Today there are no adequate means of measuring the surface damage done to steel surfaces in industrial machinery. This means that it is difficult to determine when to change a part or perform maintenance. MesMesh is capable of performing non-invasive real time measurements during production, ensuring high quality parts, reducing the amount of scrap produced and increasing machine utilization in a cost effective and easy way.
MesMesh is a real time in-situ structural health monitoring system for steel surfaces subjected to continuous friction. This is achieved by measuring the electrical characteristics of a conductive ceramic material embedded into a groove on the surface of the mould tool. As the steel and ceramic wear down, the electrical properties of the ceramic are monitored.
The MesMesh project has developed a cheap, innovative ultra-thin conductive ceramic mesh to monitor stress and wear on a steel surface. ‘
In industry, most scrap parts are detected during production as part of quality assurance processes. However in large scale production, getting and keeping the desired quality can be difficult for European injection moulders. As a consequence of the increasing competition from the Far East, OEM producers in Europe are putting increased quality requirements on their sub suppliers with the result that up to 0.5% of all shipments are being returned from the costumer.
Recent statistics show that injection moulding machines are only running at a 60.2% utilization rate and have as much as 20% downtime. In order to increase their profitability and compete on the global market against with low wage economies, mouldings producers need to increase this equipment utilization rate.
Our technology will allow the end users to reduce their scrap and prolong the life of their equipment by enabling them to monitor the structural health of a mould and to determine when a mould is worn out or damaged ensuring that the user can obtain and replace the mould before the equipment fails or the production process begins to produce products which would fail quality assurance processes. Thus equipment down time and waste will be minimised.
Due to the nature of the proposed technology, MesMesh is capable of performing non-destructive evaluation – non-invasive real time measurements during production, giving OEM sub-suppliers the possibility of ensuring high quality parts, reducing the amount of produced scrap and increasing machine utilization in a cost effective and easy way.
A significant aspect of MesMesh is that it can easily be adapted to monitor the structural health of complex metal engineering components such as for instance, gears, drive shaft’s, axles, brake pads and dies for extrusion.