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Hands-On Research For Knowledge-Based Mass Finishing Processes

Hands-On Research For Knowledge-Based Mass Finishing Processes

Innovative solutions are the driving force for the continuous creation of added value. In this respect the cooperation between science and industry plays a central role. A good example is the cooperation of the research department technological planning and grinding technologies at the machine tool institute WZL at the RWTH Aachen university (Germany) with the Rösler Oberflächentechnik in the field of mass finishing.

The RWTH Aachen is one of the 11 German universities that are recognised as “universities of excellence”. For decades the machine tool institute, one of the largest and oldest establishments at the Aachen university, has been a globally recognised beacon for future-focused research in the field of manufacturing technologies. One reason for this success has been the close cooperation between the four academic sectors “measuring technologies in manufacturing”, “quality management”, “manufacturing systems” and “manufacturing and machine tool technologies” combined with a balanced mix of basic and practical research.

Marius Ohlert, project manager for grinding technologies in the field technology planning and grinding methods, that is integrated in the academic sector manufacturing technologies, comments: “Through the close cooperation with a variety of industrial companies we make sure that our research projects are based on industrial needs and that the results can be quickly transformed into practical results”.

The mass finishing technology is a widely used system for all kinds of surface refinement tasks such as deburring, edge radiusing, surface smoothing, polishing, descaling and de-rusting. Despite the importance of this technology for many industries most mass finishing processes are still based on the knowhow of experienced experts. Mr. Ohlert describes one research goal as follows: “With our basic research we want to achieve that mass finishing processes are knowledge-based, thus allowing a quicker, more efficient and goal-oriented process development. For this purpose, we study in detail the physical effects of the various mass finishing methods”.

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