiments. As a case study, we selected the body of a mass airflow sensor for an automotive high performance engines, made of polybutylene terephthalate reinforced with glass-fibre, which presents roundness issues on functional features. The effects of the injection velocity and packing pressure on the deformation of the component are investigated, identifying the best combination of their values that leads to compliance with the roundness tolerances on its functional features. The injection moulding Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software Moldex3D (CoreTech) is used to run the simulations, and the results are finally validated by comparing the experimental data obtained from the injection moulding machine that produces the component.


2022 - Model-Based Approach for Optimal Allocation of GD&T [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Petruccioli, A.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Model-based Definition (MBD) is a known design approach that aims to an effective integration of Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) within geometrical data. By means of MBD, product requirements and specifications based on Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) can be directly associated to 3D models, improving interoperability between design and simulation virtual environments. However, especially in industrial settings, many challenges still limit MBD diffusion, such as limited knowledge and application of GD&T rules, inconsistent representation of PMI, lack of methodological and organizational approach based on PMI. As a consequence, the Dimensional Management practice based on GD&T cannot be systematically applied, and the full potential of Computer-Aided specific tools remains unexpressed. In this paper, the effective implementation of MBD for PMI during both product and process design is proved through its direct application on tolerance-cost optimization. Thanks to 3D semantic annotations, a model-based framework is suggested to validate functional requirements of a mechanical assembly and to assess production efforts, enhancing the integration between tolerance analysis and manufacturing cost tools. The interrelation of GD&T schemes enables the automated transfer of the data linked to annotations toward Computer-Aided Tolerancing (CAT) and Product Cost Management (PCM) virtual environments. Consequently, PMI guides the simulations during the multi-disciplinary optimization, proving its effectiveness in communicating engineering information and enabling the transition to digital manufacturing though MBD.


2022 - Optimization of an Engine Piston Through CAD Platforms and Additive Manufacturing Based Systematic Product Redesign [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

The present work describes an automotive component design optimization process through a systematic approach. The redesign aims to improve product performance by Powder Bed Fusion metal Additive Manufacturing. The approach allows to match Topology Optimization and Design for Additive Manufacturing by exploiting benefits provided by CAD platforms that integrate CAD, CAE and CAM tools. The Systematic Concept-Selection-Based Approach aims to make redesign simple and effective, allowing design solutions exploration while containing product design lead time. Topology Optimization is the key phase to achieve lightweight design by a double-level optimization approach. In particular, the technique is setup to produce different design variants, whose subsequently undergo a Trade-off study to perform the concept selection step. Finally, one final redesign occurs and a design refinement step is performed to achieve product optimization. The case study is a high performance internal combustion engine piston, which has been redesigned to be produced by Selective Laser Melting process with benefit of weight reduction.


2022 - Synergic Product and Process Design for Additive Fabrication of Lightweight Vehicles [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Petruccioli, A.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Additive manufacturing is even more capturing the interest of vehicle manufactures. Its adoption enables design potentials such as parts customization, lightweighting or functional integration. Deep adoption of additive manufacturing and integration of topology optimization design techniques enable the calculation of light components, while additive manufacturing makes it feasible by adding subsequent layers of material. Design for additive manufacturing guidelines address these challenges by enabling the build of such complex shapes thanks to parts consolidation and features integration. Several prototypes of such lightweight design concerning chassis, body, and structures have been provided, but the lack of structured and objective approaches limits the application in normal production. This work integrates Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) into the Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) approach for an effective adoption of selection of trade-off studies for the selection of best product variant and process setup. The trade-off involves KPIs related to structural product requirements and laser Powder Bed Fusion process cost estimation, to return functional components that address the best ratio between weight reduction and expected manufacturing cost. Proof of the method effectiveness and its application to lighten real components is demonstrated by applying the approach to reduce the weight of a steering support system for a Formula SAE race car. The objectivity of the trade-off promotes the extensive adoption to other vehicle components for substantial fuel efficiency improvement and emissions reduction perspectives.


2022 - Workspace Placement of Motion Trajectories by Manipulability Index for Optimal Design of Cobot Assisted Rehabilitation Solutions [Articolo su rivista]
Caramaschi, Marco; Onfiani, Dario; Pini, Fabio; Biagiotti, Luigi; Leali, Francesco
abstract


2021 - Assessment of computer-aided design tools for topology optimization of additively manufactured automotive components [Articolo su rivista]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

The use of Topology Optimization techniques has seen a great development since the last decade. The principal contributor to this trend is the widespread use of Additive Manufacturing technologies to effectively build complex and performant structures over different settings. Nevertheless, the use of Topology Optimization in Design for Additive Manufacturing processes is not simple and research aims to fill the gap between theory and practice by evolving at the same time both approaches, workflows, and design software that allow their implementation. Since a strong connection between methodologies and tools exists, this work proposes a method to assess computer-aided design tools or platforms. This can be applied to sustain the key phase for selection and adoption of the computer-aided tools in industrial settings embracing Additive Manufacturing. The workflow for Topology Optimization implementation, the structure of the proposed evaluation approach, and its application, are presented to demonstrate effective usability. The automotive case study is the redesign of internal combustion engine piston to benefit of metal Additive Manufacturing based enhanced product performance. A preliminary finite element model is defined and a Topology Optimization based redesign is concurrently set up through four different commercial computer-based platforms. The method accounting for the assessment of required operations for the design optimization is applied to perform the tools selection phase.


2021 - COMPONENTS RESIDUAL STRESS AND DEFORMATION REDUCTION: AN INTEGRATED PROCESS DESIGN FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a key technology in current industrial transformations thanks to the significant benefits that can bring to high-level sectors. Nevertheless, AM-based design approaches require improvements that are fundamental to exploit the potentials of the technology and reduce the lack of process consistency. This work focuses on integrated Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) approaches for product-process design, to meet both functional and technological targets. The key aspects of process design and issues are summarized and the design method to perform metal AM process optimization is presented. The aim is therefore to minimize process-induced defects and flaws of AM-based manufacturing of metal products, such as residual stress and distortions. The approach consists of industrialization task improvement based on modelling optimization and build optimization sub-phases supported by numerical process simulation. Integration of CAD platforms allows embedding these steps to be performed downstream of the product design, which can be achieved through functional or multifunctional optimization techniques as well (e.g. topology optimization, latticing, graded structures/materials). The design method is finally applied to perform the industrialization phase of a high-performance automotive component. The case study is a formula SAE topology optimized brake caliper to be produced by Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process. Process simulationdriven studies on modelling and build preparation subphases (i.e. orientation definition, supports generation, model distortion compensation) are conducted to support the process design. The study demonstrates the part scale level method's suitability to industrial context to improve industrialization in the redesign of components to be produced by metal AM.


2021 - Computer-Aided Tolerancing Analysis of a High-Performance Car Engine Assembly [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Petruccioli, A.; Gherardini, F.; Panari, D.; Leali, F.
abstract

This paper proposes the analysis of the tolerances (values, types, datum) and their effects on a mechanical assembly, as a high-performance car engine, by means of a Computer-Aided Tolerancing software. The 3D tolerance stack-ups are investigated to assess the fulfillment of the functional requirements as well as the performance specifications of the assembly. Moreover, after identifying the tolerances that mainly affect the product variability, we finally propose some corrective actions on the tolerances and assess their functional allocation, tightening or relaxing their values, ensuring assemblability and cost reduction.


2021 - Design for Additive Manufacturing of a Topology Optimized Brake Caliper Through CAD-Platform-Based Systematic Approach [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

To implement the CAD platform-based approach of Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) and validate it in a real case, an entire design optimization process of a Formula SAE front brake caliper has been performed, to be printed by Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) process. The DfAM consists in the use of a Ti6Al4V titanium alloy to better resist at high temperatures and a topology optimized shape allowed by the technology to save weight despite the density increase. Structural and thermal behavior has been discussed. DfAM process-specific techniques have been implemented for internal geometrical features and optimized shapes. The design for additive workflow is presented and finally the exploited design approach based on a CAD platform is synthesized.


2021 - Simulation and experimental validation of Secondary Dendrite Arm Spacing for AlSi7Mg0.3 chassis parts in Low Pressure Die Casting [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, Alberto; Bergamini, Umberto; Bianchi, Daniele; Veronesi, Paolo; Spagnolo, Roberto; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The structural properties of cast aluminum parts are strongly affected by the solidification in the production process. The solidification dynamics determines the Secondary Dendrite Arm Spacing (SDAS), directly affecting the structural strength of the alloy. Simulation techniques enable the integrated design of chassis parts and their production equipment. However, in order to effectively predict the SDAS formation, the simulation models need to be investigated and calibrated. The present research investigates the SDAS formation models and identifies a robust relation to be used in Design by Simulation phases for AlSi7Mg0.3 parts.


2021 - TOLERANCE SPECIFICATION MODEL FOR SYSTEMATIC APPLICATION OF GD&T IN PRODUCT DESIGN [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Petruccioli, A.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

The Dimensional Management (DM) is well known as the reference methodology for the management of dimensional and geometric variations of industrial products. Over the years, it has assumed a central role, thanks to the development of a specific design approach, known as Design for Tolerancing (DFT). Based on the Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) symbolic language, DFT allows to check and verify functional and qualitative requirements from the early design phases. Although its strength and potential to improve design optimization, DFT industrial application is still limited. Consolidated design practices, complexity of tolerance specification process, lack of support from Computer-Aided tools still limit the tolerance specification to final validation of product design. The paper aims to define a tolerance specification model for systematic application of GD&T specification. The model formalizes the identification and translation of product requirements on the components geometry, through the definition of the main step of tolerance design. Based on the integration between the GD&T-based approach and parametric threedimensional CAD modelling, the model has been applied to validate the GD&T and the tolerance specification of two mechanical assemblies with common features. The methodology proves its general effectiveness to support engineers in tolerance design and selection of the most suitable GD&T schemes.


2021 - The multiple roles of universities in U-I collaborations: The case of Emilia–Romagna motor vehicle industry [Articolo su rivista]
Tagliazucchi, Giulia; Marchi, Gianluca; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper investigates the development of collaboration modes between university and local industry, within a regional system having a diffused innovation process. As a case study, we analyse into an appreciative framework the roles of a medium-sized university as producer of knowledge, intermediary organisation and regional orchestrator over time, ultimately assuming a leading role in two specific university-industry programmes supporting the motor vehicle industry of Emilia–Romagna (IT). The paper contributes to the University-Industry stream of research by identifying the factors and mechanisms underpinning the evolution of university’s role in its collaboration with local industry, by the time assuming a leading and central role in spreading innovative technology into the regional system. Our findings provide managerial and policy makers contributions, and could be extended to other similar medium-tech industry for supporting diffusion of knowledge and innovation processes.


2020 - A CAE-Based Model of Aluminium Alloys Welded T-Joints for TEP Analysis [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ruini, F.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Continuous innovation in the field of high-end motor vehicle chassis demands optimization of the weight/stiffness ratio and to achieve high quality standards. The use of light materials, such as aluminum alloys, is therefore increasingly common in the design of the chassis, whose assembly process represents a technological challenge. Welding joining processes, and in particular robot-based welding, are widely used in automotive field despite causing distortions. To predict these deformations, finite element analyzes are performed, in particular thermo-elasto-plastic simulations, which are able to satisfactorily replicate the behavior of residual stresses and strains after cooling. However, such analyzes are computationally expensive making their application difficult to complex structures. This work would investigate an alternative solution to predict distortions that effectively returns the behavior of welded assemblies. A CAE-based model for TEP analysis of welded joints is proposed. As a case study, the T-welded junction between two aluminum alloy plates (T-Joint) was considered. The model is validated by a preliminary experimental campaign.


2020 - A design methodology for an innovative racing mini motorcycle frame [Articolo su rivista]
Angelo, L. D.; Di Stefano, P.; Renzi, C.; Leali, F.
abstract

Sports equipment design is a young and evolving engineering discipline focused on the best simultaneous optimization of user and product as a system. In motorsports, in particular, the final performance during a race depends on many parameters related to the vehicle, circuit, weather, and tyres and the personal feelings of every single driver. Top teams in high-tech categories can invest huge amounts of money in developing simulators, but such economic commitment is not sustainable for all those teams that operate in minor but very popular categories, such as karts or mini-motorcycles. In these fields, the most common design approach is trial and error on physical prototypes. Such an approach leads to high costs, long optimization times, poor innovation, and inefficient management of the design knowledge. The present paper proposes a driver centred methodology for the design of an innovative mini racing motorcycle frame. It consists of two main phases: the drivers’ feelings translation into engineering requirements and constraints, and the exploration of the design solution space. Expected effects of the application of the proposed methodology are an overall increase in the degree of innovation, time compression, and cost reduction during the development process, with a significant impact on the competitiveness of small racing teams in minor categories.


2020 - A methodological approach for the design of inclusive assistive devices by integrating co-design and additive manufacturing technologies [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Gherardini, Francesco; Petruccioli, Andrea; Dalpadulo, Enrico; Bettelli, Valentina; Mascia, Maria Teresa; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Additive Manufacturing is a widespread technology that may enhance product customization based on specific users’ needs, as in the case of assistive devices. Many chronic physical progressively disabling diseases, but also ageing, may cause severe limitations in daily life, which can be overcome by highly customized aids. Literature shows that the active involvement of the patient in the development of assistive devices through co-design allows for their greater therapeutic effectiveness and acceptance. Therefore, this paper proposes a methodological approach for the development of inclusive assistive devices to support daily activities in persons with disabling diseases of the upper-limb. The approach integrates co-design, standardized tools, and low- and high-tech prototyping techniques and tools, which lead to significant feedbacks from patients. The patients are encouraged to interact with conceptual prototypes through direct 3D CAD modelling and touch screen devices. Assessment tests highlight the suitability of the method to achieve the expected goals.


2020 - A methodology for out of position occupant identification from pressure sensors embedded in a vehicle seat [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, A.; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The airbag deployment against an out of position (OP) occupant is critical. The OP condition can be hardly expected during design, while a too close airbag deployment can cause serious injuries instead of mitigating the crash effects. An adaptive airbag system would be capable to adjust its deployment to the inside scenario. However, the integration between human passengers and intelligent vehicle requires the airbag control unit to be aware of the actual occupant(s) position. In the present research, a methodology for monitoring the occupant(s) position is developed and tested with a seat prototype. A layout of thin film sensors monitors the interface pressure between the occupant and the seat cover. An inertial measurement unit (IMU) monitors the accelerations of the vehicle, considered the reference moving platform. A microcontroller is programmed for pressure sensors calibration, IMU alignment with the vehicle reference system, signals processing, OP detection, and identification. Real driving experiments on a race track were performed in the correct position and in three different OPs. The comparison of the pressure center in longitudinal and transversal directions with the vehicle acceleration enables to identify the OPs.


2020 - A preliminary approach on point cloud reconstruction of bronze statues through oriented photogrammetry: the “Principe Ellenistico” case [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bici, Michele; Gherardini, Francesco; Campana, Francesca; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Close-Range Photogrammetry is a widespread and efficient technique in the 3D acquisition of artefacts, particularly in fields like Cultural Heritage. Despite this wide usage, also due to a convenient quality/cost ratio, it shows some limitations due to light conditions as well as the artefact surface finishing. In this paper, we would like to report the assessment of a photogrammetry approach to 3D capture metal reflective surfaces, such as bronze, which is a widely used material in ancient statues. To this aim, we propose a photogrammetry workflow based on systematic steps capable of overcome some of the main issues of reflective surfaces. To validate this approach, the developed 3D model is compared to a more accurate model of the same artefact, obtained with a 3D scanner. As a case study, we selected the Principe Ellenistico, an ancient bronze statue conserved in the Museo Nazionale Romano (Rome, Italy), of which a photogrammetric model is firstly developed and then compared to the scanned one.


2020 - A simple test method for measurement of the interface thermal resistance of coated and uncoated metal surfaces [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pedrazzi, Simone; Vergnano, A.; Allesina, G.; Veronesi, Paolo; Leali, F.; Tartarini, P.; Muscio, A.
abstract

Dies for metal casting must often be coated internally to minimize interaction between the surface of the steel die and the melt metal during pouring and solidification. However, the added coating increases the thermal interface resistance during the cooling process and can thus extend the process duration. For example, numerical predictions and experimental results are matched if the interface resistance is even quintupled in the presence of usual interface coating, compared to the uncoated mold. In order to have a reasonable estimate of the interface thermal resistance, an easy to use measurement approach has been tested. This consists of contacting a cold and a hot samples of metals with known thermal properties, one at ambient temperature and the other one much hotter. The temperatures of the two samples, assumed to be uniform in each sample, are measured by thermocouples, and the interface resistance is retrieved from the time evolution pattern of those temperatures during the thermal transient that follows the instant in which the samples have been contacted.


2020 - Assessment of Design for Additive Manufacturing Based on CAD Platforms [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyze some critical issues in the Design for Additive Manufacturing workflow and evaluate the introduction of CAD platforms as backbone tools to shorten product development time and raise its efficiency. It is focused on the design of components to be printed by Powder Bed Fusion metal Additive Manufacturing. Even though the use of additive technologies firmly joins a CAD mathematical model and the actually printed component, the workflow from the concept to the definitive job may result in many sequential steps which have complex and slow relationships. Currently, at the state of art for the production of components specifically designed to be produced by additive manufacturing, there are issues both with the adoption of STL as interchange files and the not reversible sequence of tasks. For example, if a problem occurs in the part re-design during component industrialization, usually one must restart the work from the beginning. Thus, an improvement of the design workflow that could shorten time to product and improve both product performances and process quality and reliability, is necessary. In particular, the use of CAD platforms that integrates CAD and CAE tools has been investigated. An automotive case study, originally made by traditional subtractive technology (CNC milling), has been re-designed with topology optimization in order to be printed by Selective Laser Melting process with benefit of weight reduction. Design and industrialization tasks have been tested with respect to the selected integrated CAD platform, and potential improvements have been evaluated.


2020 - Automotive Design Engineering: Material and Processes Selection Problems [Capitolo/Saggio]
Renzi, C.; Di Angelo, L.; Leali, F.
abstract

Multicrieria Decision-making methods (MCDM) are efficiently used as a support to engineering design, even if tested procedures and experience-based approaches are often preferred in SMEs and several industrial contexts. An extended critical review investigates how decision-making methods can help solving engineering design problems in automotive design. In particular, in this work, a classification of decision-making methods related to engineering design, is proposed, in which decisional techniques are matched with the design phases, and to corresponding automotive industry design problems. In literature a large amount of paper is dedicated to the selection of materials and manufacturing processes in the detail design phase. Also, hybrid methods, namely a combination of decision-making methods with other mathematical methods will be investigated to overcome some methodological drawbacks in MCDM methods. Due to the high impact of the problem in both industrial and research field, this work could help increasing production rate by reducing redesign errors related to material/processes selection problems, and concurrently transferring the knowledge of decision-making methods within the industrial context.


2020 - CAD-based risk assessment approach for safe scheduling of HRC operations for parts produced by laser powder bed fusion [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, F.; Dalpadulo, E.; Leali, F.
abstract

The presented paper suggests a design method which seeks to identify the best scheduling of human robot collaborative (HRC) operations with respect to a required safety level. The human behavior along manufacturing scenarios is effectively forecasted through dedicated computer-aided tools. Consequently, this method stresses the usage of virtual environment to replicate both human postures and robot encumbrances over the manufacturing operations. Moreover, it proposes a safety index formulation for HRC systems based on the minimum distance between human and robot (H-R). As results, the approach returns the safety index for every possible combination of H-R operations. Subsequently, a scheduling algorithm suggests the operations sequence depending on the expected value of the safety index, providing an evaluation of the time needed to complete the process. The method is validated on surface control phase involved in post-processing of parts produced by laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) Additive Manufacturing.


2020 - CAD-platform-based Process optimization Design Method by Selective Laser Melting Simulation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Additive Manufacturing based on Powder Bed Fusion processes enables the construction of end-use functional metal components, making it feasible to design several level of geometrical complexity. Nevertheless, the printing process leads to material and shape defects, residual stress and induced distortions on final components that mainly are caused by the high thermal gradients associated to the intense and nonuniform power energy sources used to selectively melt metal powders. In this paper, techniques to reduce or prevent these effects are summarized. The more broadly Design for Additive Manufacturing approach based on the use on CAD platforms for product-process design is the backbone upon this research is based on. Specifically, the work presents a design method to predict drawbacks and improve the industrialization subphase. Laser-based Powder Bed Fusion technique is considered and the implementation and validation of the Selective Laser Melting process simulation is performed in order to support the method. Two case studies are presented. The former demonstrates the simulation implementation feasibility through a CAD platform. The latter validates the simulation results compared to experimental data for further method application.


2020 - Computer-Aided Assessment of Safety Countermeasures for Industrial Human-Robot Collaborative Applications [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco
abstract


2020 - Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering, Proceedings of the International Conference on Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering, ADM 2019 [Curatela]
Rizzi, Caterina; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Gherardini, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

This book collects the proceedings of the ADM 2019 International Conference, entitled “Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering”, held in Modena, Italy, on 9–10 September 2019. This is not the first time that an event organized by ADM (formerly known as Italian Association of Machines Design, today renamed the Italian Association of Design Methods for Industrial Engineering) or by our scientific sector (ING-IND/15) takes place in Modena. I am pleased to remember the “ADM day” held at the Military Academy of Modena in 2008, as well as the ING-IND/15 workshop organized in 2009 in the hills of Bologna, not far from Modena. However, this conference is particularly significant, for the reasons I wish to summarize here. Firstly, the ADM Conference constitutes a new international, permanent event held in Italy, aimed at disseminating cutting-edge research to a national and international audience. For several years, our association has had a collaborative relationship with the Spanish members of INGEGRAF and the French members of Smart (formerly AIP-PRIMECA), with whom we organize the International Joint Conference on Mechanics, Design Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (JCM) every two years. This event is hosted alternately by one of our three countries. Therefore, the ADM International Conference was born from the need for an event “in the middle”, to strengthen the international research network and to meet our colleagues in Italy. As a matter of fact, the ADM 2019 scientific committee was joined by Spanish and French colleagues, as well as German, Swedish, Norwegian and American ones, thanks to partnerships created by our “Enzo Ferrari” Department of Engineering (Modena) over the years. Secondly, I am honoured to play the role of conference chair, a position that has led me to be one of the editors of this book. In more than 45 years of experience in this sector, I have seen many developments and evolutions. From the first use of CAD in the industrial sector, today we have reached a high multidisciplinary level and integration with information technology and electronics. The integration of novel tools and approaches in the industrial world is also due to the activity of our scientific sector, capable of developing and integrating innovative tools and methodologies with the traditional themes of industrial engineering. Finally, this conference is held in 2019, an important year for me, marking the conclusion of my mandate as Rector of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, as well as that of Full Professor for our scientific sector. As the Dean of the ADM association and the scientific sector, I enthusiastically accepted the proposal of Francesco Leali, my collaborator for years and now my colleague, to nominate the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and in particular our “Enzo Ferrari” Department of Engineering, as the location for the ADM 2019 International Conference. I would like to thank both him and my departmental colleagues, in particular the researchers of my lab, LaPIS lab, for organizing this event at the “Enzo Ferrari” Department of Engineering, so dear to me, having been one of its first promoters and founders. Equally, I would like to thank the ADM President Prof. Vincenzo Nigrelli, and Prof. Caterina Rizzi, Coordinator of the ADM Scientific Council, whose members, in turn, I gratefully thank. Further thanks go to the publisher, Springer, who honoured us by publishing the proceedings of this first ADM International Conference in the series “Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering”. Therefore, as editor of this first book, I hope that it will be the first of a new series of international conference proceedings underlining the leading role of our scientific sector in the international scene. The colleagues who will be hosting the next ADM conferences will have the burden, but above all the honour, of continuing this project that today we have


2020 - Design for Visual Quality Enhancement of Artificial Infrastructure Facilities: An Application to Electricity Pylons [Articolo su rivista]
Di Angelo, Luca; Gherardini, Francesco; Di Stefano, Paolo; Leali, Francesco
abstract

(1) Background: The visual impact of artificial infrastructures on natural landscapes generates a common negative perception in public opinion. However, as in the case of electrical energy, the increasing demand for power supply and its need for capillary distribution require the installation of new lines, commonly overhead lines with tall tower-like pylons. In most countries, this situation is faced with many attempts of solutions, as participatory workshops and design contests. Nevertheless, the solutions are usually not further developed into real structures due to many limitations (e.g., regulatory, safety, lack of feasibility). (2) Methods: This paper presents a systematic method for the design of tower-like pylons (e.g., electric ones) able to improve the visual quality on the landscape areas in which they will be installed. The method identifies a design strategy that advantageously exploits the inevitable visual impact of pylons on the landscape by integrating the symbolic morphology and the topologically optimized pylon structure from the earliest design phases. (3) Results: The resulting structure is designed in three steps. First, a concept is morphologically developed by integrating symbolic references to the landscape, environment, or cultural society. Second, the concept is topologically optimized, by reducing the structural weight and its visual impact, and respecting regulatory requirements. Third, the resulting structure is engineered and embodied into an industrially feasible layout. (4) Conclusions: The method is able to develop an original, brand new tower-like pylon integrating all the types of requirements, such as regulatory, industrial feasibility, and social components' needs. The resulting electricity pylon presents an enhanced visual quality according to the citizens' feedback.


2020 - Effective integration of Cobots and additive manufacturing for reconfigurable assembly solutions of biomedical products [Articolo su rivista]
Rossi, F.; Pini, F.; Carlesimo, A.; Dalpadulo, E.; Blumetti, F.; Gherardini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Collaborative robotics and additive manufacturing are two enabling technologies of the Industry 4.0 manufacturing paradigm. Their synergic integration requires novel and effective design approaches, aiming to the development of new reconfigurable solutions for customised processes and products. This work presents an integrated approach that exploits the capabilities of Cobots to mimic the repetitive and exhausting operator’s movements as well as the competitive advantages offered by additive manufacturing to realize tailored equipment. In particular, the case study shows the development of a customised device for the manipulation of biomedical components by means of a Cobot, which is introduced in a workstation to replace manual operations. Moreover, the flexibility and the effectiveness of a Cobot can be improved thanks to customised devices for gripping and pick-and-place operations based on a specific application. During the development phase, we simulated the assembly process, and tested different options. The final configuration, with conformal circuits and suction cups, can pick, manipulate and assembly the biomedical components, and thanks to a Fused Filament Fabrication technology is additively manufactured. In conclusion, this developed prototypal solution proves the real capabilities offered by integrating Cobots and additive manufacturing for the lean automation of a biomedical workstation.


2020 - Human-robot coexistence and interaction in open industrial cells [Articolo su rivista]
Magrini, E.; Ferraguti, F.; Ronga, A. J.; Pini, F.; De Luca, A.; Leali, F.
abstract

Recent research results on human–robot interaction and collaborative robotics are leaving behind the traditional paradigm of robots living in a separated space inside safety cages, allowing humans and robot to work together for completing an increasing number of complex industrial tasks. In this context, safety of the human operator is a main concern. In this paper, we present a framework for ensuring human safety in a robotic cell that allows human–robot coexistence and dependable interaction. The framework is based on a layered control architecture that exploits an effective algorithm for online monitoring of relative human–robot distance using depth sensors. This method allows to modify in real time the robot behavior depending on the user position, without limiting the operative robot workspace in a too conservative way. In order to guarantee redundancy and diversity at the safety level, additional certified laser scanners monitor human–robot proximity in the cell and safe communication protocols and logical units are used for the smooth integration with an industrial software for safe low-level robot control. The implemented concept includes a smart human-machine interface to support in-process collaborative activities and for a contactless interaction with gesture recognition of operator commands. Coexistence and interaction are illustrated and tested in an industrial cell, in which a robot moves a tool that measures the quality of a polished metallic part while the operator performs a close evaluation of the same workpiece.


2020 - Implementation of a quality framework on the launch phase of an automated assembly line for top class automotive chassis [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertoldi, A.; Gherardini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Today the assembly lines of cars chassis are highly automated by robotic operations. Even in the top class automotive sector, the production of aluminium chassis involves numerous automated operations, such as TIG and MIG welding, riveting and gluing. This practice allows, on the one hand, to reduce time and costs, improve process repeatability and quality standards. On the other hand, it requires the quality improvement of the whole process (from supplied parts approval to welding reworks minimization). The industrialization phase of a new car chassis and the launch of its automated assembly line are particularly critical, even more if the line has already been designed and only minimally modifiable. Therefore, this paper proposes the implementation of a quality framework to manage the launch of an automated assembly line of a new aluminium chassis of top class cars, selected as a case study. The framework was implemented, aiming at improving the entire process quality, and finally validated by critically comparing the results obtained with those relating to models currently in production. Due to their importance to the final quality, we focused on the welding operations, which require actions both on process parameters and supplied parts approval (e.g. tolerances on parts end cuts). The new line shows a clear improvement compared to the past, with highly significant reduction of welding non-conformances, high quality level and lack of many critical issues of the previous lines thanks to corrective actions taken in the early process stages, during the pilot phase.


2020 - Integrated CAD platform approach for Design for Additive Manufacturing of high performance automotive components [Articolo su rivista]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Use of Additive Manufacturing provides great potentials to settings focused on high performance products. It allows feasibility of sundry innovative features to completely rethink geometries and shapes and it leads to embrace new design approaches. The enhanced design freedom can be exploited to optimize products, using techniques such as topology optimization. The study of methods for development of optimized components to be produced by AM becomes therefore fundamental. A framework for the methodological approach to operations to be carried out from the concept model to the printed component has been analyzed and it is clear that issues and research efforts relapse both the global level of the workflow and the local level of singular tasks to be performed. Problems related to management of Design for Additive Manufacturing workflow can be solved with holistic approach, through the use of computer aided integrated tools. The aim of this work is to test the effectiveness at local level of such tools with respect to operations for both design and industrialization optimization, working on an automotive case study. In particular, specific tools for topology optimization, product simulation, printing preparation and process simulation are taken as reference and results obtained with an integrated CAD platform are discussed.


2020 - Integration of Topology Optimisation and Design Variants Selection for Additive Manufacturing-Based Systematic Product Redesign [Articolo su rivista]
Dalpadulo, Enrico; Gherardini, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The development of additive manufacturing allows the transformation of technological processes and the redesign of products. Among the most used methods to support additive manufacturing, the design can be optimised through the integration of topology optimisation techniques, allowing for creating complex shapes. However, there are critical issues (i.e., definition of product and process parameters, selection of redesign variants, optimised designs interpretation, file exchange and data management, etc.) in identifying the most appropriate process and set-ups, as well as in selecting the best variant on a functional and morphological level. Therefore, to fully exploit the technological potentials and overcome the drawbacks, this paper proposes a systematic redesign approach based on additive manufacturing technologies that integrate topology optimisation and a tool for selecting design variants based on the optimisation of both product and process features. The method leads to the objective selection of the best redesigned configuration in accordance with the key performance indicators (KPIs) (i.e., functional and production requirements). As a case study, the redesign of a medical assistive device is proposed, previously developed in fused filament fabrication and now optimised for being 3D printed with selective laser melting.


2020 - Intelligent Human Systems Integration 2020, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration (IHSI 2020): Integrating People and Intelligent Systems [Curatela]
Ahram, T.; Karwowski, W.; Vergnano, A.; Leali, F.; Taiar, R.
abstract

This volume, entitled Intelligent Human Systems Integration 2020, aims to provide a global forum for introducing and discussing novel approaches, design tools, methodologies, techniques, and solutions for integrating people with intelligent technologies, automation, and artificial cognitive systems in all areas of human endeavor in industry, economy, government, and education. Some of the notable areas of application include, but are not limited to, energy, transportation, urbanization and infrastructure development, digital manufacturing, social development, human health, sustainability, a new generation of service systems, as well as developments in safety, risk assurance, and cybersecurity in both civilian and military contexts. Indeed, rapid progress in developments in the ambient intelligence, including cognitive computing, modeling, and simulation, as well as smart sensor technology, weaves together the human and artificial intelligence and will have a profound effect on the nature of their collaboration at both the individual and societal levels in the near future. As applications of artificial intelligence and cognitive computing become more prevalent in our daily lives, they also bring new social and economic challenges and opportunities that must be addressed at all levels of contemporary society. Many of the traditional human jobs that require high levels of physical or cognitive abilities, including human motor skills, reasoning, and decision-making abilities, as well as training capacity, are now being automated. While such trends might boost economic efficiency, they can also negatively impact the user experience and bring about many unintended social consequences and ethical concerns. The intelligent human systems integration is, to a large extent, affected by the forces shaping the nature of future computing and artificial system development. This book discusses the needs and requirements for the symbiotic collaboration between humans and artificially intelligent systems, with due consideration of the software and hardware characteristics allowing for such cooperation from the societal and human-centered design perspectives, with the focus on the design of intelligent products, systems, and services that will revolutionize future human– technology interactions. This book also presents many innovative studies of ambient artificial technology and its applications, including the human–machine interfaces with a particular emphasis on infusing intelligence into the development of technology throughout the lifecycle development process, with due consideration of user experience and the design of interfaces for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality applications of artificial intelligence. Reflecting on the above-outlined perspective, the papers contained in this volume are organized into seven main sections, including: 1. Automotive design and transportation engineering 2. Humans and artificial cognitive systems 3. Intelligence, technology, and analytics 4. Computational modeling and simulation 5. Humans and artificial systems complexity 6. Materials and inclusive human systems 7. Human–autonomy teaming 8. Applications and future trends We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Axel Schulte, Stefania Campione,and Marinella Ferrara, for leading a part of the technical program that focuses on human–autonomy teaming and smart materials and inclusive human systems. Our appreciation also goes to the members of Scientific Program Advisory Board who have reviewed the accepted papers that are presented in this volume, including the following individuals: D. Băilă, Romania H. Blaschke, Germany S. Campione, Italy J. Chen, USA G. Coppin, France M. Draper, USA A. Ebert, Germany M. Ferrara, Italy M. Hou, Canada M. Jipp, Germany E. Karana, The Netherlands A. Kluge, Germany D. Lange, USA S. Lucibello, Italy E. Macioszek, Poland M. Neerincx, The Netherland


2020 - Modular Car Seat for Monitoring the Pressure Distribution on Regions of Pan and Backrest [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, A.; Piras, A.; Leali, F.
abstract

Car driver and occupants monitoring is important for safety and comfort. The systems using vision sensors for monitoring the line of sight can be integrated with pressure sensors embedded in the seats to identify critical Out of Position conditions. A new modular car seat is here proposed to monitor the pressure distribution on different significant regions. The solution improves the limitations of existing technologies embedded in seats. The proportional and fast measurement enables online complex evaluations, while the layout reduces the risk of errors. The experiments proved the effectiveness of the prototype.


2020 - Multicriteria decision making methods in engineering design: an application on medical devices [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The design of medical devices is challenging, due to strict geometry specifications and criteria belonging to several disciplines. Hence, design methods should be fol-lowed in a multicriteria decision making scenario, in order to satisfy constraints and select most suitable alternatives. The aim of this paper is to provide a design methodology which seems to lack in the literature of design of biomedical devic-es. This work attempts to highlight the peculiarities in the design of biomedical de-vices and the relative solution generation for a novel device. In particular, the case study proposed in this paper concerns with the design of Bone-Biopsy (BB) needle devices. Bone biopsy is a diagnostic procedure that involves taking a sam-ple of bone tissue to be analyzed in the laboratory. Following the design process of Pahl and Beitz, a functional analysis is carried out, to point out the interfaces between parts of existing bone biopsy needles. The core part of the product is the needle cannula holder, connecting the handle with the needle. Starting from a functional analysis of the components, a morphology matrix is used to generate alternatives. The Pugh’s Controlled Convergence method is used to score and rank alternatives in relation to the decision makers’ opinions. In this work, the de-sign peculiarities related to the BB needles which have been pointed out could be extended for guiding the design of other biomedical devices.


2020 - Redesigning the university educational offer for the Automotive Industry [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Tagliazucchi, Giulia; Marchi, Gianluca; Leali, Francesco
abstract


2020 - Robust Parameter Analysis of Compliant Part Models for Computer Aided Tolerancing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, Alberto; Gherardini, Francesco; Petruccioli, Andrea; Bonazzi, Enrico; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Sheet metal parts are widely used in automotive, aerospace, ship and consumer goods industries. The final dimensions of a sheet metal assembly result from the parts deformation, which in turn is affected by many variations in material, thickness and single parts dimensions. The tolerance analysis on sheet metal assemblies improve the knowledge about the process. Advanced simulations enable the optimization of product features, GD&T scheme and assembly process. Moreover, Variational Models of both the product and the assembly system enable to assess the sources of 3D error propagation from the different contributors. However, the simulation results are very affected by the modelling approach of critical components, such as the Fixture Systems. The present paper firstly introduces a strategy to model the Fixture System and the assembly process for compliant parts. Then, a robust analysis of the variations in the model with respect to the modelling factors is performed by a Design of Experiments. A case study on an automotive fender is discussed. The results demonstrate that the modelling strategy of the clamping operation have the main effects, while the modelling of locators scheme, spot joints and FEM meshing are less important.


2020 - Sensor matrix robustness for monitoring the interface pressure between car driver and seat [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, A.; Muscio, A.; Leali, F.
abstract

An effective sensor system for monitoring the pressure distribution on a car seat would enable researches on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and comfort of occupants. However, the irregularities of the seat shape or those of the occupant clothes challenge the robustness of such a sensor system. Moreover, the position identification of bodies of different percentiles by few pressure sensors is difficult. So, a higher resolution pressure pad has been developed. The number of sensors is significantly increased by means of a matrix scan strategy. Tests on the pressure pad with different occupants proves its robustness in scanning the contact area.


2020 - Systematic integration of topology optimization techniques in design for additive manufacturing methodologies applied to automotive settings [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Dalpadulo, E.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Additive Manufacturing is having a great trend since its implementation possible benefits have been widely discussed and efforts in technology improvements are having impact on process reliability and industrial application. The aims of this work are to analyze the current and forthcoming scenario of methods for the specific development of parts to be produced by metal AM including topology optimization as a basic design step and to demonstrate that systematical design approaches can be introduced in order to better exploit potentials offered by AM implementation. The general framework composed by the main tasks is introduced and discussed. Key factors such as advance in different design solutions exploration, product-related and process-related design constraint implementation in the design phase and method effectiveness in product development lead time minimization are presented. Linear and iterative workflows are described, considering features, decision making points, pros and cons, possible variants and research hints. A strong connection between methods and actual means is highlighted and workflow implementation using standard and integrated commercial tools is considered. Such methods are related to several automotive case studies presented in order to demonstrate their applicability and to show actual results and possible further development..


2020 - The Systematic Design of Industrial Products through Design Archetypes: An Application on Mechanical Transmissions [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, Alberto; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Engineering design is a knowledge intensive activity for both new and mature technical systems, such as mechanical transmissions. However, design knowledge is often transferred with conservative and unstructured approaches, although knowledge management would be of the utmost importance for modern industries. In this work, we introduce a design tool, called design archetype, for collecting and managing knowledge in systematic design processes. The design archetype addresses input design requirements for different design concepts, therefore, improving awareness of the design process by interactively modifying the design solution due to different input requirements. Finally, the design archetype updates the parameters of a first embodiment computer-aided design model of the concept. A method for the development of design archetypes is presented and applied to two case studies of mechanical transmission subassemblies. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of a systematic design method based on design archetypes stored in the company database.


2020 - Vibration-Assisted Face Grinding of Mould Steel [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Hahnel, S.; Grunwald, T.; Bergs, T.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

This work investigates vibration-supported, force-controlled fine machining with elastic bonded mounted points for automated fine processing of mould steel samples. The aim is to compare conventional robot- or machine-tool-based face grinding with a vibration-supported grinding process. The influence of vibration support on the surface topography is investigated primarily to minimize kinematically caused grinding traces. First, the state of the art for the production of tool moulds and vibration-supported fine machining is explained. On this basis, the potentials for the reduction of grinding marks through vibration support for an increase in the degree of automation are derived and the experimental procedure is introduced. Subsequently, robot-based grinding tests with vibration support are carried out and compared with conventional grinding tests. After the tests carried out, the results are evaluated using tactile and optical measuring methods.


2019 - A Co-Design Method for the Additive Manufacturing of Customised Assistive Devices for Hand Pathologies [Articolo su rivista]
Gherardini, Francesco; Mascia, Maria Teresa; Bettelli, Valentina; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Additive Manufacturing technologies are particularly suitable for developing highly customised products, even in rehabilitation and occupational therapy fields. Nowadays it is easy and cheap to design and produce such artefacts, although they require systematic approaches and standardized tests to validate their effectiveness. Therefore, this paper proposes a methodological approach for the application of Additive Manufacturing technologies to the co-design of assistive devices, focusing on rheumatoid or scleroderma patients. These patients present hand and finger disorders that limit simple everyday tasks, and need assistive devices to protect the damaged joints. The commercial assistive devices available on the market generally lack of customisation in dimensions and morphology, or their aspect is too stigmatizing. In order to achieve a better correspondence between patients' needs and assistive devices, we propose to involve the patients in a co-design team, in order to directly transfer their desires and creativity in unconventional solutions. The assistive devices are parametrically modelled and virtually prototyped in order to assess their functionality and customisation, and then additively manufactured. Finally, their effectiveness is tested by patients by means of standardized assessment tests that generate useful feedback. The paper proposes a case study about an assistive device for daily living activities.


2019 - Augmented reality based approach for on-line quality assessment of polished surfaces [Articolo su rivista]
Ferraguti, Federica; Pini, Fabio; Gale, Thomas; Messmer, Franck; Storchi, Chiara; Leali, Francesco; Fantuzzi, Cesare
abstract

Augmented reality is considered one of the enabling technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, within the Industry 4.0 program and beyond. Indeed, augmented reality solutions can increase the working quality and the productivity and allow a better use of the human resources. This technology can help the operator in the industrial applications during the crucial phases of the processes. Since the quality assessment of the surfaces is recognized to be a key phase in the polishing process, in this paper we propose a novel method that exploits augmented reality to support the operators during this phase. The metrology data measured by a surface measurement system are directly projected on the polished component through an augmented reality headset worn by the operators and used to assess the quality of the worked surfaces. Rather than imagine how a certain parameter change can affect the result achieved, the information is directly there on the component's surface. Users can see from the data where refinements are required and make better and faster decisions, which is compelling for its potential beyond industrial polishing. The proposed method is implemented and validated on an industrial cell, where the robot automatically perform the polishing task and move the head of the surface measurement system along the surface to measure the metrology parameters. Thanks to the proposed approach, the end-user and the operator can directly see on the component if the quality reached satisfies the specifications or if some parts of the surface require further refinements through additional polishing steps.


2019 - Computer-aided integrated method for effective development of robotic welding processes of car chassis assembly [Articolo su rivista]
Panari, D.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract


2019 - Correlation of Driver Head Posture and Trapezius Muscle Activity as Comfort Assessment of Car Seat [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, A.; Pegreffi, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Car design must very care comfort and driving pleasure. Nonetheless, the design choices are tested with subjective evaluations. In the present research, an objective measurement equipment for driving comfort assessment is proposed. The muscles activity of the driver in different maneuvers is considered the gauge of her/his feeling with the car. The activity of trapezius muscles of both shoulders is monitored by electromyography (EMG), through electrodes applied to her/his skin. The driver posture is monitored with a robust device for head tracking, using two 9-axis orientation sensors, including gyroscope. Real driving experiments are performed both with a luxury SUV and a high-end car. As expected, the first resulted more comfortable. The proposed equipment proved to be effective in assessing the driving comfort for different seat designs and car layouts.


2019 - Enhancing heritage fruition through 3D virtual models and augmented reality: An application to Roman artefacts [Articolo su rivista]
Gherardini, Francesco; Santachiara, Mattia; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The spatial characteristics of museum exhibitions may limit visitors' experience of the artefacts on display. In the case of large artefacts, limited space may affect their whole visualization, or inhibit the visualization of the details farthest from the observer. In other cases, the storage of artefacts in distant sites (museums or archaeological areas) may influence their knowledge process or the possibility for comparative analysis. Moreover, the precarious state of preservation of some artefacts, with damaged or missing parts, makes it difficult to perceive their original appearance. To overcome these limitations, we propose an integrated approach based on 3D virtual models and Augmented Reality (AR) to enhance the fruition of artefacts, improving their visualization, analysis and personal/shared knowledge, also by overcoming space and time constraints. The final AR application is an easily accessible tool for most users from a mobile device, used both inside and outside museums, opening new perspectives for fruition. The framework encourages the use of free and open source software and standard devices, to maximize their dissemination and exploit the potential of such technologies, which is far greater than current use in the cultural heritage field. Selected case studies to test and validate the integrated framework are proposed, dealing with some Roman artefacts found in the area of Modena (Italy). The first is a Roman floor mosaic, found in Savignano sul Panaro (near Modena) in 2011, of which less than half of its original 4.5 x 6.9 m surface is preserved. The others are two Roman funerary lion sculptures: the first is one of two lions flanking the main door of Modena Cathedral, and the second, well-preserved but damaged, is housed in the Museo Lapidario Estense of Modena. Finally, the application was tested by museum experts and visitors both inside and outside the museum, and positively assessed.


2019 - Guest editorial note: Special issue on human-robot collaboration in industrial applications [Breve Introduzione]
Leali, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Villani, Valeria
abstract

Focusing on these challenges, this Special Issue in Mechatronics aims at providing an up-to-date overview of recent advanced solutions that can significantly promote HRC in industrial scenarios, with an emphasis on the mechatronic aspects related to the design of integrated systems, knowledge sharing between human and robots, modelling and simulation of interaction and safety countermeasures. The central theme of the Special Issue is the development of systems, methodologies, and new concepts for crossing the gap between laboratories and reality that will help foster the adoption of human-robot collaborative solutions to real-world industrial applications.


2019 - Human-robot collaborative reconfigurable platform for surface finishing processes [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, F.; Leali, F.
abstract

Surface polishing can be counted among the most challenging manufacturing operations, especially when high qualitative levels in terms of surface texture characteristics are requested, such as in the case of polishing operations for plastic injection moulds. Robot-based solutions for surface polishing and quality assessment operations have been proposed at the state of the art, but it still is required the involvement of skilled workers for process supervision and final tuning operations. The introduction of human-machine collaborative solutions opens new opportunities, as the use of symbiotic polishing approaches, where both the humans and the machines capabilities can be shared to improve process effectiveness. The current work proposes a human-robot collaborative approach for surface polishing processes that integrates state of the art robot-based polishing and surface quality assessment technologies in a human-safe shared working environment. As a proof of approach feasibility, the paper presents the prototype of a reconfigurable platform designed to implement a flexible human-robot collaborative scenario for execution of polishing and quality assessment operations. Preliminary demonstrative polishing sessions on simple and complex components validate the system effectiveness with respect to manufacturing efficiency and reconfigurability capabilities. The results obtained provide a first positive response that symbiotic approach can objectively improve the polishing processes.


2019 - Identification of the main contributors in the 3D tolerances assessment in mechanical transmissions [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Gherardini, Francesco; Panari, Davide; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The management of spatial dimensional variations and 3D tolerance stacks is a key issue to achieve high performance and robust solutions. The state of the art in 3D tolerance analysis addresses two main difficulties: On the one hand, the issue about the dimensioning and tolerancing methods, and the related annotation transfer from 2D drawings to 3D parts. On the other hand, the lack of integration of design methods for 3D tolerance stacks calculation in the design process and, moreover, the restricted application fields in which tolerance methods are applied, as in aerospace or automotive fields. In this scenario, we propose a Computer-Aided Tolerancing (CAT)-based approach, integrated within the embodiment design of the product development and able to support the analysis and the design of 3D tolerance stacks in mechanical assembly, by simulating the 3D effects of both the dimensional and geometrical tolerances. Focusing on a gearbox assembly, the CAT-based approach aims to identify the main contributors (sources) of variation within the tolerance stacks, by means of a statistical and sensitivity analysis. After defining the design inputs (involved parts, tolerances definition, assembly sequence, and required measurements), we follow a bottom-up approach, starting from the part tolerances as set by the designers, up to the assembly tolerances. The CAT software simulates how the tolerances vary within their ranges. Finally, we are able to identify the main contributors to variation, which may require tightening their tolerance values, in order to improve the performance of the gearbox assembly.


2019 - Monitoring Driver Posture Through Sensorized Seat [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, A.; Leali, F.
abstract

Future intelligent vehicles will be capable to monitor driver distraction while autonomous driving. However, in case of system fault, the intelligent vehicle must also manage an adaptive strategy for the Airbag Control Unit, since the airbag deployment against an Out of Position occupant can be additionally harmful. Thus, the present research work investigates a possibility to monitor the driver position as a robust information to an intelligent vehicle. A seat is sensorized with a map of pressure sensors. The system layout and setup are discussed in details. Signal processing strategy and real driving experiments are reported.


2019 - Out of Position Driver Monitoring from Seat Pressure in Dynamic Maneuvers [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, A.; Leali, F.
abstract

An airbag system is designed to reduce the accident outcome on the car occupants. The airbags deployment against manikins is severely tested according to international regulations. The accident scenarios with Out of Position (OP) occupants are critical since they can be hardly expected during design. The airbag deployment in these scenarios can be improved by developing adaptive strategies, provided that the Airbag Control Unit must be aware of the actual occupant position. The present research investigates a sensor system to monitor the occupants in an interactive Human-Car system. The driver position is monitored by pressure sensors, while an accelerometer enables to compensate for acceleration and noise. Real driving experiments in dynamic conditions are reported. The results prove that three OP conditions are effectively identified.


2019 - Real Time Kinematic and Electromyographic Analysis: a Feasible Methodology for Assessing Comfort Perception [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pegreffi, F.; Muraccini, M.; Berardi, A.; Varini, A.; Vergnano, A.; Leali, F.; Mantovani, M.
abstract

Driving comfort is a key emerging factor for the marketability of cars due to the growing interest in the evaluation of ergonomics in cars. Typical ergonomic issues, related to the locomotor system, happens when the muscular effort is too high to perform the task or kinematics is too restricted [MARE]. The ergonomic evaluation identifies the critical aspects of the steering task and intervenes to reduce injuries, thus increasing the driver's well-being. The subjective evaluation of driving comfort is still the most used way to design a car seat; this limitation could be overcome by using emerging technologies [MARE]. The activity of trapezius muscles of both shoulders is assumed as predicting factor of car seat comfort while driving. The present research aims to analyze the feasibility of kinematic analysis and muscle activity during car driving in terms of quantitatively detecting trapezius muscle activity in real-time condition.


2019 - SEDILE DI VEICOLO CON SISTEMA DI RILEVAMENTO PASSEGGERI [Brevetto]
Vergnano, A.; Piras, Andrea; Leali, F.
abstract

È descritto un sedile di veicolo con sistema di rilevamento passeggeri, comprendente una pluralità di sensori di forza (11) distribuiti 5 superficialmente su almeno un substrato (1), sostenuto da un telaio (F) del sedile oppure facente esso stesso funzione di telaio, in risposta alla sollecitazione del peso dell'occupante del sedile e dei suoi sforzi durante la guida, un cablaggio (12) 10 collegato elettricamente a ciascun sensore di forza (11), almeno una scatola di giunzione (2), il cablaggio (12) collegato elettricamente alla scatola di giunzione (2), un cablaggio comune (21) collegato elettricamente alla scatola di giunzione (2), il 15 cablaggio comune (21) adattato per essere collegato ad un controllore del veicolo (3) per fornire un segnale elettrico. Una pluralità di porzioni rigide di supporto (4) è interposta tra i sensori di forza (11), a loro volta sostenuti dal substrato (1), ed 20 almeno uno strato di imbottitura (5).


2018 - 3D Virtual Reconstruction and Augmented Reality Visualization of Damaged Stone Sculptures [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Gherardini, Francesco; Santachiara, Mattia; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper proposes the integration of photogrammetric reconstruction, 3D modelling and augmented reality application in order to achieve the complete visualization of a stone sculpture even if highly damaged or fragmentary. The first part of the research aims to the reconstruction of the original aspect of an incomplete sculpture, by using photogrammetry techniques based on standard resolution photos and free software in order to obtain a first model; then, we integrate this model with other 3D digital data (from other sculptures of the same period) or with 3D modelling based on historical sources and views from historians, aiming to achieve the original aspect of the sculpture. The second part of the research consists of the embedding of the obtained model in a custom application able to render in real-time the 3D reconstruction of the lion. Then, the rendering is overlaid to the video stream of the real scene and, as a result, a complete 3D digital model of the sculpture is achieved and could be visualized through a VR viewer. As a case study, we focus on a Roman stone sculpture of a male lion conserved in the Museo Estense of Modena (Italy), which lacks of its head and its four legs. The original aspect of the lion may be achieved by integrating the damaged sculpture with other photogrammetric reconstructions of lions sculptures of the same period and with 3D model based on historical sources. Finally, the lion is visualized through an augmented reality application which digitally overlays the reconstructed models on the original one.


