Smart Production – As part of the project, processes, machines and materials for the production are developed and examined in small batches (quantities 1-1,000). These present a particular challenge in everyday production, especially when having in mind that fixed costs (e.g. development and production of thermoforming molds, setup costs) are a considerable share of the manufacturing costs and thus the products are relatively expensive up to uneconomical. Regarding the steadily increasing demand for individual solutions and products as well as the increasing demand for prototypes due to always shorter innovation cycles, there has been a strong trend towards flexible production methods for some years now. The project “Smart Production” addressed these challenges when developing the following:
- intelligent 3D- print technologies for up to now unprintable materials
- a flexible programmed thermoforming mold tool and
- new non-destructive measuring systems for quality control.
That way, the production of small batches is cheaper and more variable. In addition to the use of industrially usable soft materials in additive processes, the aim of the project is to accomplish a scale-up of up to approx. 2 m², which does not yet exist, both for 3D printing and for the flexible thermoforming mold. New measurement techniques will save material, avoid waste and create better product quality as well as this will create new purposes to be used.
The project start is planned for January 1, 2017. The project costs 6,259,906€ and those costs are financed with 67.45% via the INTERREG V A Programm.
The project in the press: