Advancements in micro EDM process monitoring thanks to MICROMAN project

Mattia Bellotti is working at KU Leuven in the context of MICROMAN European project to develop new monitoring and control strategies for improving micro components production.

Mattia Bellotti is an Early Stage Researcher of the European project MICROMAN and PhD candidate at KU Leuven, Department of Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Professor Dominiek Reynaerts and Doctor Jun Qian. In his project he is working in close collaboration with SARIX SA (Sant’Antonino, Switzerland), a world leader in high precision micro erosion technology.

“Secondments to our industrial partner are fundamental to advance in my research project” says the researcher at KU Leuven “Additionally, the trainings from leading experts in micro manufacturing during MICROMAN workshops are significantly broadening my research horizons”.

Mattia’s research topic involves monitoring, control and optimisation of micro electrical discharge machining or briefly micro EDM, which is a micro manufacturing process that is widely used in automotive, aerospace, and biomedical sectors. Typical examples of applications are spray holes of diesel injector nozzles, cooling holes of high-pressure turbine blades, and micro moulds for surgical devices respectively.

In his research, Mattia aims to develop new strategies to monitor and control micro EDM process to improve machining efficiency and reduce post-process metrology efforts. “Continuous developments in computer science and technology are considerably increasing the amount of data that can be processed in-line” he says “This means more and more information can be obtained and used to efficiently control micro production processes in order to reach zero-defect manufacturing”.

In a recent paper presented in April 2018 at the 19th CIRP Conference on Electro Physical and Chemical Machining (and available here in open access) some preliminary experimental results have been shown to illustrate how monitoring of electrical signals can be used to detect tool breakthrough in micro hole EDM drilling. Next steps will involve optimisation of the aforementioned monitoring strategy for drilling micro holes and investigation of new monitoring possibilities for micro EDM milling operations. 






Fun Facts

During the first two years of MICROMAN project Mattia has:

  • Investigated 3 different configurations of micro EDM process (drilling, milling, and grinding),
  • Recorded and processed almost 1 TB of data,
  • Presented his work at 3 international conferences,
  •  Visited 10 different countries among Europe and Asia to present or discuss his research outcomes.