14 May Interreg NWE Machining 4.0 project
The Interreg Machining 4.0 project was officially launched in January 2019 at the Manufacturing Supply Chain Awards. This project is European funded and aims to increase the knowledge level of machining SMEs transforming them into more innovative enterprises by transferring knowledge on innovative technologies, stimulating hands-on experimenting and supporting the transformation process.
Machining in North-West Europe
Machining (turning, drilling, milling) is a manufacturing process where dedicated tools are used to remove material from a workpiece to obtain the desired shape. The NWE (North-West Europe) machining sector comprises 6800 SMEs with 135,000 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) and generates €24 billion turnover. This sector has innovated too little over the past 5 years which, as a result, has had a decreased turnover (4%) and employment (5%) and delocalization of machining of large series to low-wage countries.
The project aims to increase the knowledge level of machining SMEs and transform them into more innovative enterprises by transferring knowledge on innovative technologies, stimulating hands-on experimenting and supporting the transformation process.
Machining 4.0 Project Outputs
- An online portal that provides free access to specialized knowledge on innovative technologies for machining.
- A transnational field lab network integrating seven regional field-labs and gives machining SMEs open access to complimentary state-of-the-art equipment and inspiring demonstrators.
- Twelve machining applications – based on the typical challenges from the NWE machining sector – are co-developed with the machining SMEs to translate the broad Industry 4.0 vision into tangible applications with high potential for machining.
- A voucher scheme is set up to (financially) support machining SMEs that want to transform their production systems (50 transformation vouchers of €12,000).
- 50 machining SMEs are intensively supported and coached to define their transformation plan and start the integration of innovative technologies in their production system.
Project outputs are placed under the care of EFFRA and transferred across different sectors in NWE.
Fergus Quilligan, Director of Analytics at IMR:
“Machining 4.0 translates the broad Industry 4.0 vision into concrete applications for machining, tailored to SMEs.
Twelve applications based on typical challenges from the machining sector are being co-developed with machining SMEs under the following themes
- Emerging innovative machining technologies (i.e. cryogenic, laser, precision machining)
- Digitizing the machining shop-floor (i.e. connecting machines, extracting data, planning, and scheduling)
- Supporting the machining operator (i.e. digital work instructions, collaborative robots)
IMR is using its successful Greybox technology to develop out a scheduling solution specifically targeted at machine shops. Eleven other applications are being developed across Europe and will be presented in a roadshow in Ireland.”
Vouchers are available for Irish machining SMEs to explore any of these applications with the associated research organization.
IMR’s Machining 4.0 Project Partners
IMR is partnering with 9 other companies across 7 regions in northwest Europe. The project targets machining SMEs (typically 10 up to 250 FTE).