The product design, mould design and production within the thermoforming process is currently based on craftsmanship and an iterative trial and error approach. The European Thermoform industry (Employees: 275.000, Turnover: 27.5 Billion Euro, 85% of companies are SMEs) is facing severe competition from Far Eastern countries. In order to fight this competition, a combination of Throughput Time reduction and First Time Right production should be established. The current craftsmanship should be integrated in a predictive approach from product design to manufacturing with the emphasis on mould design to come to a First Time Right production of less costly thermoformed parts in shorter timescales.
The T-ForM project will result in a technology which is able to supply the thermoform industry with:
- Design guidelines for thermoformed parts,
- A complete proposal for an ideal thermoforming mould design, based on, and connect to, a dedicated Production Simulation system by developing a predictive mould design system for thermoforming
- Optimal thermoforming parameter settings coming from the developed predictive mould design system.
Through the developed technology an "ideal-thermoforming-mould" will be described in a neutral, digital form; which can be used immediately in commercial available CAD/CAM software for generating tool paths. In this was also the first time right and correct manufacturing of the mould is guaranteed.
The project will be supported an validated by hands-on experiences from authoritative IAG- an d SME-partners involved and will result in technology and methodology which:
- Will increase the knowledge base and cooperation of the sectors involved;
- Can easily be transferred by the lAGs to all their members and
- Will improve EU-competitiveness of t he thermoform industry as almost all EU countries are represented in this project through the 7 national and 1 European acting lAGs.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Funding SchemeCollective - SMEs-Collective research projects
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire