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FP6

MASMICRO — Result In Brief

Project ID: 500095
Funded under: FP6-NMP

Large-scale production of small-scale parts

Consumers are demanding ever smaller devices with enhanced functionality and performance at lower cost. An ambitious EU-funded project delivered over 50 machines and process tools enabling previously unattainable mass production of miniature devices.
Large-scale production of small-scale parts
An urgent need has emerged for novel manufacturing tools and machines capable of delivering precision miniature and micro-parts that enable the commercialisation of breakthroughs related to nanotechnology.

The ‘Integration of manufacturing systems for mass-manufacture of miniature/micro-products’ (Masmicro) project was initiated to develop efficient mass production machines and processes to cut costs and meet the growing demand for micro-products.

Thirty six partners working on the Masmicro project conducted research on fundamental issues covering a wide range of conventional, unconventional and hybrid technologies resulting in over 50 exploitable systems that bring mass micro-manufacturing to a level never before achieved by any organisation.

Among the machines for manufacturing miniature parts that the Masmicro consortium delivered was the first ever machine for high volume hydro-forming of tubular parts capable of forming tubes with 0.8 mm diameter and 0.040 mm wall thickness. Furthermore, the team produced the first mass-manufacturing extruder for making micro-parts. They also produced a new desktop micro-forming machine with a maximum workspace of 400 x 400 mm that generates thin metal parts with thicknesses less than 0.100 mm.

The project consortium not only delivered machines for mass production of miniature parts but also provided key advances in design of advisory and analysis systems, micro-parts robotic handling and inspection systems and decision support systems, to name a few.

To enhance European-wide implementation of the results and position the EU as a leader in this emerging manufacturing sector, the team actively conducted demonstration and training programmes with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Masmicro project has delivered tools, technologies and processes to enable mass production of miniature and micro-parts on a scale never before seen. Commercialisation of the numerous results has the potential to significantly enhance the European economy with important benefits to consumers.

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