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MASMICRO Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: 500095
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP6-NMP
Paese: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - MASMICRO (Integration of manufacturing systems for mass-manufacture of miniature/micro-products)

Taking micro-manufacturing to more efficient mass production levels in order to cut costs and meet the demand for micro-products requires an integrated effort and multi-disciplinary approaches. The Integrated Project (IP) MASMICRO, therefore, spread its research over a range of conventional, unconventional and hybrid technologies, pooling the expertise of 36 complementary partners.

By the end of its four-year term, this project had produced more than 50 exploitable results, a number of which were already at an industry- ready stage. The first machine for high-volume hydroforming of tubular miniature / micro-parts has been built, featuring an active hydraulic drive and a new dynamic sealing concept. This is capable of forming tubes with dimensions as small as 0.8 mm diameter and 40 µm wall thickness.

A new desk-top, linear-motor-driven machine has been developed for the micro-forming of thin metal strips / parts with thicknesses below 100 µm, at rates up to 1 000 parts/min. The modular machine has a maximum working space of 400 x 400 mm, and a choice of set-up options for flexibility in handling and tooling. One more MASMICRO breakthrough is a linear-motor driven press for high-throughput cold forming of miniature components. It incorporates an innovative parts-handling system and control strategies, together with the first mass-production system for extruding micro-parts. It is again equipped with a flexible tool system to permit deployment for various micro-forming processes.

Yet another development is the 'ultra µ-mill', a bench top five-axis ultra-precision machine for Computer numerical control (CNC)-controlled micro-milling, drilling and grinding of three-dimensional (3D) mechanical components and micro-featured surfaces. The compact machine has a resource / energy-efficient design giving submicron precision and nano-metric surface finishes.

More key advances include design advisory and analysis systems, new miniature / micro-materials and testing facilities, a laser system and laser-assisted forming tools, optimised micro-Electric discharge machining (EDM), photo-chemical etching and electro-forming processes, new micro-parts handling and inspection systems, and more. System integration is effected with a manufacturing execution system, a knowledge-based decision support system and a robotic handling system.

Taken together, these developments reflect a 'life - cycle' concept for implantation in future miniature microproducts industries. Europe-wide implementation of the knowledge and technologies generated within the project is actively promoted via MASMICRO's demonstration, training and Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) take-up programmes.

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United Kingdom
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