2018 - An Augmented Reality Application for the Visualization and the Pattern Analysis of a Roman Mosaic [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Santachiara, Mattia; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The visualization and analysis of mosaics and pavements are often compromised by their large sizes, which do not enable the observer to perceive their whole arrangement or to focus on details placed in farthest areas from its boundaries. Moreover, the usual precarious state of conservation of these artefacts, often with damaged or missing areas, makes it difficult to perceive their original aesthetic value. To overcome these limitations, we propose an application of augmented reality able to support the observer in two ways: first, the application completes the missing surface of the mosaic or pavement by integrating the existent surface with a virtual reconstruction; second, it enables the analysis of the geometric pattern of the mosaic/pavement by overlaying virtual lines and geometric figures in order to explicit its geometric arrangements. The result is achieved via a custom Android application able to recognize and track the mosaic figure pattern and extra marker board, obtaining in that way a coordinate system used to render in real-time the reconstruction of the mosaic. Such rendering is overlaid to the video stream of the real scene. The application runs on a standard smartphone embedded in a Google Cardboard-compatible viewer and therefore is extremely affordable. As a case study, in order to reconstruct its aspects and to analyse its geometric pattern, we chose the roman mosaic re-found in Savignano sul Panaro (near Modena, Italy) in 2011, after 115 years from its first discovery, which is preserved less than half of its original 4.5 x 6.9 m surface.


2018 - Integrated geometrical and dimensional tolerances stack-up analysis for the design of mechanical assemblies: an application on marine engineering [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Ceruti, Alessandro; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper presents a knowledge based engineering environment methodology to support the designer in the correct setting of geometrical and dimensional tolerances in assemblies of mechanical components. The procedure is based on the definition of the functional requirements needed to allow the proper working of the assembly; in the further, a software tool is used to do a statistical analysis of the assembly relations, providing an estimation of the components waste due to poor compliance to the tolerances. A case study given by the design of a marine power transmission is presented: the methodology leads to the change of some tolerances to improve the design by reducing the number of waste components. The strength of the methodology is represented by the fact it can help unskilled designers in the correct setting of tolerances in drawings.


2018 - Predicting tolerance on the welding distortion in a thin aluminum welded T-joint [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Panari, Davide; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Welding is a widely accepted process used in the assembly of aluminum chassis structures in the automotive industry. Finite element analysis (FEA) is usually adopted to predict distortions caused in the welding process. However, only nominal distortions result from FEA simulations. Welding distortions could be more accurately predicted by introducing the prediction of tolerances due to a modification of the input parameters. The aim of this work is therefore to introduce the tolerance evaluation in the FEA model, by varying the welding input parameters (geometrical and dimensional tolerances on the parts, heat input…). To find the most suitable FEA model to investigate welding process tolerance, three FEA models are compared: one is the thermo-elastic-plastic (TEP) model, and two are based on the inherent strain method. The case study uses a thin (2 mm) aluminum T-joint, which is commonly used in automotive chassis assembly. Results deriving from FEA simulations were compared with experimental data. Among the various input parameters affecting the welding process, the authors combined the dimensional tolerance on the plate thickness with the variability of the heat input. The results provided a tolerance range value for the angular distortion of the T-joint.


2018 - Reconfigurable Robotic Solution for Effective Finishing of Complex Surfaces [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Hahnel, S.; Pini, F.; Leali, F.; Dambon, O.; Bergs, T.; Bletek, T.
abstract

In nearly every sector of industrial manufacturing, especially the mould and die making industry, polishing techniques are used. Most often, manual polishing is the only option because the tasks are too complex to be automated in terms of surface quality demands, geometrical features and restricted tool accessibility. Therefore, the European H2020 Project SYMPLEXITY 'Symbiotic Human-Robot Solutions for Complex Surface Finishing Operations' developed a CNC-machine-based machining concept comprising a composition of different finishing technologies. The solution is complemented with an objective metrology surface qualification device, which is capable to also measure big parts holistically. The SYMPLEXITY approach combines both a collaborative, intelligence-based and a cooperative human-robot-based technological approach. The demonstrator machine concept is being introduced and first fine machining experiments, comprising polishing and measurements have been conducted to generate an initial parameter set-up. The experiments have been conducted on an empiric basis to identify the main steering parameters for a future semi-analytic, model-based finishing approach.


2018 - Survey on Human-Robot Interaction for Robot Programming in Industrial Applications [Capitolo/Saggio]
Villani, Valeria; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco; Secchi, Cristian; Fantuzzi, Cesare
abstract

The recent trends in modern industry highlight an increasing use of robots for a wide range of applications, which span from established manufacturing operations to novel tasks characterized by a close collaboration with the operators. Although human-robot collaboration allows to relieve operators of exhausting works, an effective collaboration requires a straightforward interaction to foster the use of robot assistants. This paper provides a comprehensive survey on human-robot interaction approaches and related interfaces addressed to robot programming. An overview of on-line and off-line robot programming techniques is first presented. Then, novel intuitive interaction means, such as those based on multi-modal interaction, virtual and augmented reality, are considered. The paper aims at pointing out that collaborative robotics can effectively reduce operator's physical workload if easy to use interfaces for robot programming are provided.


2018 - Survey on human-robot collaboration in industrial settings: Safety, intuitive interfaces and applications [Articolo su rivista]
Villani, Valeria; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco; Secchi, Cristian
abstract

Easy-to-use collaborative robotics solutions, where human workers and robots share their skills, are entering the market, thus becoming the new frontier in industrial robotics. They allow to combine the advantages of robots, which enjoy high levels of accuracy, speed and repeatability, with the flexibility and cognitive skills of human workers. However, to achieve an efficient human-robot collaboration, several challenges need to be tackled. First, a safe interaction must be guaranteed to prevent harming humans having a direct contact with the moving robot. Additionally, to take full advantage of human skills, it is important that intuitive user interfaces are properly designed, so that human operators can easily program and interact with the robot. In this survey paper, an extensive review on human-robot collaboration in industrial environment is provided, with specific focus on issues related to physical and cognitive interaction. The commercially available solutions are also presented and the main industrial applications where collaborative robotic is advantageous are discussed, highlighting how collaborative solutions are intended to improve the efficiency of the system and which the open issue are.


2017 - A review on decision-making methods in engineering design for the automotive industry [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco; Di Angelo, Luca
abstract

Decision-making methods have proven to be an effective support to engineering design. However, it is proved that very often designers prefer tested procedures and experience-based approaches. Many reasons have been discussed in the literature, dealing with consolidated design habits of people and companies, high cost in terms of time consumption, and lack of tools and knowledge. The paper systematically investigates, through an extended critical review, how decision-making methods can be used by automotive designers to solve the most common engineering problems involved along the design process. In particular, the paper proposes an original classification of the most widely used decision-making methods in engineering design, a match between such techniques with the typical design phases, and a mapping of their application into the automotive field. This research can be considered as a further step to transfer the state-of-the-art knowledge on decision- making methods to the industrial context, establishing a common background for practitioners and researchers.


2017 - A systematic user-centred framework for engineering product design in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) [Articolo su rivista]
Gherardini, Francesco; Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The systematic integration of user needs in the product design is a key issue in industry, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which suffer a lack of engineering methods and resources. Moreover, most of the approaches described in the literature are not flexible enough to be tailored on the SMEs’ needs, involve users only in the early design phases and are not fully accessible due to the high cost in their implementation. The present paper proposes a user-centred design methodological framework specifically focused on SMEs, which supports the designer from both design and manufacturing aspects along the engineering product design process. The framework integrates engineering methods with Web-based software tools, which enable the communication and the concurrent work of the design team, and supports direct participation of users. Beside state-of-the-art methods, the framework allows the integration of specifically tailored techniques. The framework is successfully validated through an industrial case study developed in collaboration with an Italian SME. As a result, the design of an injection-moulded housing and the related interfaces of a biomedical electronic device are achieved with a reduction of uncertainty and development time, by involving users throughout the design phases and suggesting methods and tools on the basis of the designers’ know-how and SME’s specific resources.


2017 - Decision-making methods in engineering design: a designer-oriented approach [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, C; Leali, F
abstract

The use of decisional methods for the solution of engineering design problems has to be tackled on a "human" viewpoint. Hence, fundamental is the identification of design issues and needs that become a designer oriented viewpoint. Decision-based methods are systematically classified in MCDM methods, Structured Design methods and Problem Structuring methods. The results are organised in order to provide a first reference for the designer in a preliminary selection of decision-based methods. The paper shows the heterogeneous use of decision-based methods, traditionally expected to solve only some specific design problems, which have been used also in different design contexts. Moreover, several design issues, which emerged from the review process, have been pointed out and discussed accordingly. This review provided useful results for the enlargement of the state of the art on Decision Based Design methods in engineering design contexts.


2017 - Design Archetype of Gears for Knowledge Based Engineering [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peroni, Mariele; Vergnano, Alberto; Leali, Francesco; Brentegani, Andrea
abstract

An engineering design process consists of a sequence of creative, innovative and routine design tasks. Routine tasks address well-known procedures and add limited value to the technical improvement of a product, even if they may require a lot of work. In order to focus designers work on added value tasks, the present work aims at supporting a routine task with a Design Archetype (DA). A DA captures, stores and reuses the design knowledge with a tool embedded in a CAD software. The DA algorithms drive the designer in selecting the most effective design concept to deliver the project requirements and then embody the concept through configuring a CAD model. Finally, a case study on the definition of a DA tool for gear design demonstrates the effectiveness of the DA tool.


2017 - Design Archetype of Synchronizers in Mechanical Transmissions [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Adami, Edoardo; Gherardini, Francesco; Peroni, Mariele; Brentegani, Andrea; Leali, Francesco
abstract


2017 - Integrated design method for optimal tolerance stack evaluation for top class automotive chassis. In Advances on Mechanics, Design Engineering and Manufacturing (pp. 1013-1022). Springer International Publishing. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Panari, Davide; Renzi, Cristina; Vergnano, Alberto; Bonazzi, Enrico; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The tolerances of welded chassis are usually defined and adjusted in very expensive trials and errors on the shop floor. Computer Aided Tolerancing (CAT) tools are capable to optimize the tolerances of given product and process. However, the optimization is limited since the manufacturing process is already mostly defined by the early choices of product design. Therefore, we propose an integrated design method that considers the assembly operations before the detail design of the chassis and the concept design of the fixture system. The method consists in four phases, namely functional analysis in the CAD environment, assembly sequence modelling in the CAT tool, Design Of Simulation Experiment on the stack of the tolerance ranges and finally optimization of the tolerances. A case study on a car chassis demonstrates the effectiveness of the method. The method enables to selectively assign tight tolerances only on the main contributors in the stack, while generally requiring cheaper assembly operations. Moreover, a virtual fixture system is the input for the assembly equipment design as on optimized set of specifications, thus potentially reducing the number of trials and errors on the shop floor.


2017 - Numerical Simulation and Experimental Validation of MIG Welding of T-Joints of Thin Aluminum Plates for Top Class Vehicles [Articolo su rivista]
Bonazzi, Enrico; Colombini, Elena; Panari, Davide; Vergnano, Alberto; Leali, Francesco; Veronesi, Paolo
abstract

The integration of experiments with numerical simulations can efficiently support a quick evaluation of the welded joint. In this work, the MIG welding operation on aluminum T-joint thin plate has been studied by the integration of both simulation and experiments. The aim of the paper is to enlarge the global database, to promote the use of thin aluminum sheets in automotive body industries and to provide new data. Since the welding of aluminum thin plates is difficult to control due to high speed of the heat source and high heat flows during heating and cooling, a simulation model could be considered an effective design tool to predict the real phenomena. This integrated approach enables new evaluation possibilities on MIG-welded thin aluminum T-joints, as correspondence between the extension of the microstructural zones and the simulation parameters, material hardness, transient 3D temperature distribution on the surface and inside the material, stresses, strains, and deformations. The results of the mechanical simulations are comparable with the experimental measurements along the welding path, especially considering the variability of the process. The results could well predict the welding-induced distortion, which together with local heating during welding must be anticipated and subsequently minimized and counterbalance.


2017 - Reciprocal Frames in Temporary Structures: An Aesthetical and Parametric Investigation [Articolo su rivista]
Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper deals with the use of reciprocal frames in temporary gridshell structures, such as architectural pavilions in expositions and installations. These architectural examples can benefit from the use of short, easy to handle, generally joint-free, and repeatable “modules” in order to create particular self-supporting structures. The lightweight and interwoven grid obtained by connecting short elements according to the reciprocity principle is structurally efficient and, at the same time, aesthetically pleasing, mainly due to the resulting tessellation. The paper firstly investigates the connection between efficiency and aesthetics. The last part of the paper investigates some temporary architectural pavilions from both an aesthetical and parametric point of view. In order to deepen our understanding of these structures, they are re-modelled according to a bottom-up approach by means of a constraint-based parametric CAD modeller. In this way, a reciprocal frame can be explored and modified by the parametric arrangement of its generative elements, which, like a natural organism, grows in self-generating forms.


2017 - Safety-Based Task Scheduling Method of HRC Workcells for Automotive Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, F.; Leali, F.; Panari, D.
abstract

The use of collaborative robot solutions is becoming increasingly significant in the current industrial scenario. These solutions lead to new ways of executing processes by combining the human skills with robot performances. Conversely, an effective cooperation between humans and robots requires an optimal balance between the adopted safety countermeasures and the sequence of production operations, especially in highly automated solutions such as those of the automotive industry. This paper proposes a method to evaluate how the change of the safety level affects the task scheduling. Through a simulation of parallel tasks performed by human and robot, this approach identifies the optimal task scheduling which minimizes the production time for a fixed safety level. As a test case, the collaborative polishing process of moulds for the production of automotive parts, involving an industrial manipulator and an operator, is presented. The results prove the existence of a preferable sequence of the operations for a fixed safety level and a direct relation with the balancing of operator and robot workloads.


2016 - A Framework for 3D Pattern Analysis and Reconstruction of Persian Architectural Elements [Articolo su rivista]
Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Persian architecture is characterised by shapes and patterns, which can be analysed through mathematical models. Beside 2D patterns, many of the traditional geometric ornaments are realised on 3D surfaces such as domes or vaults. Literature mainly addresses the 3D problem by means of a 2D scheme, which is an important and synthetic representation but is not exhaustive and lacks of clarity. This paper proposes a framework based on the integration of 2D drawings, as in the traditional approach, and a photogrammetric 3D model based on a sample of standard resolution images (tourist pictures). The framework is tested on a muqarnas, a characteristic Persian ornament, in order to study and analyse its modular design and hierarchy of elements. As a case study, the entrance iwan of the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran, is considered. The result is a link between the 3D patterns and the geometry of architectural elements, which completes and overcomes their schematic 2D representation.


2016 - A Multicriteria Decision-Making Application to the Conceptual Design of Mechanical Components [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Early design is crucial for the success of the final product. In the conceptual design phase, several constraints, criteria, objectives and disciplines have to be considered. To this aim, multidisciplinary optimization has proven effective for the solution of engineering design problems, even in the industrial every-day practice, to improve and simplify the work of designers in a successful quest of the best compromise solution. In this paper, a multicriteria decision-making (MCDM)-based design platform for early optimal design of industrial components is proposed. In a group decision-making context, the selection of the most suitable component among several possible layouts is performed by means of a group Fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution approach. Hence, a multi-objective optimization is performed on the selected component by applying a multi-objective particle swarm optimization for finding optimal component dimensions. An industrial case study is presented for showing the efficiency of the multicriteria decision-making-based design platform, regarding an innovative and low-cost solution to increase the duration of heel tips in women’s shoes.


2016 - A parametric CAD-based method for modelling and simulation of positive displacement machines [Articolo su rivista]
Gherardini, Francesco; Zardin, Barbara; Leali, Francesco
abstract

We present an efficient and user-friendly parametric CAD-based design method for the graphical description of positive displacement machines, exploiting commercial parametric CAD software and a tailored interface. An executable module simulates the motion of the machine components, analyzes the machine geometry, and automatically extrapolates the geometrical data from the 3D CAD model, generating data files that can be directly used for following fluid dynamic analyses. The graphical approach supports investigation of the machine performance and exploring optimized design variants. The method has been applied to three industrial test cases: An external gear pump, an axial piston pump, and a gerotor pump. A complete case study focused on the external gear pump is proposed, as well as the results from the other two types are summarized. We validate the CAD-based method by comparing the obtained data with the data coming from the application of state-of-the-art analytical methods.


2016 - A workcell calibration method for enhancing accuracy in robot machining of aerospace parts [Articolo su rivista]
Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto; Pini, Fabio; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Industrial robotics provides high flexibility and reconfigurability supported by a user-friendly programming, but still lacks in accuracy. An effective workcell calibration reduces errors in robot manufacturing and enables robot machining applications. A novel workcell calibration method is embedded in an integrated design framework for an in-depth exploitation of CAD-based simulations and offline programming. The method is composed of two steps: first calibration of the workpiece-independent equipment in the workcell layout and final automated online calibration of workpiece-dependent equipment. The method is finally applied to a changeable robotic workcell for finishing aluminium cast housings for aerospace gear transmissions characterised by complex shapes and by close dimensional and geometrical specifications. Experimental results prove the method effectiveness in enhancing accuracy in robot machining.


2016 - ANOVA OF 3D VARIATIONAL MODELS FOR COMPUTER AIDED TOLERANCING WITH RESPECT TO THE MODELING FACTORS [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bonazzi, Enrico; Vergnano, Alberto; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Sheet metal assemblies are subjected to errors as deformations due to material, thickness, geometries and process variations. Advanced simulations enable the optimization of product features, GD&T scheme and assembly process. The 3D error propagation due to the different contributors can be studied with Variational Models of the product and assembly system. However, the practical application of these methods is limited by the high number of factors in the models, which makes the operator experience fundamental to achieve their trustworthiness. Guidelines for modeling the sheet metal assemblies are needed. The present work aims at analysing the variations in the model with a Design of Computer Experiments (DoCE) plan. A case study on an automotive fender is discussed. The results demonstrate that the modeling strategy of clamping operation have the major effects, while the modeling of locators scheme, spot joints and FEM meshing are less important.


