Automated Polishing for the European Tooling Industry
The poliMATIC research project has received funding from the European Community´s 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) in the call
poliMATIC Overview For the manufacturing of tools 12 to 15 % of the manufacturing costs and 30 to 50 % of the manufacturing time are allocated to polishing. As current automated polishing techniques are almost not applicable on parts with freeform surfaces and function relevant edges like 95% of the tools, the polishing is predominantly done manually.

  • Therefore the overall objective of poliMATIC is to strengthen the competitiveness of the European Tooling Industry by overcoming the current drawbacks of die and mould finishing by realizing automation in laser polishing and force controlled robot polishing. Both processes already achieve low roughness´s on flat surfaces. But the critical step to bring these demanding processes into production is the polishing of freeform surfaces. To achieve this, the following significant technological innovations are needed:

Process development to achieve a roughness of Ra=0.05 μm (laser polishing) / Ra=0.005 μm (robot polishing) on freeform surfaces
The development of a knowledge-based CAM-NC data chain to make the new technologies usable for end-users
The development of a new surface metrology framework for polished surfaces. Current measures are insufficient to express e.g. the visual impression of a polished surface

  • Laser and robot polishing offer potential to strengthen the European Tooling Industry by a significant decrease of polishing costs (75%) and time (90%). In 5-7 years this will result in expected annual savings of manufacturing costs for tools of 150 Mio. Euros and in reductions of the time-to-customer by 27 to 45 %. The shorter time-to-customer will stimulate new demands. In conjunction with the decreased costs this will lead to a regain of world market shares and therefore relocation of labour back to Europe. PoliMATIC will contribute to the transformation of the resource intensive tooling industry into a knowledge-based one.

Project name
Project reference
Total cost
EU contribution
Starting date
Ending date
Automated Polishing for the European Tooling Industry
SME-targeted collaborative project
3.9 million euro
2.9 million euro
FP7-NMP-2009-4.0-5 Innovative and knowledge-based tooling industry
36 months

last update 2014-01-17 .© poliMATIC 2010