Development of a collaborative network for micro -.. (NET4M)
Development of a collaborative network for micro -manufacturing, -assembly and -robotics
Date du début: 12 mars 2011,
Date de fin: 11 mars 2015
The growing trend toward miniaturization has impacted technologies in virtually every field, from medical and biomedical, automotive, aeronautics and aerospace, IT and telecommunication to other fields such as household appliances, entertainment, sport equipment and manufacturing. Recent market analyses by Nexus forecast a market growth rate of at least 16 % p.a. in the next years (from 12 billions $ 2004 to 25 billion $ 2009). Consequently, a dramatic shift is also occurring within the manufacturing paradigm toward the development of complementary capabilities for producing miniaturized products. This has led to the creation of mesoscale machine tools and robots (mPKM) that are less expensive and more portable than conventional equipment. Furthermore, this trend has led to research efforts on multiscale (micro/meso) levels, bridging the gap between the micro and macro worlds and addressing the limitations of the MEMS and lithographic technologies, not suitable for the production of highly complex MEMS, in which electronic components are integrated with sophisticate mechanical structures, such as moving three-dimensional structures. This proposal wants to address these topics developing a new generation of reconfigurable micro/meso scale robotic handling, positioning and fixturing devices, to be designed and manufactured with the most widespread (and ready to move from academic labs to industrial R&D labs for small series production) micro-manufacturing processes. The micro/meso devices, based on parallel kinematics architectures, will be designed and downsized to reach the limits given by the process technologies, although is foreseen that the limits will be given by the sensor/actuation system. Moreover, the proposal wants to enhance the proposers’ competencies in the micro-manufacturing field, establishing an international network of Research Laboratories in the field of micro-manufacturing, with synergic and interdisciplinary skills.
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