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FP6 European Program

Frequently Asked Questions       

What do you mean by "Integrated miniature/micro manufacturing facility" ?

Masmicro does not intend to create a physical plant, but new individual technologies and systems to be easily integrated and transferred to EU industries. Depending on the demands from individual customers, Masmicro consortium will be able to deliver individual hardware and software and corresponding integration technology for actual production applications.
The Integrated manufacturing facility includes hardware and software in design analysis, material preparation and testing, micro forming, micro machining, handling, assembly, inspection, transportation, systems control and management for the manufacture of miniature/micro-products.

What are the main innovations of the project ?

Main innovations of the project include:
  • A series of novel methods for design, analysis and testing of miniature/micro materials, products, manufacturing tools and machinery;
  • Flexible tool design for miniature/micro forming and machining; improved tool-fabrication techniques (Micro-EDM, Photo-Electro-forming, Surface Coating); and a new laser system design;
  • Flexible, intelligent forming-machine system concepts and designs for mass miniature micro forming;
  • A new machine-tool concept and design for micro/nano machining for component manufacturing and tool fabrication;
  • New handling, assembly and inspection system designs for miniature/ micro/nano manufacturing;
  • A new Knowledge-based decision support system (KBDS) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for micro manufacturing.

Why is the research dedicated to miniature/micro-manufacturing ?

Manufacture of engineering products down to micro scales is still of challenges to industry, not only to the process capability but also to the manufacturing cost. To-date, conversion of the materials into miniature/micro-products still largely relies on chemical etching and machining. Masmicro consortium believes that high-rate plastic deformation would be another efficient option to the manufacture, in terms of increasing production efficiency and reducing manufacturing cost.

Which industries will benefit from the Masmicro solutions ?

Industries who make and/or use miniature/micro-products, especially metallic parts, will benefit from Masmicro solutions. Associated industries like machinery, tools, automation and software industry will also benefit. These span from electronics, medical devices, automotive, aerospace, to materials and house-goods industry.

Which new technologies are under development within Masmicro ?

Different prototype manufacturing systems are under development, thanks to the collaboration of 18 industries, 10 research institutes, 6 universities and two other organisations, covering all aspects of the complex manufacturing processes: material simulation, surface & lubrication, tool design; Complex and flexible software for simulation of plastic behaviour of micro-structured materials; Novel micro-forming concepts; Multi-axial flexible micro-machining processes; Intelligent handling and inspection; Non-conventional laser assisted processes, etc. count among the more sound innovations under development within Masmicro.

When are we able to view the new technologies developed ?

2006: Demonstration of the individual prototype tools, software and design models;
2007: Demonstration of the technologies and the initially established systems;
2008: Demonstration of the fully established systems and the integrated facility (prototype).

To receive free invitations to attend these events, please click and provide your details in the electronic form.

How can I be kept updated on the progress made by Masmicro ?

Subscribe to the newsletter and additional e-alerts filling the on-line form. If you are interested in collaborating with the Masmicro consortium, please click here.

Who could provide my company with a particular technology for micro manufacturing ?

Masmicro partners collectively provide you with the latest technologies and solutions. Do not hesitate to contact individual partners or the Project Technical Coordinator and Project Exploitation Manager directly, if you have a particular request.
Email: qin.yi@strath.ac.uk; gfuentes@ain.es.

Are there already any patented technologies EU manufacturers could benefit from ?

A technology watching service of Masmicro identified more than 100 patents under the criteria of micro manufacturing. More frequent patented technologies are micro machining, Micro-EDM, micro-moulding or micro-drilling. You can find all information in European Patent Office.

2004 Masmicro Mass-Manufacture of Miniature/Micro Products
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