Prototype emulates true experience for customer


A new and smart system to monitor and control additive manufacturing, laser heat treatment, and welding will make a difference to intelligent manufacturing in many industries – and a prototype will help potential customers in these industries experience its true value. 

SMARTFAB-MOC is a system offering real-time monitoring, optimization, and control of microstructure and geometry in high temperature material processing, developed by a team at Waterloo led by Amir Khajepour, Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo.

The prototype has been developed with industrial standards, integrating all the research, and is essentially “presentable as a commercial product,” says Professor Khajepour.

The prototype allows the customer to see and understand how the stand-alone system can be used in any additive manufacturing, laser heat treatment, and welding machine to provide key information about the process which ranges from the geometry of deposited material to peak temperature, and cooling and heating rates. The resulting information is crucial for closed loop control of high temperature material processing systems.

Consisting of a sensor to capture images in real time with both infra-red and visible cameras and a computational console, the system processes the images in real time to measure geometry and thermal dynamics properties.

Funding for the prototype was provided by the Government of Canada's Research Support Fund-Incremental Project Grants.

July, 2020