This proposal has been prepared with the help of an Exploratory Award, under EC contract number BRST CT96 0169. The aim of the project is to carry out research and technological development to bring advanced technologies to small and medium sized enterprises who are manufacturing low volumes of high precision, high quality components. The initial workpackages in the project will research the problems faced by the manufacturing companies, including analysis of the components being manufactured, and the manufacturing processes used. In parallel, the advanced manufacturing technologies used by large enterprises will be analysed, to determine their relevance in the low volume producing SMEs. New solutions will be sought, which attempt to optimise the diversity of the manufactured components, and the universality of the manufacturing equipment. The balance between technologies must be identified to ensure that the most cost effective and timely manufacturing facilities can be established. The often disparate systems in use throughout the cycle from order to delivery will be analysed and optimised with a view to integrating all information into an open system, thus allowing rapid and consistent flow of information relating to each semi-custom component. From the results of the initial research, the manufacturing systems will be developed to support rapid and efficient production of small batches of semi-custom products. These improved systems will be subsequently taken to market adding greater flexibility to the range of manufacturing equipment available. The solution providing partner companies will in turn benefit from the overall research, allowing them to manufacture and provide low volumes of customer oriented products. Feedback from the marketplace will be brought into the project by customer facing partner companies, who will benefit from improved design, communication and supply systems allowing greater market penetration.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
20099 Sesto S. Giovanni
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BB9 8SY Nelson