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Pilot lines for large-part high-precision manufacturing (IA 50%)

The proposals should deliver reliable high-precision processes to manufacture and repair innovative large-scale parts, such as wind turbine blades, large vehicles (aerospace, road or rail), ships or ship segments, construction components, large industrial components, etc. Proposals should cover at least three of the following areas and demonstrate them in a relevant industrial environment:

  • Upgrading manufacturing equipment using several innovative steps for high precision manufacturing, in order to obtain an integrated and modular process;
  • Implement design, modelling and simulation tools to support the selection of processing parameters;
  • Introduce new methods and instruments for process characterisation and in-line process control of the large-scale parts, to guarantee the quality of the final outcomes including high precision (e.g. non-destructive testing);
  • Develop work-holding devices to reduce the repositioning of all components, as well as new methods for equipment calibration and in-process fast recalibration.

Proposals should cover demonstration activities in industrial settings building on the outcomes of the Factories of the Future programme. Open Access to the pilot lines for training people is strongly encouraged.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.

Activities should start at TRL 5 and achieve TRL 7 at the end of the project.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 12 and 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

As an exception from General Annex D, the funding rate for eligible costs in grants awarded under this topic will be differentiated: 100% of the eligible costs for beneficiaries and linked third parties that are non-profit legal entities; and 50% of the eligible costs for beneficiaries and linked third parties that are for profit legal entities.

The production of large-scale parts has achieved so far a relatively low level of mechanisation and automation because standard machines and design procedures are not suitable for these parts and specific equipment is too slow and too expensive. Moreover, repairing large parts requires operating in difficult spaces. All this causes problems of quality and repeatability. Therefore, industry needs more automated production and in-situ repair methods for new innovative and multi-functional products.

Recent research in the large-scale parts production has delivered high quality demonstrators, although generally quite specific and with a too limited impact. Full-scale, reconfigurable, modular and flexible pilot lines including different processing facilities, thermal treatment, control and characterisation could demonstrate comprehensive highly visible prototypes.

The developed manufacturing process should deliver all of the following:

  • Reduction of production cost by at least 15% through process integration, flexibility of the production cells, improved quality and reduction of assembly costs;
  • Reduction of production time by at least 20% by a significant automation increase;
  • A higher or similar precision level;
  • Reduction of the scrap generated by the process by at least 20%;
  • Reduction of the environmental impact and the safety hazards.

Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.