RoboGrinder: AI-based grinding system learns to process complex materials

Industrial project with düspohl

Initial situation and project objective

"Profile wrapping" is used to finish window frames and wooden moldings. This process is used to laminate decorative materials onto a substrate to an exact fit. Düspohl Maschinenbau GmbH develops and manufactures profile wrapping and laminating lines for the wood, plastics and metal processing industries. In cooperation with Fraunhofer IEM, the machine manufacturer revolutionized the industry with a fully automated system. Even though the "RoboWrap" autonomously sets itself up for new products, the wrapping rollers themselves still have to be manufactured by hand in a complex process. The use of artificial intelligence is intended to speed up production and minimize sources of error.

Roll is cut through by an AI-based grinding system
© David Gense / Fraunhofer IEM
AI-based grinding system learns how to process complex materials.

Solution and customer benefit

Working together with Düspohl, Fraunhofer IEM developed a novel grinding system incorporating AI-based software and, for the first time, automated a wholly manual production step at the mechanical engineering company. The robotic cell will autonomously learn how to grind the complex profile wrapping rollers. The RoboGrinder takes a hybrid approach to this challenge by combining powerful AI technologies with established control engineering methods. A machine learning module programmed specifically for the process also predicts any grinding errors. They are used to correct the basic control and enable the rubber-like rollers to be ground directly to size.

As a result, the system developed by Fraunhofer IEM reliably keeps the grinding process within the desired operating range, prevents errors, increases productivity and works up to 40% faster than conventional methods. The combination of artificial intelligence and control technology also allows other manual processes to be reliably automated, where this has not previously been possible using conventional automation technology. For the future, Düspohl plans to further develop the prototype designed with Fraunhofer IEM into actual products.

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Christian Henke

Contact Press / Media

Dr.-Ing. Christian Henke

Head of Department Scientific Automation

Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronic Systems Design IEM
Zukunftsmeile 1
33102 Paderborn

Phone +49 5251 5465-126