2016 - APPLICAZIONE DELLA NORMA ISO 16792:2006 PER LA SPECIFICAZIONE GEOMETRICA DI PRODOTTO 3D IN AMBITO AUTOMOTIVE [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Gherardini, Francesco; Renzi, Cristina; Bonazzi, Enrico; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Accanto alla documentazione tecnica di prodotto mediante disegni ed annotazioni 2D, nella pratica industriale è fortemente sentita l’esigenza di gestire le informazioni tecniche di prodotto direttamente nell’ambiente di modellazione CAD 3D. Con l’obiettivo di migliorare la gestione del ciclo di vita di prodotto tramite modelli 3D, i produttori di software CAD 3D commerciali e l’industria stessa, soprattutto in ambito automotive ed aerospace, hanno generato molteplici soluzioni che tuttavia risultano individualizzate e non univoche. La normativa tecnica ISO definisce linee guida per la specificazione geometrica di prodotto 3D, che tuttavia risultano solamente in parte accolte da un punto di vista industriale e commerciale. In questo scenario, il presente studio vuole verificare l’implementazione dei contenuti della norma ISO 16792:2006 in alcuni CAD 3D commerciali selezionati. Mediante un benchmark industriale opportunamente identificato, i CAD 3D sono comparati sulla base di criteri redatti secondo la norma ISO 16792:2006 stessa. I risultati ottenuti permettono di individuare, per ogni CAD 3D analizzato, eventuali gap operativi ed i relativi interventi volti a garantire il raggiungimento di un livello comune di applicabilità della norma e di leggibilità della documentazione tecnica 3D generata.


2016 - Can open-source 3D mechanical CAD systems effectively support university courses? [Articolo su rivista]
Di Angelo, Luca; Leali, Francesco; Di Stefano, Paolo
abstract

Most universities have introduced 3D CAD education and training in their engineering courses in recent years so as to respond to the actual needs of the industrial world for high-skilled design engineers. It is well demonstrated that the effectiveness of such courses depends on teaching an effective design approach rather than training for the use of specific commercial CAD tools. Since open-source CAD software has emerged in many fields as a promising alternative to commercial off-the-shelf systems, the present paper investigates the possibility for universities to adopt open-source instruments to effectively support their educational goals. Open-source 3D CAD systems are quantitatively evaluated by an original Compliance Index which considers the design tools typically used to model and draw industrial products and their weights in accomplishing the design tasks. The results obtained for the evaluation of a set of open-source CAD systems are presented and critically discussed.


2016 - DESIGN ARCHETYPE OF TRANSMISSION CLUTCHES FOR KNOWLEDGE BASED ENGINEERING [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Peroni, Mariele; Vergnano, Alberto; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The management of technical knowledge in engineering design is a key target for nowadays industry. Accessibility to knowledge by designers and standardization of models are still open issues to be fixed with integrated solutions. The present paper proposes a methodological support for keeping the value of designers’ experience in the company with Knowledge Based Engineering. A Design Archetype (DA) is developed to simply store and reuse the knowledge during the execution of the design tasks. The DA drives designers in selecting the most suitable working principles to address the project requirements and in dimensioning the subsystems, providing an embodiment CAD model. The applicability of the proposed methodology in industry is demonstrated for the design of clutches of agricultural tractor transmissions.


2016 - Evaluation of operator relief for an effective design of HRC workcells [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, Fabio; Ansaloni, Matteo; Leali, Francesco
abstract

In recent years, Human Robot Cooperation (HRC) has found an increasing adoption in manufacturing, especially to help humans in the execution of manual assembly tasks. An effective employment of HRC encompasses human relief from exhausting operations. Therefore, the design of cooperative solutions should be developed accordingly to ergonomic aspects. The present work proposes an approach to support the integration of ergonomic evaluation of manual operations in the design of HRC solution, based on modelling and simulation of the human body along the manufacturing tasks. The proposed modified model integrates the ergonomic metrics and returns a fatigue level along the working shift scheduling. A real manual assembly of biomedical products has been selected to validate the proposed approach. As a result, the suggested fatigue model provides an objective ergonomic evaluation of manual operations which verifies the impact of the HRC solution on the production goals.


2016 - Genetic algorithm optimization and robustness analysis for the computer aided design of fixture systems in automotive manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ansaloni, Matteo; Bonazzi, Enrico; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Fixture Systems (FSs) have great importance in machining, welding, assembly, measuring, testing and other manufacturing processes. One of the most critical issue in FS design is the choice of both the type of fixing devices such as clamps, locators, and support points, (configuration), and their arrangement with respect to workpieces (layout). Several authors deal with the problem of determine the most suitable solution for FSs, often investigating their layout without considering the change of the type of locators. A computer aided design method is proposed to compare and evaluate different configurations for a FS, optimizing the locator type and analysing the roboustness of the solution. A multi-objective optimization based on a genetic algorithm is presented and the selection of the most suitable configuration is performed through the definition of robustness indexes. The effectiveness of the design method is demonstrated for an automotive case study.


2016 - Improving robotic machining accuracy through experimental error investigation and modular compensation [Articolo su rivista]
Schneider, Ulrich; Drust, Manuel; Ansaloni, Matteo; Lehmann, Christian; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Gunnink, Jan Willem; Verl, Alexander
abstract

Machining using industrial robots is currently limited to applications with low geometrical accuracies and soft materials. This paper analyzes the sources of errors in robotic machining and characterizes them in amplitude and frequency. Experiments under different conditions represent a typical set of industrial applications and allow a qualified evaluation. Based on this analysis, a modular approach is proposed to overcome these obstacles, applied both during program generation (offline) and execution (online). Predictive offline compensation of machining errors is achieved by means of an innovative programming system, based on kinematic and dynamic robot models. Real-time adaptive machining error compensation is also provided by sensing the real robot positions with an innovative tracking system and corrective feedback to both the robot and an additional high-dynamic compensation mechanism on piezo-actuator basis.


2016 - REDESIGN FOR ENVIRONMENT OF WOODEN PACKAGING FOR BULK RECYCLING AND RECOVERY. ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences VOL. 11, NO. 1, JANUARY 2016. [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, Alberto; Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Society increasingly demands for effective waste management policies to make industries more environmentally sustainable. Organizations are even issuing directives to drive choices about these policies. In particular, modern industries produce a lot of packaging, which soon become waste, even before product usage. Research can face the problem with improvements in recycling and recovery processes. However, even if recycling and recovery would enable waste to have still a value, most costs and benefits are determined at the design stage. Therefore, Design for Environment criteria must be adopted in the design tasks, from the early conceptual design when the main design solutions are defined. The design criteria to assess possible design choices must consider all the environmental impacts of packaging over its lifecycle. The present work focuses on Redesign for Environment of packaging solutions. Following a systematic design process, we use different criteria to evaluate the effects of design solutions on packaging, since waste can be seen just as one of the main phases of packaging life. To this purpose, we adopt the stages of the waste hierarchy set by the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC as design evaluation criteria. The waste hierarchy sets a priority order for five life cycle stages that a packaging can go through. The stages of the hierarchy can be differently weighted according to the costs and benefits they involve. The proposed Design for Environment method based on the waste hierarchy criteria is finally applied in the redesign of an industrial case study. The packaging solution as foldable wooden crates were chosen for their capability to already comply with the first stages of the hierarchy, that is reducing waste with high customization to customer requirements and crate reuse. Hence, the case study improved the next stages with easing the wood recycle and recovery processes


2016 - Robotic implementation of the slide method for measurement of the thermal emissivity of building elements [Articolo su rivista]
Pini, Fabio; Ferrari, Chiara; Libbra, Antonio; Leali, Francesco; Muscio, Alberto
abstract

A significant interest exists in measuring the thermal emissivity of building surfaces since high values combined with high solar reflectance allow rejecting solar energy absorbed by irradiated surfaces, whereas intermediate or low values permit to limit condensation of humidity, heat loss to the sky, or heat transfer through airspaces. The most used measurement method is probably that described by the ASTM C1371 Standard, which correlates the thermal emissivity to the radiative heat flux exchanged in the infrared between the sample surface, kept at ambient temperature, and the bottom surface of a hot emissometer head. With samples showing a low thermal conductivity, the 'slide method' modification is generally used: the hot head is allowed to slide above the sample in order to prevent this from warming up. The slide movement, however, is carried out by hand and time is needed to achieve a stabilized output, therefore the measurement may be time-consuming and also affected by the operator. In order to solve both problems, an automated approach is proposed here, in which the head is moved by the arm of a robot. This manages either the slide movement or the calibration with reference samples, interacting with a computerized data acquisition system that monitors the emissometer output.


2015 - A systematic approach to the engineering design of a HRC workcell for bio-medical product assembly [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco; Ansaloni, Matteo
abstract

Human Robot Collaboration (HRC) have proved to be effective if compared to traditional hybrid automation in assembly tasks, especially when human-like sensitivity and high quality are required. However, a rigorous engineering design is mandatory in order to successfully apply HRC to Industry. Academy and Industry are asked to jointly work for exploiting the technical opportunities given by robots and humans. Scientific literature often describes the application of HRC in manufacturing but rarely presents systematic engineering design approaches. The present paper investigates and describes the systematic design of a HRC workcell for assembling bio-medical products. Moreover, productivity and profitability of the developed solution are evaluated and discussed.


2014 - A review on artificial intelligence applications to the optimal design of dedicated and reconfigurable manufacturing systems [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco; Cavazzuti, Marco; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste
abstract

Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS) are considered the future of manufacturing, being able to overcome both dedicated (DMS) and flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). In fact, they provide significant cost and time reductions in the launch of new products, and in the integration of new manufacturing processes into existing systems. The goals of RMS design are the extension of the production variety, the adaption to rapid changes in the market demand, and the minimization of the investment costs. Despite the interest of many authors, the debate on RMS is still open due to the lack of practical applications. This work is a review of the state-of-the-art on the design of cellular RMS, compared to DMS, by means of optimization. The problem addressed belongs to the NP-Hard family of combinatorial problem. The focus is on non-exact meta-heuristic and artificial intelligence methods, since these have been proven to be effective and robust in solving complex manufacturing design problems. A wide investigation on the most recurrent techniques in DMS and RMS literature is performed at first. A critical analysis over these techniques is given in the end.


2014 - Dispositivo termoregolatore per un sistema di microperfusione [Brevetto]
Vellani, Vittorio; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco; Corradini, Matteo
abstract

Una forma di attuazione della presente invenzione riguarda un dispositivo termoregolatore (225) per un sistema di microperfusione (100), il quale comprende almeno un elemento Peltier (235) ed una piastra di supporto (255) in materiale termicamente conduttore, la quale è posta in relazione di scambio termico con l’elemento Peltier (235) e presenta un alloggiamento (270, 275, 280) per un tubo di convogliamento (265) di un fluido da erogare.


2014 - Offline workpiece calibration method for robotic reconfigurable machining platform [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco; Ansaloni, Matteo
abstract

Recent trends in industrial manufacturing impose the adoption of changeable systems, based on reconfigurable and flexible equipment. In this scenario, industrial robotics platforms are central to design highly reconfigurable systems. A Robotic Reconfigurable Machining Platform (RRMP), as defined, is a modular architecture for robotic workcells, designed in order to exploit the flexibility features of robots and extend their field of application to high precision machining. RRMP calibration is a key task, which involves calibration of tools, workpieces and peripherals. However, state-of-the-art calibration methods and tools lead to hardly predictable system downtime, which impacts the reconfiguration phase. A novel method to perform the workpiece calibration is proposed for the reduction of the reconfiguration efforts in RRMPs. The method is addressed through a full integration with a virtual environment for robot simulation and programming. The method is finally applied to an industrial case study and compared to the most widely diffused online approach.


2014 - Testina di perfusione per un sistema di microapplicazione [Brevetto]
Vellani, Vittorio; Pini, Fabio; Leali, Francesco; Corradini, Matteo
abstract

Una forma di attuazione della presente invenzione rende disponibile una testina di perfusione per un sistema di microapplicazione, la quale comprende una pluralità di raccordi cilindrici ricavati in corpo monolitico e singolarmente atti ad accoppiarsi con un rispettivo tubo di convogliamento di un fluido da applicare, ed altrettanti condotti di erogazione ricavati all’interno di detto corpo monolitico e singolarmente atti a porre in comunicazione un 10 rispettivo raccordo cilindrico con una rispettiva luce di uscita. [fig. 3]


2013 - A Calibration Method for the Integrated Design of Finishing Robotic Workcells in the Aerospace Industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Industrial robotics provides high flexibility and reconfigurability, cost effectiveness and user friendly programming for many applications but still lacks in accuracy. An effective workcell calibration reduces the errors in robotic manufacturing and contributes to extend the use of industrial robots to perform high quality finishing of complex parts in the aerospace industry. A novel workcell calibration method is embedded in an integrated design framework for an in-depth exploitation of CAD-based simulation and offline programming. The method is composed of two steps: a first offline calibration of the workpiece-independent elements in the workcell layout and a final automated online calibration of workpiece-dependent elements. The method is finally applied to a robotic workcell for finishing aluminum housings of helicopter gear transmissions, characterized by complex and non-repetitive shapes, and by severe dimensional and geometrical accuracy demands. Experimental results demonstrate enhanced performances of the robotic workcell and improved final quality of the housings.


2013 - A method for reducing the energy consumption of pick-and-place industrial robots [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

The interest in novel methods and tools for opt imizing the energy consumption in robotic systems is currently increasing. From an industrial point of view, it is desirable to develop energy saving strategies also applicable to established manufacturing systems with no need for either hardware substitution or further investments. Within this scenario, the present paper reports a method for reducing the total energy consumption of pick-and-place manipulators for given TCP position profiles. Firstly, electromechanical mod-els of both serial and parallel manipulators are derived. Then, the energy-optimal trajectories are calculated, by means of constant time scaling, starting from pre-scheduled trajectories compatible with the actuation limits. In this manner, the robot work cycle can be energetically optimized also when the TCP position profiles have been already defined on the basis of technological constraints and/or design choices aimed at guarante eing manufacturing process efficacy/robustness. The effectiveness of the proposed procedure is finally evaluated on two simulation case studies.


2013 - An Offline Programming Method for the Robotic Deburring of Aerospace Components [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Berselli, Giovanni; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Deburring of aerospace components is a complex task in case of large single pieces designed and optimized to deliver many mechanical functions. A constant high quality requires accurate 3D surface contouring operations with engineered tool compliance and cutting power. Moreover, aeronautic cast part production is characterized by small lot sizes with high variability of geometries and defects. Despite robots are conceived to provide the necessary flexibility, reconfigurability and efficiency, most robotic workcells are very limited by too long programming and setup times, especially at changeover. The paper reports a design method dealing with the integrated development of process and production system, and analyzes and compares a CAD-based and a digitizer based offline programming strategy. The deburring of gear transmission housings for aerospace applications serves as a severe test field. The strategies are compared by the involved costs and times, learning easiness, production downtimes and machining accuracy. The results show how the reconfigurability of the system together with the exploitation of offline programming tools improves the robotic deburring process.


2013 - Design of fixture systems in automotive manufacturing and assembly [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ansaloni, Matteo; Bonazzi, Enrico; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Fixture systems have a great importance in modern manufacturing and assembly because of the high number of scenarios in which they are used. Fixture design is a complex task since the system effectiveness depends both on position and type of locators. Several authors deal with the problem of determine the most suitable design for fixture systems but their investigation is commonly limited to the evaluation of the effects due to the locators’ position. In the present work a design method is proposed to evaluate the fixture systems considering also the locators’ type. Since it is possible to model the fixtures as multi-performance systems, the comparison is performed by introducing appropriate sensitivity indexes. The effectiveness of the design method is proved through the application to an automotive case study.


2013 - Experimental Investigation of Sources of Error in Robot MachiningRobotics in Smart Manufacturing [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Ulrich, Schneider; Ansaloni, Matteo; Manuel, Drust; Leali, Francesco; Alexander, Verl
abstract

This document is divided into two parts. First a survey is given presenting sources of error in robot machining and outlining their dependencies. Environment dependent, robot dependent and process dependent errors are addressed. The second part analyses the errors according to their source, magnitude and frequency spectrum. Experiments under different conditions represent a typical set of industrial applications and allow a qualified evaluation. This analysis enables the qualified choice of suitable compensation mechanisms in order to reduce the errors in robot machining and to increase machining accuracy.


2013 - Integration of CAM off-line programming in robot high-accuracy machining [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Leali, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Ansaloni, Matteo
abstract

Actual industrial robotic systems offer performance to effectively cope with the requirements in manufacturing dealing with flexibility and quality. However, their known limits in accuracy do not allow to extend their field of application to high-accuracy machining, actually covered by state-of-the-art CNC machine tools. The European Project COMET has recently proposed an approach to develop a robotic reconfigurable workcell with enhanced accuracy for machining, through the full integration of different theoretical models, technological solutions and manufacturing strategies. The present paper presents and demonstrates the effectiveness of a demo reconfigurable machining workcell for one of its possible configurations, based on CAM off-line programming. In particular, an experimental campaign has been designed and realized in order to discuss the dimensional and geometrical quality obtained for an aluminium automotive part in comparison with quality and costs offered by a standard 5-axis CNC machine tool. © 2013 IEEE.


2013 - Milling strategies optimized for industrial robots to machine hard materials [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
M., Halbauer; C., Lehmann; J. P., Städter; U., Berger; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Industrial robots offer a good basis for machining from a conceptual point of view. Still they are rarely utilized for machining applications in industry compared to CNC machines due to their low stiffness and the bad achievable work piece quality. Available compensation approaches, like online compensation approaches to increase position accuracy using costly additional hardware and measurement equipment as well as offline compensation approaches using a set of empirical measurement data and models to predict deviation, try to compensate errors whether to already avoid them if possible. In this paper milling and robot strategies are proposed to increase work piece quality without additional hardware or models. Experimental validations of the results have been performed for different kinds of shapes and materials.


