The mission of the NextFactory project is to develop and validate a new type of all-in-one manufacturing technology combining, for the first time, in a single piece of equipment, 3D freeform printing and ultra-precision 3D assembly. This highly flexible and scalable facility will empower microsystem manufacturers - and in particular SMEs - to effectively produce highly miniaturised Smart Products-in-Package (SPiPs) both in small series and high-throughput production of large parallel batches.
The project is driven and led by SME-owned use cases in medical, environmental and food processing, which represent an optimal combination of challenging requirements and high visibility for the new approach, providing a strategic direction to the project and validating the operability for a large variety of products: (i) oral sensors, requiring a one-piece-at a time customisation, (ii) microsensor chips for oxygen monitoring in closed compartments, and (iii) complex solar modules with circuits and capacitors. They will also be used for a proof-of-concept demonstration.
The impact expected from this development will be, depending on the use case, a 10 to 100fold reduction of the SPiP production lead time at low cost and with almost zero waste, inducing a paradigm shift in SPiP design & development and thereby freeing an unprecedented innovation potential in manufacturing intensive industries.
The NextFactory consortium will bring together a multidisciplinary group of leading edge SMEs and academic partners respectively contributing expertise in the new manufacturing technologies and the different application fields. NextFactory will last 4 years and work through develop-trial-improve iterations, aiming at satisfying increasingly challenging measurable objectives and delivering valuable intermediate results for the involved SMEs.
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NP26 5YW Gwent