NMP-2008-3.5-1 Volume production process chains for high throughput micromanufacturing
Technical content/scope: The objective is the development of integrated processes for microproduction and finishing that combine innovative processes enabling performing manufacturing capabilities for emerging micro-products with high market impact to be demonstrated.
The proposed work must significantly extend the range of microfabrication process capabilities by encompassing a wider range of materials and geometric forms and by defining processes and related process chains that can satisfy the specific functional and technical requirements of new emerging multi-material micro-products in sectors such as telecommunications, medical/surgical, transport, biotechnology and consumer products. In addition, the compatibility of materials and processing technologies throughout the manufacturing chains needs to be ensured for reasons of robustness and cost-effectiveness.
Main development issues must include:
- Integration potential of innovative micro-manufacturing technologies, their constraints and commonalities.
- Methodologies for integration of different manufacturing technologies into common process chains.
- Process integration to achieve compatibility of materials and processing technologies throughout the manufacturing chains.
- High throughput micro-manufacturing process chains with build-in capabilities for "easy and fast" on-line inspection process monitoring and control.
- Establish "design for manufacture knowledge base" and rules that will shorten the product development cycle through rapid process and manufacturing chain definition and implementation into existing industry processes and promote manufacturing standards.
- Industrially feasible systems/platforms that validate all stages of process integration.
Deliverables should demonstrate significantly higher production rates, accuracy, and enhanced performance/quality, creating capabilities for the serial manufacture of micro components and/or miniaturised parts incorporating micro/nano features in different materials. Processes should also provide a higher flexibility for seamless integration into new micro/nano manufacturing platforms.
Funding scheme: Collaborative projects targeted to SMEs.
Specific features: In order to ensure industrial relevance and impact of the research effort, the active participation of industrial partners represents an added value to the activities and this will be reflected in the evaluation. SME dedicated collaborative projects are specifically designed to encourage SME participation in research and innovation representing the complete value added of the targeted sectors. Research and innovation activities need to be covered by the projects. At least 35% of the requested EC contribution should be allocated to the participating SMEs. Proposals not addressing this requirement will be considered ineligible. To ensure a larger industrial impact, priority will be given to proposals showing that the projects will be led by SMEs with R&D capacities (the coordinator does not need to be an SME but the participating SMEs should have the decision making power in the project management and the output should be for the benefit of the participating SMEs and the targeted SME dominated industrial communities.
The following specific requirements will be reflected in the evaluation: (i) as regards the S/T quality & objectives, proposals should have holistic process chain lifecycle coverage with adaptive applications to different types of products and industrial sectors.
Expected impact: Microsystems-based products are considered an important contributor to Europe’s industrial and economic future with present (2005) market volume for Microsystems of EUR 31 billion/year, and predicted to double over 5 years.
Research output must show a clear strategic contribution to reaching targets of cost effective, automated and high quality manufacturing of new products with new features made possible from such integrated paradigms. The multidisciplinary effort will have to prove commercialisation capability and matching of deliverables to global regulatory requirements. The effective transfer and integration of laboratory scale manufacturing processes to an industrial environment is expected to contribute to the European Micro-Manufacturing industry capturing a 1/3 share of the world market.

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