2013 - On Designing Optimal Trajectories for Servo-Actuated Mechanisms Through Highly Detailed Virtual Prototypes [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; D., Meike; F., Balugani; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Servo-actuated mechanisms are increasingly substituting fully mechanical drives in order to increase flexibility and reconfigurability of modern automatic machines. The overall servomechanism performance, especially in the case of high-dynamic motions, is the direct consequence of several interacting factors, namely electric motor and linkage dynamics, controller efficacy, and requested motion law. In particular, Point-To-Point (PTP) trajectories are usually designed in order to comply with technological constraints, imposed by the required interaction with the handled product, and to maximize some optimality criterion such as, for instance, energy efficiency or limited actuation torques. In this context, the present paper proposes a novel method for generating either energy-optimal or torque-optimal PTP motions described by piecewise fifth-order polynomials. The optimization cost functions are based on a virtual prototype of the system, which comprises behavioral models of power converter, controller and electric motor coupled with the mechanical system. Results are then compared with experimental data obtained on a physical prototype. The comparison quantitatively shows that better-behaved PTP trajectories can be designed by including the dynamic contribution of each sub-system component.


2013 - Selecting alternatives in the conceptual design phase: an application of Fuzzy-AHP and Pugh’s Controlled Convergence [Articolo su rivista]
Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

The selection of conceptual design alternatives is crucial in product development. This is due both to the fact that an iterative process is required to solve the problem and that communication among design team members should be optimized. In addition, several design constraints need to be respected. Although the literature offers several alternative selection methods, to date, only very few are currently being used in industry. A comparison of the various approaches would improve the knowledge transfer between design research and practice, helping practitioners to approach these decision support tools more effectively. This paper proposes a structured comparison of two decision support methods, namely the Fuzzy-Analytic Hierarchy Process and Pugh’s Controlled Convergence. From the literature debate regarding selection methods, four relevant criteria are identified: computational effort, suitability for the early design stages, suitability for group decision making, and ease of application. Finally a sensitivity analysis is proposed to test the robustness of each method. An industrial case study is described regarding an innovative and low-cost solution to increase the duration of heel tips in women’s shoes. The selection of conceptual design alternatives of the heel tip presents complex challenges because of the extremely difficult geometric constraints and demanding design criteria.


2013 - The role of co-simulation in the integrated design of high-dynamics servomechanisms: an experimental evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Ori, Mirko; Leali, Francesco
abstract

This paper reports about the design and modeling process of high performance servo-actuated mechanisms for automatic machines. Besides being a delicate and time consuming process, coupled simulations based on virtual prototyping finally offer the chance to integrate engineering methods proper of control system engineering and mechanical design. In particular, the main target of this work is to investigate how different virtual prototyping approaches, each having increasing level of detail, can contribute to the appropriate prediction of the expected machine performance.These results are then compared with experimental data obtained on a real servomechanism prototype. The comparison quantitatively demonstrate the improvement on torque prediction and position error reduction when detailed models of the controller and the electric motor dynamics are coupled with the mechanical system model.


2012 - Enhancing changeability of automotive Hybrid Reconfigurable Systems in digital environments [Articolo su rivista]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Pini, Fabio
abstract

Changeability accomplishes the engineering design of competitive sustainable manufacturing systems, considered as industrial products characterized by inherent life cycle. Main drivers for changeability are manufacturing system reconfigurability and hybridization. A Hybrid Reconfigurable System (H-RS) is characterized by the coexistence and cooperation of industrial robots and skilled human workers to perform complex tasks within a common reconfigurable production environment. H-RSs rise use-productivity along their total system life cycle, fostering the evaluation and implementation of feasible and innovative technologies, and increasing the utilization ratio and the multiple use—or re-use—of resources. The paper proposes an engineering method which aims at enhancing changeability in H-RSs through the application of a multi level reconfigurability approach within a digital environment. The method includes the advanced design and modeling of digital devices which embed mechanics, electronics, control logic and software code. Advanced models are exploited to analyze the system performance in the system domain of changes and to realize an effective human training. An industrial case study describes the application of the method to the design of a hybrid reconfigurable workcell for manufacturing and assembly of top class car chassis.


2012 - Hybrid Reconfigurable System design and optimization through virtual prototyping and digital manufacturing tools [Articolo su rivista]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Engineering changeability-oriented and cost-driven approaches are needed by enterprises to design and optimize manufacturing and assembly systems for the demanding production requirements of the present industrial scenario. The integrated design of Reconfigurable Systems addresses tailored flexibility through modularity, integrability of resources, product and process customization, and system convertibility and diagnosability. The cooperation of robot and humans in hybrid environments offers a good trade-off between changeability, high quality and low costs, by exploiting the human dexterity and cognitive proactivity, together with robotic accuracy and performances. Virtual prototyping methods and digital manufacturing solutions are now mature and effective enough to play a strategic role within the hybrid reconfigurable system (H-RS) design and optimization process. The present research work proposes an engineering method to design and optimize H-RSs, by using virtual prototyping and digital manufacturing as a strategic support for the analysis and synthesis of the technical solutions, especially those related to human-robot cooperation. An industrial case study on a hybrid reconfigurable assembly system of a top class car aluminum chassis is finally presented.


2012 - Metodo di progettazione di sistemi di fixture per l’assemblaggio di telai automobilistici mediante analisi di sensibilità [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Ansaloni, Matteo; Berselli, Giovanni; Bonazzi, Enrico; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Renzi, Cristina; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

I sistemi di fixture influenzano enormemente i processi di assemblaggio in molti campi della meccanica, in quanto influiscono direttamente sul calcolo della catena di tolleranza. La memoria illustra un metodo di progettazione che permette di comparare e valutare differenti sistemi di fissaggio, considerando sia la posizione che il tipo di locatori. Poiché i sistemi di fixture possono essere considerati dei sistemi multi-prestazionali, il confronto viene eseguito attraverso l’impiego di opportuni indici di sensibilità. Il metodo è stato applicato ad un caso di studio in ambito automotive relativo alla saldatura in continuo di estrusi in allumino, con l’obiettivo di garantire misure di gap con la minore variabilità possibile.


2012 - Modeling and Optimization of Energy Consumption in Cooperative Multi-Robot Systems [Articolo su rivista]
Vergnano, Alberto; C., Thorstensson; B., Lennartson; P., Falkman; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; S., Biller
abstract

Reduction of energy consumption is important for reaching a sustainable future. This paper presents a novel method for optimizing the energy consumption of robotic manufacturing systems. The method embeds detailed evaluations of robots' energy consumptions into a scheduling model of the overall system. The energy consumption for each operation is modeled and parameterized as function of the operation execution time, and the energy-optimal schedule is derived by solving a mixed-integer nonlinear programming problem. The objective function for the optimization problem is then the total energy consumption for the overall system. A case study of a sample robotic manufacturing system and an experiment on an industrial robot are presented. They show that there exists a real possibility for a significant reduction of the energy consumption in comparison to state-of-the-art scheduling approaches.


2012 - Object-oriented modeling of industrial manipulators with application to energy optimal trajectory scaling [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto; B., Lennartson
abstract

The development of safe, energy efficient mechatronic sys-tems is currently changing standard paradigms in the design andcontrol of industrial manipulators. In particular, most optimiza-tion strategies require the improvement or the substitution of dif-ferent system components. On the other hand, from an indus-try point of view, it would be desirable to develop energy savingmethods applicable also to established manufacturing systemsbeing liable of small possibilities for adjustments. Within thisscenario, an engineering method is reported for optimizing theenergy consumption of serial manipulators for a given operation.An object-oriented modeling technique, based on bond graph, isused to derive the robot electromechanical dynamics. The systempower flow is then highlighted and parameterized as a function ofthe total execution times. Finally, a case study is reported show-ing the possibility to reduce the operation energy consumptionwhen allowed by scheduling or manufacturing constraints.


2012 - Selecting alternatives in the conceptual design phase: application of Fuzzy-AHP and Pugh’s controlled convergence [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Renzi, Cristina; Leali, Francesco; Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Berselli, Giovanni
abstract

Purpose: Conceptual design and, in particular, selection of conceptual design alternatives are proved to be crucial issues in product development. Selecting alternatives is a complex multicriteria decision making problem and represents a challenging task for engineering designers. Many different methods and techniques have been presented by literature in the last years but just a little use of them is often made by industry, due to several causes. One of them is that more efforts should be spent in presenting clear comparisons between the various approaches from an engineering design point of view. Such problem is tackled by the present paper which proposes the pairwise comparison of two of the most representative and widely used decision support methods. Method: The paper describes, implements and compares within a common framework the Fuzzy-Analytic Hierarchy Process (F-AHP) and the Pugh’s Controlled Convergence (PuCC) methods. A structured analysis of the results obtained by applying them to a common industrial case study is proposed. Four engineering criteria are adopted for their evaluation: complexity of computation, rating of alternatives, compatibility with group decisions making and approach suitability from an early design perspective. Result: The methods are evaluated with respect to a case study focused on the proposal of an innovative and low-cost solution for increasing the duration of heel tips in feminine shoes. The selection of the heel tip conceptual design alternatives presents complex design challenges because of the extremely hard geometric constraints and demanding design criteria. A decision making team is grouped by involving experts from the heels manufacturing industry, designers and manufacturers. Finally a sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the dependence between the results and the preference weights. Discussion & Conclusion: Conceptual design is part of a heuristic process which requires an iterative approach for searching and manipulating solutions to find new hybrid technical alternatives, and for enhancing the communication within the design team. With respect to such scenario, PuCC seems, without doubts, to be more suitable than F-AHP for selection purposes. Nevertheless, especially for industrial purposes, the latter method has a more analytic form, that makes it proper for a software implementation and, consequently, more useful for engineering applications.


2011 - A Minimal Touch Approach for Optimizing Energy Efficiency inPick-and-Place Manipulators [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Pellicciari, Marcello; Berselli, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

The interest in novel engineering methods andtools for optimizing the energy consumption in robotic systemsis currently increasing. In particular, from an industry pointof view, it is desirable to develop energy saving strategiesapplicable also to established manufacturing systems, beingliable of small possibilities for adjustments.Within this scenario,an engineering method is reported for reducing the totalenergy consumption of pick-and-place manipulators for givenend-effector trajectory. Firstly, an electromechanical model ofparallel/serial manipulators is derived. Then, an energy-optimaltrajectory is calculated, by means of time scaling, starting froma pre-scheduled trajectory performed at maximum speed (i.e.compatible with actuators limitations). A simulation case studyfinally shows the effectiveness of the proposed procedure.


2011 - A novel method for sensitivity analysis and characterization in integrated engineering design [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Ansaloni, Matteo; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Purpose:The present research work aims to analyze and characterize processes in terms of sensitivity of their performances. Robust design techniques, generally adopted for product and process optimization, are not suited for investigating sensitivity. Then a novel approach to such engineering problem needs to be proposed.Method:The developed method integrates and extends to the analysis of manufacturing and technological processes the Performance Sensitivity Distribution (PSD) theory, primarily introduced to provide analytical and geometric description of performance sensitivity for robotic mechanisms.Result:Such novel method, named Specialized PSD, starts from the clarification of the sensitivity analysis problem by defining key parameters, i.e. Design Variables (DVs), Design Parameters (DPs) and Performance Functions (PFs). According to the PSD theory, PF sensitivity is expressed in terms of deviations of DVs and DPs and it is geometrically described by a hyperellipsoid in the n-dimensional space. Sensitivity indexes are then introduced to assess PF variation for different combinations of DVs and DPs deviations. Regression Analysis is adopted to provide the mathematical description of PFs so the PSD theory is finally specialized to be applied in a process sensitivity analysis. Injection molding of a plastic specimen is finally investigated to validate the proposed method.Discussion & Conclusion:This work specialize the PSD theory for manufacturing and technological processes, extending its original field of application thanks to a novel approach to the analytical expression of the PFs. Moreover, when 2 or 3 parameters are considered, sensitivity indexes are graphically represented through tolerance maps of colour, so the method can be easily adopt for integrated design, especially in the early stage of product and process development.


2011 - Design Of Simulation Experiments method for Injection Molding process optimization [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Purpose:Many studies demonstrate that DOE, CAE and optimization tools can be very effective in product and process development, however their integration is still under investigation, hampering the applicability of such engineering methods in Industry. This paper presents a Design Of Simulation Experiments (DOSE) method, developed to determine the optimal set of process parameters (factors) for given product requirements (responses).Method:The method is developed performing an original selection and integration of engineering procedures and techniques based on DOE, CAE and multi-objective optimization, chosen according to the following criteria: ease of application, time-saving and use of reduced resources.Result:The developed method consists of two main steps: a first screening of factors based on a fractional DOE is followed by a systematic experimental plan based on the Response Surface Methodology (RSM), in which only key factors are investigated. A regression model is finally developed to describe the responses as functions of key factors and a multi-objective optimization is proposed to obtain optimal responses by tuning the process factors in their variability range. The DOSE method is finally validated on the design of an injection molded housing for a biomedical application. This thin shell component has dimension 45mmx37mmx16mm, wall thickness from 2mm to 0,5mm and is made of polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), a high performance thermoplastic.Discussion & Conclusion:The design method achieves good responses in terms of dimensional and geometrical requirements (e.g. warpage, shrinkage, sink marks), and improves the shell moldability. The DOSE method can be easily adopted in industrial product/process development to define the optimal process parameters for a better final quality of the products.


2011 - Integrated Design of Robotic Workcells for High Quality Machining [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Purpose:Robotic workcells provide high flexibility and reconfigurability, cost effectiveness and user friendly programming for many industrial applications but still lack in accuracy, so important fields of application such as mechanical machining are currently covered by very expensive and rigid systems (machining centers). The present work investigates the possibility to extend the use of industrial robots to perform high quality machining.Method:The proposed method is focused on the enhancement of robotic machining accuracy through an integrated design method, based on robotic process simulation and tailored design of mechanical apparatus and software modules for robot control and programming. Advanced techniques for machining strategy validation, automatic robot path generation, workcell calibration, robot code commissioning are concurrently adopted.Result:Integrated design tools are fully exploited to define the system behavior, to simulate the whole process, to propose alternative machining set-ups and quickly generate and test parametric programs. The design method is finally applied to design a robotic workcell family for grinding special austenitic manganese steel casts, characterized by severe working conditions as high tool wear, high cutting forces, high vibrations due to surface hardness and non-repetitive shape variations in geometry and features.Discussion & Conclusion:Experimental results demonstrate enhanced performance of robotic workcells and final quality, due to minimization of tool vibration, increasing of robot stiffness and higher manufacturing flexibility, thanks to the capability of adapting robot paths to workpieces.


2011 - Una metodologia innovativa di progettazione integrata per l'analisi e la caratterizzazione della sensitività delle performance [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Ansaloni, Matteo; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Il presente lavoro è volto all’analisi e alla caratterizzazione della sensitività delle performance dei processi tecnologici. Le tradizionali tecniche di Robust Design utilizzate per l’analisi e l’ottimizzazione di processi e prodotti non sono state sviluppate con l’obiettivo dell’analisi della sensitività e, pertanto, presentano alcune carenze applicative. Il presente articolo propone un approccio alternativo che integra, estendendola ai processi tecnologici, la teoria della Performance Sensitivity Distribution (PSD), originariamente proposta nell’ambito dell’analisi dei meccanismi e, in particolare, nell’analisi dei manipolatori. Questo nuovo approccio, denominato specialized PSD, descrive il problema della sensitività delle performance attraverso la definizione di parametri chiave del progetto, suddivisi in Design Variables (DV) e Design Parameters (DP), e la formalizzazione di Performance Functions (PF). In accordo con la teoria PSD, la sensitività delle PF è espressa in funzione delle deviazioni dei DV e dei DP dai relativi valori nominali: essa è geometricamente descritta da un iperellissoide costruito nello spazio delle deviazioni, e valutata attraverso l’introduzione di indici di sensitività. La complessità nell’estensione dell’approccio PSD all’analisi dei processi tecnologici è legata alla necessità di ottenere la descrizione matematica delle PF in funzione dei parametri di progetto. Il metodo proposto, tuttavia, permette di superare tale problematica mediante un approccio legato all’analisi di regressione su dati sperimentali. Una strategia di Design Of Experiments viene applicata allo studio dei processi, così da campionare il comportamento delle PF in funzione della variazione dei parametri di progetto. Un caso di stampaggio ad iniezione di un provino è riportato al fine della validazione del metodo. In un’ottica di progettazione integrata, il metodo proposto si rivela utile per la caratterizzazione delle performance, specialmente nelle prime fasi di sviluppo di prodotto e processo.


