The ECOFIT proposal addresses as general objective a drastic reduction of the mass of machine tools for production systems (around 70% for structural components and motion units) and, consequently, a reduction of the energy consumption (around 30% less) fo r the use of these new type of machines. ECOFIT represents a radically new approach to industrial machinery conception, aiming at the development of a radically new technology for cleaner and more efficient production, by means of a paradigm shift: changin g from current stiff and massive machinery, with high energy consumption, to lightweight elastic machines with controlled flexibility and thus much lower enrgy needs. This new approach of "lightweight elastic machines with controlled flexibility" represent s an important novelty regarding the way production systems are conceived. It is estimated that currently, approximately an 80% of the total mass of a machine tool is used to stiffen the machine for accuracy purposes, whereas only the remaining 20% is used to fulfil the kinematic requirements of the machine. With the aim of approaching this separation between mechanical stiffness and accuracy in machine tools, this project will combine mass reduction strategies in combination with new control strategies ba sed on damping considerations and new optical servoing solutions. The cornerstone of this new machine conception philosophy is that accuracy will be achieved by mechatronic stiffness against disturbances and external perturbations instead of using mechanic al stiffness to achieve that robustness. This project will reach the frontiers of current knowledge by the synergetic combination of new eco-design methodologies, innovative robust controllers for the flexible mechanism systems, optical servoing and smart materials featuring distributed actuators and sensors to the flexible components. This new approach will be exploited by the proposing industrial companies, builders of machine-tools, of piezo-actuators,
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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