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IK4-IDEKO is awarded the prize for best presentation at the 19th Machine Tool Congress

IK4-IDEKO is awarded the prize for best presentation at the 19th Machine Tool Congress

 The "3D Vision built into a machine tool for the automated alignment of workpiece blanks" presentation has been awarded the prize for best presentation given by a research body.

IK4-IDEKO was awarded the prize for best presentation at the 19th Machine Tool Congress held in Miramón on 12 to 14 June. Alberto Mendikute, manager of the IK4-IDEKO Inspection and Measuring Line has collected the prize for the best presentation given by a research body from Juan Carlos Izaguirre, Mayor of San Sebastian.

The presence of the IK4-IDEKO Technological Centre at the 19th MT Congress was noteworthy, as in addition to chairing the panel on Sustainability, sustainable processes and equipment on the second day of the event, IK4-IDEKO presented five papers from researchers at the Centre, dealing with the most up-to-date developments in the fields of efficient structural components, sustainable alternatives to magnetic particle inspections, sustainable cooling, systems for elimination of vibrations and the manufacture of ophthalmological components with ultra-precision processes.

The sessions at which IK4-IDEKO displayed its developments were: Machining processes, Intelligence in production processes, Sustainability, Components, and the company's real diversification experience in the ophthalmological environment in the special session on innovation in business models on the last closing day of the Congress.

The prize-winning presentation "3D Vision built into a machine tool for the automated alignment of workpiece blanks" demonstrated a new solution to a common problem faced by sectors such as aeronautics, railway, wind power, sheet metal and machine tool among others, when machining bulky parts, as they require long workpiece blank alignment processes, with the highest reliability requirements (cost) and times even longer than those of the machining process itself.

Before machining, it is essential that the part is aligned to ensure a suitable distribution of surplus material on all surfaces to be machined. The alignment processes require two main stages: first, characterisation of workpiece blank geometry and, secondly, alignment with respect to the machine axes. IK4-IDEKO is introducing a new workpiece blank alignment system based on 3D technology with the purpose of minimising the total process time for the alignment of workpiece blanks.

The new solution is made up of two main modules: The fitting module (independent). By means of photogrammetric technology, a fast and accurate characterisation of the workpiece blank geometry is made. Then, by means of specific software developed by us, the CAM program is decoded in order to find the optimal fit of the target part be machined within the volume of the workpiece blank, always ensuring a suitable distribution of surplus material. As a final stage, the optimal coordinates in 3D are determined of specific optical references fixed to the workpiece before it is placed on the machine and/or tool.

The alignment module (integrated into the CNC or independent) enables the non-contact measurement of the optical references during the alignment process on the machine, by means of a 3D vision wireless system built into the machine. Thus, rotation and positioning corrections are automatically calculated (workpiece zero) required for an accurate and automatic positioning of the workpiece blank.

As a result, it is possible to fit and align the workpiece blank with a precision of 1 mm, reducing the total time invested in comparison with conventional procedures (layout by scribing workpieces, measurement on CNN, etc.).

The main benefits obtained with this system are: Time reduction: 70% in the fitting process and 60% in the alignment process, reduction of costs of non-quality and increase in work safety, flexibility and space availability, and it is independent of operator skill as it has algorithms and automatic alignment and fitting criteria.


During the congress closing ceremony, three prizes were awarded: to the best scientific-technical presentation awarded to Alberto Mendikute of IK4-IDEKO and collected from Juan Carlos Izaguirre, Mayor of San Sebastian, to Lazpuir collected from Andrés Zabara for the most innovative company presentation given in collaboration with IK4-TEKNIKER, and the best final year project related to manufacturing technologies that went to Iñaki Arrigubieta of UPV and was collected from Oscar Usetxi.