2010 - Automazione e Verifica del Processo di Incollaggio in Linee Produttive di Telai per Vetture d’Alta Gamma [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Baldini, Andrea; Bertocchi, Enrico; Giacopini, Matteo; Leali, Francesco; Mantovani, Sara; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Strozzi, Antonio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Sommario. La produzione industriale dei telai auto ha registrato, nel tempo, una grande evoluzione progettuale e tecnologica, spinta dalla necessità di garantire alte prestazioni e comfort elevato, nel rispetto della sicurezza dei passeggeri e della sostenibilità ambientale. Le linee produttive di assemblaggio sono, soprattutto in segmenti di fascia alta, progettate per l‟esecuzione, su telai diversi, di articolati processi ibridi di giunzione, basati, cioè, sull‟adozione di tecnologie di saldatura, rivettatura ed incollaggio. I sistemi che ne derivano sono, dunque, caratterizzati da elevata complessità e richiedono lo sviluppo di dispositivi automatici dedicati e l‟impiego simultaneo di robot industriali e risorse umane. La soluzione di tali problematiche richiede l‟intervento sinergico di vari settori dell‟Ingegneria Meccanica poiché coinvolge competenze metallurgiche, progettuali e tecnologiche. A queste si aggiungono le competenze necessarie alla progettazione di sistemi produttivi ad alta flessibilità che, secondo la visione proposta dagli autori, siano caratterizzati da elevata modularità strutturale ed operativa, parametricità e standardizzazione delle soluzioni progettuali e dei componenti, autonomia esecutiva, e che assicurino una rapida ed efficace riconfigurazione, garantendo, parallelamente, l‟alto livello qualitativo dei prodotti ed il completo controllo dei processi realizzati. Il presente articolo tratta lo sviluppo e la progettazione integrata del modulo robotizzato di incollaggio per linee di assemblaggio ibride di telai in alluminio, svolta in collaborazione con il gruppo ALCOA e con SIR SpA. Successivamente vengono presentati i risultati sperimentali ottenuti dalla verifica strutturale a lap shear e peeling di alcuni provini ricavati da assemblati del tunnel, effettuata secondo normative interne Ferrari SpA. Abstract. In the last years, industrial production of automotive chassis has gained a great evolution in design and technology, spurred by the need to achieve high performance and comfort, while ensuring both the safety of passengers and the environmental sustainability. State-of-the-art assembly lines, especially in top class segments, are designed to employ hybrid junctions on different chassis. Such complex process is based on the simultaneous adoption of welding, riveting and adhesive bonding technologies. The production systems design engages the development of specific automated devices and the cooperation of industrial robots and human resources. The solution of these issues involves the synergic action of various sectors of mechanical engineering, as metallurgy, design, and mechanical technology. Design of high flexibility production systems is another important issue: according to the viewpoint proposed by the authors, such systems are characterized by high structural and operational modularity, by parametric and standard design of solutions and components, by executive autonomy and rapid reconfiguration capability, thus simultaneously ensuring high quality of products and the complete control of processes. The present paper deals with the development and integrated design of the robotic adhesive bonding module in hybrid assembly lines for aluminum chassis, carried out in collaboration with the ALCOA group and SIR SpA. Experimental results are also presented, that refer to lap shear and peeling tests, carried out on specimens extracted from the chassis tunnel, according to Ferrari SpA internal standards.


2010 - Embedding detailed robot energy optimization into high-level scheduling [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Vergnano, Alberto; C., Thorstensson; B., Lennartson; P., Falkman; Pellicciari, Marcello; C., Yuan; S., Biller; Leali, Francesco
abstract

Reduction of energy consumption is important for reaching a sustainable future. This paper presents a novel method for optimizing the energy consumption of robotic manufacturing systems. The method embeds detailed evaluations of robots’ energy consumptions into a scheduling model of the overall system. The energy consumption for each operation is modelled and parameterized as function of the operation execution time, and the energy-optimal schedule is derived by solving a mixed-integer nonlinear programming problem. The objective function for the optimization problem is then the total energy consumption for the overall system. A case study of a sample robotic manufacturing system is presented. It shows that there exists a possibility for a significant reduction of the energy consumption, in comparison to state-of-the-art scheduling approaches.


2010 - Metodi di progettazione integrata di sistemi automatici adattivi [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Faretra, Marco; Gherardini, Francesco; Guerra, Alessandro; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Le prestazioni dei moderni sistemi automatici di assemblaggio derivano sempre più dall’integrazione di apparati meccanici con attuatori programmabili, sensori, sistemi di elaborazione dati e complesse logiche di controllo. La disponibilità di tali tecnologie permette di affrontare nuove sfide tecniche ma comporta una rivoluzione nel modo di concepire meccanismi e macchine. I tradizionali modelli di progettazione, orientati alla definizione per funzioni degli apparati e strutturati con l’intervento sequenziale delle diverse aree di conoscenza dell’ingegneria, non permettono di sfruttare tutte le potenzialità delle diverse tecnologie coinvolte e di progettare comportamenti adattivi. È dunque necessario costruire nuovi metodi di progettazione che consentano di produrre sistemi in grado di interagire con l’ambiente circostante, di adattare autonomamente il proprio comportamento e di massimizzare e/o ottimizzare le prestazioni. Il presente lavoro descrive un metodo per la progettazione integrata di sistemi automatici adattivi attraverso la modellazione e la prototipazione virtuale dei comportamenti. Il metodo segue un approccio sistematico e considera, a diversi livelli di dettaglio, l’evoluzione dinamica dei comportamenti sia tempo-continua che guidata da eventi discreti. L’integrazione delle conoscenze e delle tecnologie in un ambiente virtuale può portare all’evoluzione in nuovi principi risolutivi, alla creazione delle basi di conoscenza su cui sono basate le logiche adattive, ad avanzate strategie di sensorizzazione ed attuazione, all’ottimizzazione complessiva del sistema ed alla compressione dei tempi di sviluppo. Questa memoria riporta infine l’applicazione del metodo proposto nella progettazione di un sistema di assemblaggio automatico.


2010 - Real-time 3D features reconstruction through monocular vision [Articolo su rivista]
A., Liverani; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A fast and interactive implementation for camera pose registration and 3D point reconstruction over a physical surface is described in this paper. The method (called SRE—Smart Reverse Engineering) extracts from a continuous image streaming, provided by a single camera moving around a real object, a point cloud and the camera’s spatial trajectory. The whole per frame procedure follows three steps: camera calibration, camera registration, bundle adjustment and 3D point calculation. Camera calibration task was performed using a traditionalapproach based on 2-D structured pattern, while the Optical Flow approach and the Lucas-Kanade algorithm was adopted for feature detection and tracking. Camera registration problem was then solved thanks to the Essential Matrix definition. Finally a fast Bundle Adjustment was performed through the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm to achieve the best trade-off between 3D structure and camera variations. Exploiting a PC and a commercial webcam, an experimental validation was done in order to verify precision in 3D data reconstruction and speed. Practical tests helped also to tune up several optimization parameters used to improve efficiency of most CPU time consuming algorithms, like Optical Flow and Bundle Adjustment.The method showed robust results in 3D reconstruction andvery good performance in real-time applications.


2010 - Virtual prototype based method for hybrid reconfigurable assembly systems design in top class automotive industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Changeability is mandatory for top class automotive industry to cope with new product development paradigms and demanding market. Hybrid Reconfigurable Assembly Systems (H-RMSs) address a customized flexibility on product families, given by coexistence or cooperation of human workers and robots. Key-issues for the effective design of harmonized hybrid assembly systems are: modularity; integrability of humans, machines and components; customization; convertibility; diagnosability of systems; and smart utilization of robots and skilled workers. Human and robotic tasks need a clear definition and allocation, for an effective enhancing of human dexterity and cognitive proactivity, together with robotic accuracy and strength. Virtual prototyping plays a strategic role within the H-RMS design optimization process, to explore different assembly setting and to interactively train operators but represents a challenging task and needs advanced tools. The present paper deals with the development of a Virtual Prototype based method for H-RMS design in top class automotive industry.


2009 - Artificial vision method for automatic robot code generation in robotic manufacturing for automotive industry [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Manufacturing operations performed by robotic systems in Mechanical Industry needprecision to achieve an high final quality on workpieces which are, generally,characterized by complex geometrical profiles, variable within small batch lots. Eachrobot movement is composed of hundreds of spatial points, calculated with respect toconstrains imposed by tool dimension and envelope. Consequently robot programmingrepresents a time consuming task, to be realized interrupting the system production. Anovel approach to the problem is discussed in the present paper. Artificial visiontechniques are applied to on-line reconstruct the workpiece profile and to calculate atailored tool path. A high resolution vision system moved by a preprogrammed roboticarm catches the workpiece. Images are elaborated and assembled to obtain a single highresolution view of the workpiece and to match the manufacturing features. Tool pathsare finally defined coherently with tool characteristics. The robot code is automaticallygenerated and transmit to the robot controller, ready to be executed. For an effectiveimplementation in Industry of the method developed, a graphic-based softwareapplication was realized. A tailored graphical interface was designed to guide the finaluser along the process and guarantee the best usability. State of the art hardware, visionlibraries and last generate anthropomorphic industrial robots were adopted to test themethod while an high performance engine head was chosen as benchmark forexperimental validation


2009 - Engineering Method for Adaptive Manufacturing System Design [Articolo su rivista]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Adaptive manufacturing systems achieve intelligence and adaptation capabilities through the close interaction between mechanics, electronics, control and software engineering. Mechatronic design of intelligent manufacturing behaviours is of paramount importance for the final performances of complex systems and requires deep integration between mechanical and control engineering. Virtual Commissioning environments offer engineers new opportunities for the design of complex intelligent behaviours and for the enhancement of the performance of adaptive manufacturing systems. This paper discloses a systematic design method focused on interdisciplinary behavioural simulations: Virtual Commissioning tools are used to virtually explore new solution spaces for an effective mechatronic optimization. The results, achieved by applying the method in reengineering a module of an automotive sensor manufacturing line, are finally presented.


2009 - Graphical control interface for dextrous hands in industrial robotics [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Industrial research in robotics is particularly focused in enhancing system flexibility andreconfigurability. Grippers and manipulation end effectors play a key role to achievesuch goals, evolving to complex mechatronic systems, whose capabilities appear as notyet fully exploited. Recent research studies investigate new generations of dextrous endeffectors, designed to emulate human hand architecture and behavior. Such systemsopen the way for innovative solutions in Industry but their use is still limited to researchlab or to service robotics. Despite that, dextrous hands seem to be mature enough to beused in industrial applications, usually more demanding in robustness and lifetimereliability within adverse environments. Thanks to the high number of degrees offreedom and to the advanced control electronics, dextrous hands could accomplishadvanced handling tasks as adaptive compliant assembly and could adopt intelligentbehaviors, sensitive to the operating scenario. To fully exploit the potentialities ofdexterous hands in Industry is necessary to develop specific interfaces to connect suchcomplex devices with anthropomorphic industrial robots. Dextrous hands programmingand control appear as key tasks in order to fully exploit their potentialities andperformances. The present work proposes a novel method, based on graphicalprogramming techniques, to create a clear and usable interface to introduce dextroushands in industrial robotics. The experimental results, obtained connecting a SDH-2(Schunk Dextrous Hand, Schunk GmbH & Co. KG) and a FANUC LR Mate 200iC robot, arefinally discussed.


2009 - Il Tecnopolo Regionale per la Meccanica della Provincia di Modena: strutture, organizzazione, obiettivi [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Il presente articolo descrive la struttura, l’organizzazione e gli obiettivi di ricerca industriale del Tecnopolo regionale per la meccanica della provincia di Modena, contestualizzandolo rispetto al sistema produttivo del territorio. Il Tecnopolo ha come principale finalità quella di rispondere efficacemente ai bisogni delle imprese attraverso la creazione di organi di gestione e di supervisione scientifica che consentano la condivisione delle problematiche di ricerca, la costituzione di gruppi di ricerca trasversali e la definizione di politiche comuni a più enti di ricerca ed il trasferimento tecnologico dall’Accademia all’Industria. Il Tecnopolo modenese persegue, dunque, obiettivi di ricerca che, senza perdere la propria natura scientifica, possano essere condivisi dalle realtà aziendali più intraprendenti ed attente allo sviluppo tecnologico, soprattutto da chi opera nei maggiori settori industriali dell’Emilia Romagna connessi con l’Alta Meccanica: automotive, meccatronica, micro e nanotecnologie, energetica, ICT, design industriale, biomedicale, ceramica. I maggiori ambiti d’azione riguardano la simulazione, la verifica e la simulazione di prodotti e processi industriali, a partire dai sistemi di trasmissione a ingranaggi fino ai motori ad alte prestazioni, dai componenti meccanici strutturali più raffinati ai processi di produzione robotizzati e automatizzati.


2009 - Metodi di visione artificiale in sistemi robotizzati per il settore automotive [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Vergnano, Alberto; Pini, Fabio; Gherardini, Francesco; Faretra, Marco
abstract

Il presente articolo descrive un nuovo approccio di programmazione e guida robot capace di generare, automaticamente e in tempo reale, percorsi di lavorazione ottimizzati in funzione di singoli componenti. Tale metodo è stato validato sperimentalmente applicandolo al processo di sbavatura di una piccola serie di testate per motori a elevate prestazioni. Infatti i moderni sistemi robotizzati di produzione sono spesso impiegati in operazioni complesse su componenti che sono caratterizzati, specialmente nel settore automotive, da profili e geometrie multiformi, che variano radicalmente da un lotto produttivo a un altro e, nel caso di tecnologie che generano bave e difetti superficiali, anche all’interno di uno stesso lotto. Per ottenere l’elevata qualità richiesta dall’Industria, tali sistemi, molto ripetibili ma intrinsecamente poco precisi rispetto ai tradizionali centri CNC, richiedono la definizione di percorsi utensile composti da migliaia di punti e da articolati programmi robot, all’interno dei quali i parametri cinematici, dinamici e di lavoro vengono continuamente modificati. L’impiego di sistemi di guida robot a elevate prestazioni assume, dunque, un’importanza strategica nel processo di generazione del percorso utensile, specialmente all’interno di settori industriali nei quali è ancora largamente diffusa la pratica di generare manualmente, in autoapprendimento, le istruzioni di movimento dei robot e nei quali l’impiego di sistemi di programmazione offline CAD/CAE stenta ancora a trovare vasta applicazione. Di conseguenza, la fase di programmazione robot e il tempo a essa dedicato, rappresenta un aspetto che incide profondamente sulla reale flessibilità e produttività dei sistemi robotizzati.


2009 - Metodi e strumenti di prototipazione virtuale per il progetto e l’ottimizzazione di macchine e sistemi di automazione industriale [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Faretra, Marco; Gherardini, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

A seguito della drastica evoluzione del mercato il settore industriale della meccanica ha mostrato l’esigenza di interagire in modo sempre più efficace con il mondo della ricerca e dell’Università, con l’obiettivo primario di sviluppare prodotti e processi produttivi innovativi. Tale andamento si è concretizzato, da parte delle aziende, nell’orientamento al raggiungimento di un’elevata qualità durante tutto il ciclo di sviluppo prodotto/processo e nell’interesse alla (ri)-qualificazione dei propri addetti o all’acquisizione di nuove figure professioni di alto profilo. L’Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, in collaborazione con altri Atenei emiliani e con la Regione Emilia Romagna ha operato con continuità, negli ultimi anni, per favorire e sostenere un efficace processo di trasferimento tecnologico dal mondo della ricerca verso il tessuto imprenditoriale. La costituzione del laboratorio SIMECH per la progettazione integrata e la simulazione, oggi confluito nella più ampia aggregazione INTERMECH, e la presentazione del progetto di creazione di un Polo Tecnologico per la Meccanica Avanzata e la Motoristica, con sede presso il Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Civile di Modena, hanno costituito le tappe fondamentali di un’aggregazione orientata al consolidamento delle attività di ricerca di interesse del mondo produttivo e al loro rapido trasferimento industriale. Il presente articolo presenta due delle attività svolte negli ambiti del progetto, con particolare riferimento allo sviluppo di metodi e strumenti di prototipazione virtuale e all’ottimizzazione di macchine e sistemi per l’automazione industriale. Il primo caso presentato tratta lo sviluppo e la progettazione di una linea robotizzata di lavorazione ed assemblaggio di telai automobilistici in alluminio, svolta in collaborazione con SIR S.p.A., azienda leader nell’integrazione di sistemi industriali robotizzati, ed Alcoa Inc., importante gruppo specializzato nella produzione di telai, per conto di un’importante azienda automobilistica modenese. La seconda attività di trasferimento descrive il lavoro svolto in collaborazione con Dassault Systèms Italia nello sviluppo di metodi di progettazione di sistemi meccatronici adattativi di lavorazione basati su tecniche avanzate di Virtual Commissioning, attualmente implementati all’interno di alcuni importanti gruppi aziendali del territorio nazionale.


2008 - Mechatronic design of adaptive manufacturing systems [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Adaptive manufacturing systems achieve intelligence and adaptation capabilities through the close interaction between mechanics, electronics, control and software engineering. Mechatronic design of intelligent manufacturing behaviours is of paramount importance for the final performances of complex systems and requires deep integration between mechanical and control engineering. Virtual Commissioning environments offer engineers new opportunities for the design of complex intelligent behaviours and for the enhancement of the performance of adaptive manufacturing systems. This paper discloses a systematic design method focused on interdisciplinary behavioural simulations: Virtual Commissioning tools are used to virtually explore new solution spaces for an effective mechatronic optimization. The results, achieved by applying the method in reengineering a module of an automotive sensor manufacturing line, are finally presented.


2008 - Metodi di progettazione integrata e simulazione di sottogruppi di macchine alternative [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Barbanti, Giovanni; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco; Faretra, Marco; Gherardini, Francesco; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

I moderni criteri di progettazione dei sistemi meccanici, spesso finalizzati a fronteggiare le elevate prestazioni delle macchine e la drastica riduzione dei costi e dei tempi di consegna, richiedono di considerare ed ottimizzare in tempi ridotti numerosi parametri funzionali all’interno di scenari operativi eterogenei, in cui gli aspetti strutturali, cinematici e dinamici non possono essere valutati indipendentemente. I metodi tradizionali di progettazione spesso affrontano questi aspetti in modo necessariamente approssimato e richiedono onerosi test su prototipi reali per la verifica e la messa a punto del sistema. La prototipazione virtuale utilizza diversi strumenti CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) per realizzare modelli di sistemi meccanici reali che tuttavia vengono ancora prevalentemente utilizzati come strumenti di verifica di sistemi già definiti con tecniche tradizionali. Nel presente lavoro si discute un metodo di progettazione che, pur fondandosi su solide basi di conoscenza tradizionali, permette di identificare con certezza i principali parametri progettuali su cui intervenire ed utilizza estesamente la prototipazione virtuale come strumento di progettazione. Si presenta inoltre la sua applicazione nella progettazione di un sistema per la sperimentazione di una macchina alternativa


2008 - Metodi e strumenti PLM per la progettazione integrata di sistemi meccatronici [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Gherardini, Francesco; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Lo sviluppo di prodotti e sistemi meccatronici implica attività multidisciplinari e concorrenti da svolgere con metodi e strumenti di sviluppo molto diversi tra loro. L’integrazione di tali attività è fondamentale per il raggiungimento degli obiettivi prestazionali ed il successo del prodotto e rappresenta uno dei maggiori problemi da risolvere a livello progettuale. Il trasferimento di conoscenze ed informazioni tra aree di competenza intrinsecamente diverse, da sincronizzare nei relativi processi di sviluppo, risulta il maggior limite da superare ed è spesso la causa principale di ritardi o di prestazioni non completamente ottimizzate. Nuovi ambienti di simulazione comportamentale sull’intero ciclo di vita permettono finalmente di disporre degli strumenti e tecnologie abilitanti per trasferire le reciproche conoscenze tra i diversi gruppi di lavoro e giungere in tempi ridotti ad una reale ottimizzazione dei sistemi. Gli autori hanno effettuato diverse esperienze nella progettazione di sistemi meccatronici nel campo della robotica ed automazione ed hanno ideato specifici metodi e strategie di impiego degli strumenti della piattaforma Delmia, che hanno permesso di sfruttarne le potenzialità raggiungendo vantaggi valutati e comparati rispetto allo stato dell’arte.


