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KVAL: AMCA - Automated Metal Cleanliness Analyzer

Alternative title: AMCA: Automatisk renhetsanalyse av metall

Awarded: NOK 0.38 mill.

In the modern world, material science and production make up the foundation of our society, both figuratively and literally. In material production, controlling microstructure and impurities are essential, as failing to do so can lead to catastrophic failures in the final product. Hence, controlling the cleanliness of the product is mission-critical, both for process control and for quality control of sales. In the aluminium industry, established methods for metal cleanliness control impose significant trade-offs in price, speed, and quality of the cleanliness assessments. We also believe these issues can be found in other industries, such as the production of steel, silicon, and magnesium, in addition to functional materials in the energy, electronics and biomedical sectors. AMCA is a new method for assessing aluminium metal cleanliness, aiming to address the issue of trad-offs in speed, data and cost. It incorporates metallurgical image acquisition and a novel computational image analysis algorithm for analyzing metal sample micrographs. The AMCA method will allow us to conduct metal cleanliness assessments in minutes instead of days. The AMCA method may therefore deliver more data at higher quality, faster and at reduced cost. In this project, we have validated the image analysis method at a Norwegian aluminum cast house by conducting a benchmark against the most established technique for metal cleanliness assessments today: LiMCA. In addition, we have explored if AMCA can be used to solve problems in 10 other markets. In these interview over 15 use cases was proposed. Going forward we will continue to validate the AMCA technology with our partners and explore if we want to pursue any of the new use-cases.

The main outcome of the project has been to reduce risk by demonstrating and honing the value proposition of the AMCA technology in the the original use-case, primary aluminum production. This has been done by benchmarking the method toward the industry-standard LiMCA. In addition, we have explored the potential of AMCA in more than 10 different industries and identified more then 15 potential use-cases, where we believe 5 is of particular interest. We have also estimated the total market size of two of them combined, exceeding our target of 250 million NOK. The effect of the project is that we are now one step closer to implementing AMCA as a tool to improve the efficiency of the Norwegian materials industry and reduce CO2 footprint and resource efficiency by enabling increased recycling.

AMCA is a new method for assessing aluminium metal cleanliness, which is an important step in the quality control of primary aluminium and aluminium recycling. It incorporates metallurgical image acquisition and a novell computational image analysis algorithm for analysing metal sample micrographs. The primary objective of the proposed qualification project is to validate the image analysis method at an aluminum cast house by conducting a benchmark against the most established technique for metal cleanliness assessments today: PoDFA. The secondary objective is to identify new attractive target markets for AMCA outside the aluminum industry, within the broader materials market.

Funding scheme:


Thematic Areas and Topics

Miljø og naturmangfoldSirkulær økonomiKlimaPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderLTP2 IKT og digital transformasjonLTP2 Miljøvennlig energi og lavutslippsløsningerLTP2 Muliggjørende og industrielle teknologierKlimaRammebetingelser og virkemidler for utslippsreduksjon og karbonopptakFNs BærekraftsmålMål 9 Innovasjon og infrastrukturPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderNæring og handelBransjer og næringerPortefølje Muliggjørende teknologierLTP2 Et kunnskapsintensivt næringsliv i hele landetPortefølje Klima- og polarforskningSirkulær økonomiIKT forskningsområdeRobotikk, automatiseringPortefølje Naturvitenskap og teknologiMineralerGjenvinning av mineralsk råstoffBransjer og næringerBygg, anlegg og eiendomBransjer og næringerVareproduserende industriUtviklingsarbeidLTP2 Styrket konkurransekraft og innovasjonsevneDelportefølje Klima og miljøPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderMiljø, klima og naturforvaltningAnvendt forskningPortefølje Landbasert mat, miljø og bioressurserPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderEnergi - Politikk og forvaltningBransjer og næringerProsess- og foredlingsindustriIKT forskningsområdeBransjer og næringerIKT-næringenLTP2 Uttesting og kommersialisering av FoUMineralerFNs BærekraftsmålMål 12 Ansvarlig forbruk og produksjonFNs BærekraftsmålLTP2 Klima, miljø og miljøvennlig energiMaterialteknologiDelportefølje Sirkulær økonomiVerifisering, pilotering, demonstrasjon (ny fra 2014)KommersialiseringPortefølje Energi, transport og lavutslippPortefølje Industri og tjenestenæringerLTP2 Klima, polar og miljøIKT forskningsområdeKunstig intelligens, maskinlæring og dataanalyseLavutslippMiljø og naturmangfold