Objectives and content
It is the objective to develop and demonstrate a production system for polyurethane (PUR) moulded footwear. It will be designed with the need to produce a user friendly, low cost, easily maintained and environmentally friendly production system for safe processing of multicolour soles and enabling profitable small batch production in high variety of articles. Focus is made on the flexibility in the entire process and each single operation will be independent of the other operations.
Four research areas will be addressed, in each of them new innovative solutions will be developed: production equipment, material technology, planning and control, and human resources. By integrating the sub systems, the research will aim to improve the efficiency and quality of existing techniques. This will reduce operational costs and allow clean production, and the flexible system will be able to adapt to rapidly changing demands due to changing models and production needs. Thus the production system is aimed at both small and large companies.
The basic approach consists of a combination of four innovative components: - New automated production equipment and processes for parallel processing of individual operations during PUR soling based on various developments in the sub systems transport system, tool system and PUR moulding system. - New and improved PUR materials, reduction of hazardous processing materials during moulding and reduction of waste as well as re-use of waste through material recycling for clean production.
- User friendly, real-time operating production planning and control tools for process stable and flexible production of customer oriented product mix. - Improved working conditions, performance, quality and health of the entire flexible production system through new human, technical and organisational structures which uses better human skills and competence.
The project will reach the objectives in a sequence of tasks in four phases: - Study Phase will involve updating the information on the current state-of-the art and will be used for investigation of technologies, materials, techniques and procedures in the four research and development areas, for which the technical requirements will be defined. - Research and Development Phase will include the design and construction of the key technologies for the transport, tool and PUR moulding sub systems, the planning and control, as well as material and human resource development. The output will be sub systems of the entire new production system, tested according the options and premises defined in the Study Phase. - Final Integration Phase will involve moving the system components to the end-user, where they will be integrated in the prototype production system. - Trials Phase will involve demonstrating the flexible manufacture of a range of shoes with PUR soles in a mix of products, colours and sizes and comparing quality with the traditional techniques and -procedures.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
NN16 9JH Kettering
35020 Sant'angelo Di Piove