Andriy Dovzhykov | Dreamstime
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DOE Supporting Forging-Related R&D

April 8, 2020
The federal Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is funding research into IN 718 parts, sensors for thermal processing, and hybrid modeling for gear grinding.

Three research projects that may be relevant to forging operations are among a group selected by the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) to receive more than $6 million in funding, part of an initiative to improve energy-intensive manufacturing.

A total of eight projects were selected to share the funds, including:

• The United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), Purdue University, and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. working to develop a simulation and testing framework to determine the feasibility of using ultrasound to mitigate "dirty white spot defects" in vacuum-arc remelted Inconel 718 for forged turbine components.

• A team of Honeywell, Virginia Tech, Bodycote, and Seco-Warwick working to develop new sensors, monitoring and data analytic methods, and to apply these to three "industrially relevant thermal processes"; and,

• An effort by West Virginia University, University at Buffalo, and Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Cos. (ITAMCO), in collaboration with industrial partners, to develop and test hybrid modeling for energy-efficient grinding processes for gear manufacturing.

Other projects sharing in the funding include one to develop a soft sensor and predictive control in paper manufacturing; real-time, non-invasive, process monitoring for pharmaceutical freeze-drying equipment; developing self-powered sensors and identify actuators for machine information collecting and responding; developing a modeling engine with predictive capabilities for manufacturing processes, starting with semiconductor transistor manufacturing; and developing process models, sensors and data integration architecture for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

DoE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy established the CESMII to promote "smart manufacturing" through integration of advanced sensors, data analytics, platforms, and controls to improve manufacturing productivity, precision, and energy conservation.

"Advances in digital technologies and other forms of ‘smart manufacturing’ can improve the efficiency and competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector," said Alex Fitzsimmons, deputy assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. In partnership with industry, universities, and the National Laboratories, DoE’s investments will help position the U.S. for global leadership in the advanced manufacturing industries of the future.”