Cloudification of 
Production Engineering
 for
Predictive Digital
Manufacturing

Exp. 4 - Numerical modelling and simulation of heat-treating processes

Experiment Partners

Ferram Strojirna

Hydal Aluminium Profiler AS

IT4Innovation

Experiment Description

Many industries such as automotive, aerospace, civil engineering require fast and well controlled cooling to obtain the material properties and strength of thin walled aluminium profiles. This cooling process is controlled by several parameters. The main problem is that these parameters are set base on operator’s experience, which makes it very difficult to perform this process completely automatic and is difficult to use. This applies especially when a new profile is being treated; the process involves a trial-and-error approach wasting time, energy and resources. Numerical modelling and simulation could help to derive operation conditions of this process and make it less dependent on the user. Creating a numerical model of whole water quench with all necessary details and containing all physical processes are the challenges to be faced. Guidelines for operational conditions of quenching machine based on various inputs, such as profile shape and temperatures, will be derived by elaborating a numerical model of quenching process, carrying out CFD simulation using HPC resources and validating reliability of simulation results by physical experiments.

Technical impact

Water Quench

Simulation methodology can be applied on this particular heat-treating process. This processes are performed by deriving guidelines for operational conditions of quenching machines based on various points, such as profile shape and temperatures, elaborating a numerical model of quenching process, carrying out CFD simulation using HPC resources and validating reliability of simulation results by physical experiments.
These actions allow users to set operating conditions based on calculations considering shape of the profile, its temperature, ambient temperature, air and water temperature and quantity. Moreover, the new process enables a precise and controlled cooling of aluminium profiles.

Economic Impact

Numerical model

IT4I estimates that there will be at least 5 companies in Europe and worldwide interested in using HPC resources to optimize their own processes. Ferram will bring competitive advantage as manufacturer of water quenching machines. The estimated economic impact is expected to increase approximately 1000K€ in the first year after finishing the project and two to five million euros after five years of the experiment.
By creating a numerical model through CFD simulation using HPC of the water quenching process from the end-users’ side there will be increasing in turnover and in new jobs. More precisely, for Ferram the estimated economic impact is expected to increase approximately 100’000€ in the first year after finishing the project and five million euros after five years of the experiment. For Hydal the estimated economic impact is expected to increase approximately 500’000€ in the first year. Automotive, aerospace and all industries using aluminium profiles are sectors in which end-users’ experiment operate. As an immediate consequence, industries working in these fields could be potential customers for the ISV (IT4I). IT4I estimates that there will be at least 5 companies in Europe and worldwide interested in using HPC resources to optimize their own processes. On the ISV side, in fact, the most significant impact will be the spread of the model to new potential customers, which will be a source of increased revenues. IT4Innovation

Hydal aluminium profiler