We are delighted to announce that we have secured our first Horizon flexible laser-based manufacturing through a precision photon distribution (FLASH) project, in recognition of our expertise in innovation, technology and manufacturing. We are grateful and excited to be one of the few SME companies from our EU region to win a place on a project of this size and start their Horizon journey. Our role in the € 4 131 800.25 three-year project will be to develop machine learning algorithms to better predict and recommend the optimal processing regimes across the platform. Winning a place in a consortium alongside other highly experienced companies is evidence of the expertise of our team and the trust that other organizations have in us. The news marks an exciting end to 2023 and points to a great start to 2024, with the project launching in January.
The Horizon Europe program is aimed at streamlining the EU’s position as a world leader in science. Its ultimate goal is to bring excellent research results to market to deliver direct benefits to citizens, such as affordable health care, protection against cybercrime and the transition to a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy.
The FLASH project will focus on “highly customized laser-based production including new and advanced methods to provide a highly precise distribution of photons at the right place and time”. The consortium’s goal is to develop a multi-process laser-machine tool capable of thermal-based (hardening, welding, cutting, macro polishing and drilling of metals and alloys) and ablation-based (texturing, micro-machining/polishing) processes, as well as multi-beam cutting and drilling of advanced, reflective, composite and ceramic materials.
This will be achieved by combining multiple beams that will be deliverable, in any combination, to the delivery systems. It will allow a single versatile machine tool to replace up to three separate machine tools, with full material and process flexibility. In addition, it will deliver an unprecedented level of manufacturing line agility, by enabling the reconfiguration of processes through the automated changeover of the laser beam delivery system in just seconds, compared to the several hours needed to replace or reconfigure traditional mechanical or laser machines. This highly precise type of manufacturing reduces waste, defects and energy consumption, leading to more successful and sustainable products.
The FLASH project will aim to deliver a fully optimized processing strategy for the industry. Considering all processes and parameters available to the FLASH machine platform, the process design package will identify the best sequence of individual processing steps and provide optimized parameters for each (e.g., tool path, power, pulse length, beam shape, spatial coherence, etc.). In contrast with existing modeling solutions, FLASH will deliver predictive capabilities for manufacturing. This will enable non-expert users, including SMEs, to rapidly develop new processes during accelerated product and process development cycles. The FLASH process design platform will also integrate a digital decision model that considers environmental impact indicators in two categories:
- Combined environmental impact indicators of the multi-step laser processes and selected parameters, compared to alternative processes (e.g. energy input, material waste, etc.).
- Environmental impact indicators over the product lifecycle as a result of differences to the final component/product resulting from the applied laser processes (e.g. emission reduction due to product lightweight, re-manufacturing energy reduction as a result of extended product lifetime, etc.).
This robust focus on lifecycle environmental impact will be unprecedented in laser-based manufacturing process design, helping to drive the European industry’s green and digital transition goals.
At Cosmos Thrace, we have developed and commercialized multiple unique AI solutions, including via the creation of a spin-off company to help our clients optimize their business processes, reduce costs and gain a competitive edge. At the start of our Horizon journey, we are excited to apply our know-how on a larger scale and in collaboration with professionals in their respective fields, to ultimately deliver a platform that will accelerate the future of manufacturing. The Cosmos Thrace team will create methods to better predict and recommend the optimal processing regimes across all capabilities offered by the FLASH-IANUS platform. We will develop machine-learning models that will validate the performance of the machines in identifying optimized laser processes. As well as confirming our expertise in advancing manufacturing through technology, our involvement in this project will enable us to grow our data science team.
Our project partners:
- Università degli Studi di Palermo
- University of Huddersfield
- SYNOVA S.A.
- ROBUST AO GmbH
- Prima Additive
- IMA Spa
- DePuy – A Johnson & Johnson company
Looking forward to many more exciting projects that will continue our Horizon journey! You can also contact us if you want to learn more about us and our services!