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Horizon 2020 Program

Horizon 2020 Program

“Puzzle Die” – Long life to the tool
Modern way to build a tool, using a new technique to implement “classic” ideas in an innovative way.

Horizon2020 is the biggest funding program for research and development currently in force in UE.

Costamp applied for this program on October 2016 and the presented project was appointed, in January 2017 call, as one of the three Italian worthwhile ones.

At this moment, the project can definitely be considered more development than research, in fact the project is in a higher TRL (technology readiness level) stage, and it has already proved to be working.

Scope of the project

Costamp, thanks to FEM/CFD simulation suppliers, had been able to implement a new design and construction technique that allowed to build tools in a way to make them last longer than ever before.

To apply this new approach, complex FEM simulations were needed, but the time required to have results from these simulations did not usually match with the time to market asked by the customers.

The need to get FEM results in a shorter time, gave Costamp the idea to start the development of a brand new software, based on an “easy-to-use” configuration and with the hope to be possibly having a disruptive impact on the HPDC market.

This is not totally new for Costamp, in fact thanks to the subsidiary PIQ2, in 2016 a new filling simulation software (CASTLE), able to compete with the biggest players, was launched on the market. Intuitive interface and calculation on open-source kernel were the fundamental principles, to provide simulation capabilities also to foundry men.

For this new project, a wide net of collaborations has been set up: Università di Brescia, Politecnico di Milano (both Lecco and Milano departments), software developers, FEM experts, and specialists in Die Casting measurements.

All of them have been brought together to give Costamp the possibility to come up with something new, fast, effective and user-friendly.

Experiment campaigns have been run and big efforts made to create a new algorithm to calculate the thermo-mechanical fatigue factor, which is the key number to determine the weakest areas of the die.

An official request to get both puzzle die technique and the related logo patented has been sent to the proper competent authorities. They are now in a “pending” status.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 766907.

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Horizon 2020 feed

First test of Calculix on existing machines

First tests were held today, to verify FEM software scalability

Meeting with Calculix authors held in Munich

Today the project development team has met the authors of the open-source FEM software Calculix.
Important suggestions have been provided.
The selected hardware configuration has turned out to be ideal and flexible.

UNIBS: first simulation on the available prototype die

Die design was given to UNIBS to check whether the designed die was compliant with the experimental program.
First results confirmed that design is OK

Experimental die: preliminary design released from design team

After die design was approved by UNIBS , it went through a further development and it is now ready to move into the next design phase.

Experimental die: complete design provided to production for finishing phase

After first production phase (rough machining), a detailed die design is available for production. Die components are now ready for the finishing stage.

1st release of Software interface is now ready

The first working release for the software is ready.Some features, such as surface selection and manual boundary conditions, have been finally added.

All die components arrived. Experimental die is ready to get assembled.

All the components, assigned to each Costamp’s division, have been delivered to Sirone plant; also all the standards have been received from the suppliers.
Die assembly will start soon.

Thermal information exchange between Castle Thermo and “Software” is finally working

Today first test showed that information exchange, between the FEM software and our renowned Castle Thermo module ™, works properly and fast.

Die inserts equipped with High-temperature extensometer

Mobile side die inserts were equipped with HT extensometers. This operation is quite delicate because the extensometers are pasted with a bi-component adhesive which needs to be cured at a very precise high temperature.
Operation was successfully completed.

Experimental die assembly is completed

After fixing several small problems for sensor access, the die is eventually ready to be mounted on HPDC machine.

“Puzzle die” project officially starts.

After the agreement signed with EU, the project starts. A kick-off meeting will be held in few days.

1st Experimental campaign is starting today

Experimental die is on the HPDC machine, measurement specialists are today connecting sensors and control units.

1st Experimental campaign is satisfactorily completed

After two weeks of hard work, all the planned activities have been carried out.

Kick-off meeting for FEM Software development

Today SW development team held the kick-off meeting: a time-line was set and guide lines agreed.
Open Cascade suite will be the interface infrastructure. Calculix has been selected as FEM software.

Kick-off meeting for Hardware selection

According to the guide lines several hardware suppliers were met to share the specifications for the selected machines.
Target: to have machines for the first test at the beginning of October

Kick-off meeting with UNIBS

University of Brescia was met to share the ideas about the experimental data necessary to tune FEM results.