DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADVANCED SYSTEM FOR MONITORING AND DATA ACQUISITION FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF MULTI-WIRE CUTTING MACHINES (IN852A 2018/28)

The granite sector is of fundamental importance to the economy of the Spanish region of Galicia. The Galician granite industry is the 2nd most important in Europe (after Italy) and No. 5 in the world, ahead of key players such as Belgium, Portugal and Germany.

In this context, the DIAMANTE project represents an opportunity for Galicia to increase production and improve the competitive situation of the natural stone production sector, after years of off shoring to countries with lower labor costs, thanks to an innovative control system developed for Multithreaded granite block cutting machines. Specifically, DIAMANTE proposes the development of a solution that is capable of analyzing the reality of the cutting process thanks to the implementation of advanced sensorization and control systems, in accordance with the Industry 4.0 paradigm.

The objective of DIAMANTE is the improvement of the main factors that affect the process, which in this case are the consumption of diamond-coated wire (main cost factor of consumables) and the inherent costs of multi-threaded machines in shut-downs due to breakdowns and unforeseen failures. For example, a company that has a monthly production of about 45,000 m2 of laminated granite loses around €150,000 for each day the line is shut down. As for the cost of the diamond-coated wire, it can come to about €40-50k/month.

Hence, DIAMANTE proposes a solution based on the industry 4.0 paradigm, which allows greater control of all the parameters of the cutting machines, meaning an improvement in production, a reduction of waste that will make the process more eco-friendly, with an increase in the added value of the product and an improvement in production costs.

During this year we have carried out actions for the sensorization and control of cutting wire. These actions focused on the installation of colorimetric sensors and artificial vision cameras along with modifications in the cutting wire to facilitate its correct detection.

With the installation of these sensors and the relevant modifications to the wire, it is intended to control different important points both for the control of the correct stone cutting and for the correct operation of the wire, enabling us to measure and report key parameters such as wire rotation, speed and wear.

With the measurement of the wire wear it is possible to calculate its useful life and to carry out a preventive maintenance; this tells us when the wear of the wire is incompatible with its continuation in the cutting process and it must be replaced. In addition, with the control of the rest of the cutting parameters that until now could not be measured, such as the correct rotation of the wire during cutting so that the wire undergoes uniform wear and the control of possible slippage or tensioning problems, we can increase its useful life and improve the wire’s cutting power, also preventing marks on the stone during cutting that would otherwise mean they would need to be repaired before being sold.

DIAMANTE CONSORTIUM

To achieve the above objectives, companies in the Galician part of the DIAMANTE consortium cover the entire value chain of project activities and form a multidisciplinary grouping with the complementary know-how necessary for the correct execution thereof:

NODOSAFER, the lead company in the project, is an international leader in the manufacture of industrial stone cutting machines and their equipment is one of those that obtain the best performance from cutting wire. We highlight that NODOSAFER has extensive experience in R&D projects related to its products.

SYSPRO is an engineering focused on the integration of technologies in the fields of automation, industrial software, robotics, artificial vision and advanced sensorization and which has made a qualitative leap in recent years in R&D initiatives.

WDIAMANT is a diamond cutting wire development company for the natural stone sector, with extensive experience in R&D projects related to its products, implemented in the world market and with a high volume of exports.

GRANISA is the end user and final recipient of the technology developed in DIAMANTE. It ranks 5th in terms of added value in the sector in Galicia. It will contribute its experience in the transformation of granite and will implement the solutions in a real environment to carry out pre-mass production validation.

With the aim of promoting innovative activity within companies, strengthening their international leadership capacity, improving their competitive position and complementing project developments, the consortium will be supported by the AIMEN Technology Centre, an entity with proven experience in artificial vision activities, monitoring, industrial control and advanced data processing.

PROJECT FINANCING

The DIAMANTE project, framed in the CONECTAPEME 2018 program, is funded by the Regional Government of Galicia through the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN) and the support of the Ministry of Economy, Employment and Industry and is co-financed by ERDF funds in the framework of Axis 1 of the ERDF Galicia 2014-2020 operational programme.

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