2007 - 3D MID Integrated Design for New Product Development in Advanced Mechatronics [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) are required to provide high efficiency RF transmission, to be realized using components with reduced overall dimensions. Then, the design of TPMS antennas is a critical task, to be performed with accurate optimization activities based on intensive experimental development. In this field, MID technology can provide a strong strategic advantage since it can reduce the overall dimensions integrating different components and functionalities and, at the same time, permitting seamless fast prototyping, and customization, of different variants of the antenna layout. In this paper it will be presented the integrated design and development (and the methods adopted) of a novel TPMS RF transmission unit, realized with LDS technology. In this activity, the design engineers used synergically several software tools to simulate and evaluate concurrently all the different problems involved. The component geometries were designed in order to fulfil the structural and mechanical requirements, the molds were concurrently developed and the injection moulding process accurately simulated to validate the final shapes. At the same time, different design variants of the antenna were developed with intensive numerical simulations. A prototype mould was then quickly realized and specimens produced where, with LDS technology, the antennas lay out variants were manufactured. Several experimental testing on such prototypes were then performed in order to tune the 3D electromagnetic field simulation parameters (and be then able to perform further optimization studies on virtual prototypes). Finally a fast optimization of the antennas components was realized and the manufacturing processes tuned. Such activities were jointly realized by DIMEC, Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Modena researchers and Kontek Comatel R&D team


2007 - Design methods for intelligent robotic deburring cells [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Cast iron parts deburring is a complicate and always more demanding task: it requires to realize an accurate 3D surface contouring, to be performed with an adequate tool stiffness and cutting power. At present time, cast iron parts production is characterized by small size lots of components which often have very different geometries. Moreover, it is easy to find that every single part of the same lot is quite different from the others, due to different burrs, varying in size and geometrical shape. Then cast iron parts deburring is a hard task which requires extreme flexibility. For this reason industrial robots seem to be the ideal solution; unfortunately the long time needed for programming the robot and the manufacturing cycle, together with the parts variability and components range reduces heavily the overall manufacturing efficiency and profitability. For this reason, novel intelligent manufacturing methods must be realized and implemented. In the present paper it will be presented the integrated design and development of a new generation of cast iron parts robotic intelligent deburring and the engineering design methods adopted to achieve such results. The deburring of cast iron parts is performed by anthropomorphous robots with the integrated aid of vision systems, custom designed adaptive compliance tools and virtual prototypes of the cell itself, where it is possible to simulate all the different manufacturing tasks and automatically generate the code for the robotic cell numeric control. Using synergically all these tools and technologies it has been finally possible to overcome all the limits and problem of the state of the art. In fact, through the creation of a functional virtual prototype of the cell architecture, linked to different design and simulation environments, all the different operating scenarios can be simulated and all the information and data needed to solve the specific problems obtained. Exploiting synergically the performances of the vision system and the digital prototype it is possible to let the robot to interpret the operating scenario and to adopt proper intelligent behaviours, while, the realization of custom designed adaptive tools improves the cell overall performances. Furthermore, a design method for iron cast robotic deburring will be described.


2007 - Product and Process Robustness Enhancement for a Top Class Automotive Gearshift Tower [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio; Vergnano, Alberto
abstract

Automotive engineering is a challenging task for modern engineers. Requirements and technical specifications are more and more demanding, especially in relation with high performance and luxury class. Such aspects involve both functional and emotional aspects and pursues total quality, equally in product and manufacturing process. Moreover, a structured concurrent and co-design based engineering approach, involving the whole value chain, is required while cost need to be reduced, time saved and human and industrial resources spared. The present paper deals with the design and manufacturing optimization of manual selection and clutch mechanism in a gearbox tower, realized to provide top class cars. Gearbox tower is the mechanical interface between drivers and engine transmission system in automotive applications. It has the primary function to permit driver selecting and shifting gears during vehicle march, to optimize engine running. Furthermore such mechanism has a central role in enhancing the overall market perception of the product and in transmitting to the customers good feelings about driving quality and car reliability, according to top class targets. Robust design approach was primary followed, focusing on the continuous improvement of products and processes [1], [2]. Different existing solution for gearbox tower were firstly analyzed, performing a concurrent engineering analysis of each mechanical component from functional, productive and assembly points of view. Technical and technological aspects were discussed and compared through FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) while an integrated CAD/CAM analysis (Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0) were carried out to optimize 5-axes CNC manufacturing. SPC (Statistical Process Control) were concurrently performed to maximize efficiency and process consistency. A novel gearbox tower was finally designed. Three-dimensional parametric virtual prototype was realized and evaluated into its kinetic-dynamic characteristics within SolidWorks 2006 (Figure 1) and COSMOSMotion environments, in order to test the impact of different Computer Aided Tools inside a holonic and collaborative supply chain. The method developed and the following studies leaded to the general enhancing of the gearbox project, especially in its more critic aspects. The gearbox tower family was optimized in its technical aspects and engineering performances respect to the state of the art. Moreover it was improved in terms of total quality perception from final users. Results obtained leaded to the develop of specific solutions focused in make the product and the related process more robust in the overall life cycle.


2006 - Digital engineering methods for enhanced flexibility of robofacturing (robotic manufacturing) applications [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A digital engineering method was developed to enhance robotic cell flexibility in industrial manufacturing applications. Computer Aided 3D parametric modeling, behavioural simulation, offline programming were integrated into the design process to define and generate robotic cell virtual prototypes. Resulting information and data were primarily used during design and engineering stages for optimizing the cell layout and for assuring best performances in cycle time reduction and manufacturing path accuracy. Then digital models were simplified and fit within customizable virtual environment, developed for allowing final users to quick re-configure the robotic cell and re-program robots without any specific competence on robotics. The robotic deburring and finishing manufacturing of crankshaft for V8 and V12 high-performance engines was investigated through the method developed. A cell prototype was finally realized by R&D engineers from SIR S.p.A. (www.sir-mo.it) and researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, sharing competences, experiences and technical resources within the Integrated Design and Simulation of Robotic Systems Lab, a novel Industry/University hybrid structure. Such digital engineering method applied to a robotic manufacturing problem leaded to the theorization of a “Design for Robotic Manufacturing (“Robofacturing”)” approach, finally called. Robotic cell flexibility was enhanced providing final users a digital engineering service for manufacturing cell re-configuration and robot re-programming.


2006 - Innovative Research Model for the Integrated Design and Simulation of Robotic Cells in an Italian University - Industry Partnership [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; G., Bertacchi; S., Bertini; P., Bonaretti; Leali, Francesco; G., Moretti; Pellicciari, Marcello; Pini, Fabio
abstract

Many investigations and surveys on collaboration between Research and Industry in R&D activities have largely demonstrated western industries need to hold the globalization blast innovating design methods, developing new products/engineering processes and investing in advanced technologies. Such approach often requests the support of government institutions and results particularly demanding for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises which often suffer a lack of capital, time and human resources to invest in R&D activities. At the state of the art University and Research Institutes play a really important role to support enterprises in such challenging tasks. The present paper describes the experience realized at the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering of Modena to promote high-quality interdisciplinary research on design methodologies and robotics and to actually realize the tech-transfer toward the local industrial texture. Some existing laboratories were structured as a network into an High Tech District (HI-MECH), to offer specific competences on integrated design and simulation (SIMECH net-lab), while new hybrid structures (both academic and industrial) were founded to allow R&D engineers sharing experiences, knowledge and instruments with students and researchers on specific themes (La.P.I.S. - Integrated Design and Robotic Cell Simulation Lab). Working in such operating scenario, successful experiences were realized, carried out to design and prototype a new generation of robotic cells deeply based on virtual modelling and offline programming.


2006 - Integrated Design and Development of MID Antenna for TMPS Applications [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; M., Crippa; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) are required to provide high efficiency RF transmission, to be realized using components with reduced overall dimensions. Then, the design of TPMS antennas is a critical task, to be performed with accurate optimization activities based on intensive experimental development. In this field, MID technology can provide a strong strategic advantage since it can reduce the overall dimensions integrating different components and functionalities and, at the same time, permitting seamless fast prototyping, and customization, of different variants of the antenna layout. In this paper it will be presented the integrated design and development (and the methods adopted) of a novel TPMS RF transmission unit, realized with LDS technology. In this activity, the design engineers used synergically several software tools to simulate and evaluate concurrently all the different problems involved. The component geometries were designed in order to fulfil the structural and mechanical requirements, the molds were concurrently developed and the injection moulding process accurately simulated to validate the final shapes. At the same time, different design variants of the antenna were developed with intensive numerical simulations. A prototype mould was then quickly realized and specimens produced where, with LDS technology, the antennas lay out variants were manufactured. Several experimental testing on such prototypes were then performed in order to tune the 3D electromagnetic field simulation parameters (and be then able to perform further optimization studies on virtual prototypes). Finally a fast optimization of the antennas components was realized and the manufacturing processes tuned. Such activities were jointly realized by DIMEC, Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Modena researchers and Kontek Comatel R&D team


2005 - Design of Iron Cast Deburring Robotic Cells with Simulation and Offline Programming Tools [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

The design of last generation anthropomorphous robots manufacturing cells is a challenging activity, to be developed accurately in a fast and effective way due to the strong requirements to satisfy in terms of time to market, overall performances and the total costs of the final application. During the design stages, different types of graphical and technical representations are needed to exalt and communicate the design intent and to evaluate the effects of every design variant on the final operating performances. For this reasons the choice of the tools to adopt, and a correct methodology for an integrated use, for this purpose is strategically important and delicate. On one side the design tools must be focused to point out all the multidisciplinary effects involved, especially those concerning the strong interrelation of the mechanical apparatus solutions with the electrical and electronics systems, while on the other side they must be absolutely integrated and easy to use. In the present paper it will be explained the choices effected on the graphical representation and design tools, and the design method created for an effective integrated use, in the design and development of iron casts deburring anthropomorphous robots manufacturing cells, performed during real experiences, developed together by DIMEC University researchers and SIR, an important system integrator enterprise. Actually, state of the art 3D parametric CAD and behavioural simulation design tools confirmed to be powerful but the adoption of anthropomorphous robot simulation and offline programming tools proved to be fundamental for the final validation of every design variant. The need to enrich classical mechanical design representation, static and fixed for single configurations, with animations where robot movements and the motion control can be effectively communicated and evaluated, was then solved and proved to give an important feedback to the design engineers, who acquired more consciousness on the real performances achievable. Furthermore, the availability of multimedia movies, was finally appreciated even to interact with the final user for training purposes.


2005 - Integrated Design of a Robotic Cell for Lasts Roughing. [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

A computer simulation based methodology was elaborated for the integrated design and development of a footwear lasts roughing robotic cell, developed by DIMeC (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy) researchers and the design engineers of SIR S.P.A., an italian robot system integrator market-leader. The integration of different design and simulation software tools leads to a time and cost-saving procedure to be used in the design of high-performance robotic manufacturing cells, with increased machining quality, flexibility, low set-up time and ease of re-configurability. A Concurrent Engineering approach was followed throughout all the stages of the robotic cell development, while behavioral simulation and off-line programming performed on the definitive model allowed to close the Computer Integrated design process loop.


2005 - Parametric design methodologies for the feasibility study of internal grinding spindles [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Barbanti, Giovanni; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Nowadays design engineers need to apply, and to develop, innovative methodologies to achieve goals like superior product performances, cost containment, time-to-market reduction, satisfying also Mass Customization paradigms. Moreover, technical teams must focus on logic processes rationalization and information flow transparency, looking for cooperation with different company departments and aiming at best operating flexibility. A modern industrial project involves complex tasks connected to quick development, product management simplicity and adaptability to the changeable boundary conditions. Increasing software availability, together with calculation, graphic visualisation and modeling hardware devices escalation, is not enough to guarantee optimal results. In fact, these tools need to be integrated into a customized methodology process, defined according to a systematic approach. Moreover, different problems have to be faced up in a concurrent engineering logic, through an accurate parameterization of the main design aspects and a deep analysis of the characteristic variables. The present work deals with an accurate feasibility study concerning a grinding spindles family for internal gears. The problem, complex both from technical feasibility and industrial production side, involved the identification of creative and innovative design solutions. In particular, to achieve coherent results, it was necessary to develop accurate calculations, performed on a spreadsheet, later used to rule completely the CAD geometries. Then, the integrated adoption of three-dimensional CAD modeling and numerical tools have been permitted the design team to obtain all the data and informations necessary to evaluate the best design variants and to correctly design the product family, defining sizing and products configuration. The graphical design has been supported by the power of automated dimensioning, permitting the design engineers to focus on the product architecture. Thus, a product knowledge base has been easily realized, and used to rule model configuration and to optimize different design choices. Furthermore, such knowledge base may be used for future works, enabling a strong time compression of other projects. Finally, the spreadsheet linked to the CAD resulted a natural interface to other software tools, permitting to synchronize different design activities involved in the new product development process.


2004 - Complex virtual models development for didactic purposes in the medical field [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Consolo, Ugo; Bortolini, Sergio; Landini, Barbara; Gatto, Andrea; Pellicciari, Marcello; Leali, Francesco
abstract

The many advantages in the availability of a virtual model of human parts regard, first of all, an easier shape comprehension of complex models in which different parts can be independently visualized and manipulated. The research job regards the virtual reconstruction of a maxillary arch physical model, through a reverse engineering approach. Thanks to the combination of laser scanning and mechanical touching, it was possible to obtain a CAD model in which all the teeth, the bone and the soft tissues can be independently viewed, moved and modified. The results can be applied for an improved communication between teachers and students, for a better comprehension of the inner correlation between different elements, and doctors and patients to the rapid overcoming of the initial cultural barrier. The research represents the first step of a fertile collaboration between engineering and medical staff, towards the implementation of innovative technological tools in human centred application, also in the field of virtual and augmented reality.


2004 - Design for manufacturing of an ergonomic joystick handgrip [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bassoli, Elena; Gatto, Andrea; L., Iuliano; Leali, Francesco
abstract

A Reverse Engineering- (RE) and Rapid Prototyping- (RP) based approach to the development of a joystick handgrip with ergonomic features has been elaborated. The integration of Time Compression Techniques and Computer Aided Tools lead to a time-saving procedure for the design of a product whose ergonomic quality directly descends from users’ sensations of comfort. The CAD model availability throughout the progressive steps of product development ensured all the potentialities of Concurrent Engineering, while Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) simulation on the definitive geometry allowed to close the Computer Integrated loop to the manufacturing process.


2004 - Reverse engineering methodologies applied to complex virtual models development in the medical field [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Andrisano, Angelo Oreste; Bassoli, Elena; Gatto, Andrea; Leali, Francesco; Pellicciari, Marcello
abstract

Negli ultimi anni si è assistito, nell’ambito della ricerca applicata, ad un progressivo processo di trasferimento delle pratiche e delle metodologie tipiche dell’ingegneria industriale in ambito medicale, ed alla costituzione di gruppi di lavoro eterogenei, formati sia da personale medico che tecnico-ingegneristico. In particolare, sembra essersi affermata la tendenza alla definizione di modelli ed ambienti virtuali, ad esempio, per la pianificazione pre-chirurgica degli interventi e per la comprensione delle problematiche ad essa inerenti, e sembra progressivamente essersi diffusa la consapevolezza che sfruttando l’elevato contenuto informativo delle rappresentazioni grafiche tridimensionali è possibile favorire il superamento delle normali barriere culturali e comunicative, soprattutto tra medici e pazienti o tra insegnanti e studenti e creare gruppi di lavoro in grado di comunicare più facilmente e, quindi di raggiungere risultati migliori in tempi ridotti. Il presente lavoro di ricerca, realizzato grazie alla forte sinergia tra il gruppo di Disegno e Metodi dell’Ingegneria Industriale e il gruppo di Tecnologia e Sistemi di Lavorazione del Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Civile di Modena, riguarda la definizione di una procedura che, attraverso l’uso combinato di differenti tecnologie di reverse engineering e di strumenti software dedicati alla generazione ed alla modellazione delle superfici, consenta di ottenere un prototipo virtuale complesso di un oggetto fisico. Il benchmark adottato, fornito dal Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Testa-Collo, Riabilitazione di Modena è costituito dall’arcata mascellare di un modello artigianale scomponibile, formato da una base in resina e legno e da 14 denti in resina completamente estraibili, che, inserito in un apposito articolatore insieme alla corrispondente arcata mandibolare, viene attualmente utilizzato per descrivere la normale occlusione in ambito didattico. Il metodo sviluppato, basato sull’uso di strumenti hardware e software di costo medio basso, ha consentito di definire una procedura rapida e facilmente implementabile anche da parte di personale non tecnico, facilitando l’accostamento alle potenzialità offerte dalle tecnologie assistite da calcolatore per la realizzazione di prototipi virtuali.