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FP6

PROLIMA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 12442
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Spain

Better machine tools for greener industry

Advanced software systems have been developed to enhance sustainability and environmental friendliness in new machine tools. The technology can be used in other sectors as well.
Better machine tools for greener industry
Europe has been supplying over 50 % of machine tools to the world for decades. However, the global recession has threatened to shift the balance to third world countries where these tools can be manufactured more cheaply.

The EU-funded project 'Environmental Product Lifecycle Management for building competitive machine tools' (Prolima) set out to pre-empt this phenomenon by creating better, more eco-friendly machine tools.

The project supported related small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing milling and grinding tools that last longer, are better for the environment and are more cost efficient. Prolima worked on improvements during the design phase, considering lifecycle cost from the onset and adopting a decision support system. It also focused on the concept of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS).

In parallel, Prolima worked on the manufacturing phase by providing SMEs with tools and best practice manuals, such as for the environment. The team worked on machine tool sustainability indicators and software systems that encourage sustainability. The software assesses sustainability of machines by evaluating functionality, cost and environmental impact.

Prolima conducted a successful pilot run of the system in a company that produces milling machines. The system was received positively and produced beneficial results for designing and developing better tools. Also noteworthy is the possibility of exploiting the software in other industries and sectors to improve design, eco-friendliness and overall sustainability. This is indeed good news for European competitiveness and the future of industry on the continent.

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