Re-use of bolted connections and other standard machine elements
4. Recycling and Re-use of End-of-Life Products Recycling and Re-use of End-of-Life Products
Automated evaluation of used bolts and possibly other standard machine elements to make them available for safe re-use.
Coming from wind energy, we see a lot of very large bolted connections (M30 and bigger) being scrapped after a single use. These bolts have individual weights of 4 kg and more. On our test rigs, we gained pratical experience that points towards a huge potential of re-using these for further applications. However, there is a lack of methods to evaluate the condition of a used bolt.
Build a machine that automatically evaluates bolts with non-destructive testing and background machine learning.
Project work packages:
- Create huge sample set of used bolts with different conditions
- Set up sensor array (camera, ultrasonic, feeler gauges, laser distance,..)
- Set up variable element handling
- Feed samples through sensor array and provide data set to neuronal network
- Re-use sample elements afterwards and feed the results into same neuronal network
- Determine if neuronal network can predict capacity reliably
- Iterate hard- and sotware for the evaluation
- Set up prototype of automated evaluation station for used elements
Fraunhofer IWES teamed up with Fraunhofer IZFP to do most of the tasks. IWES will handle sample set creation, re-use of evaluated samples, possibly neuronal network, and project lead. IZFP will handle sensor arrays. We are looking for expertise in the field of bolting, automated material handling, neuronal networks, logistics, and machine design.
Fraunhofer IWES (Institute for Wind Energy Systems) . Public research institute for all wind-energy related topics, mostly validation by tests.