The innovation cluster faces these challenges by developing adaptive process chains (Figure). Flexible and robust manufacturing and repair process chains as well as individual production technologies will enable new turbomachinery concepts. Additionally, adaptive process chains shall guarantee flexibility, so that production engineers will be able to react to continuous production diversification and increasing product diversity.
Figure 1 represents the product life cycle under consideration from the design phase all the way to repaired or finished components. The adaptive process chains to be developed are able to adapt to changing production conditions quickly. It does not make any difference if the altered conditions result from the product design (i.e., caused by new working materials) or by use of the new technologies. For example, Selective Laser Melting, SLM, enables components to be built layer by layer. SLM allows design engineers new freedom when dimensioning and designing components and enables them to implement purely functional constructions.
To date, conventional production methods have limited the kind of components that can be constructed. New manufacturing technologies and process chains, however, have made it possible to construct almost any kind of component based purely on the functions it has to have. By means of concrete demonstrator models, the entire production chain will be displayed and validated on the basis of a unified data chain – from the design over the additive manufacture all the way to post-processing machining. All the while, the different manufacturing technologies and process steps shall be dovetailed with each other in such a way that they can adapt to changing requirements optimally. The consistency of this adaptive concept shall be demonstrated on four predefined components.