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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Development of a new flexible manufacturing process for low series production of metal parts, application to custom and special vehicles


The production of special vehicles or products in volumes lower than 2.000 units per year presents specific technical and economical problems with respect to achieving efficiency, reliability and profitability while remaining environmentally friendly. The current trend is an increase of these specific needs which are becoming increasingly unsatisfied mainly due to too high production costs.
The special vehicle sector, in which are roughly involved 2.500 SMEs in Europe for a business volume of 4.000 Euros must respond to escalating customer expectations, fluctuating demand, complex supply chain processes, and has now reached a critical point in its development where new solutions are needed in order to stay competitive.
The present State-of-the-art is a practically 100% craft or hand-made production. We aim to modify the sector from a current rigid manual manufacture to an innovative, flexible, automated and high added value production, achieving a considerable shift from resource-dependent to knowledge-based manufacturing.
The main technological aspect to be developed in order to achieve the project objective is the manufacturing methodology related to the sheet metal components of the vehicle. For this, it is planned to use as starting point an emerging manufacturing technology for sheet metal components, Dieless forming, which is based on incremental deformation and rapid manufacturing technologies. Time reductions of up to 60% in product development and 50% in manufacture as well as a 50% increase in capacity are expected.
The SME partners, covering most of Europe's vehicle niche markets will be key to developing applicable knowledge within projects of commercial exploitation in terms of engineering services, together with new developments and the improvement of existing technologies from the RTD work carried out. The IAG partners will be responsible for a wide dissemination at international and multi-sector level.

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Av. Universitat Autonoma 23

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Participants (19)