Series: upcoming challenges for smart manufacturing #01

SMART Chairman Eduardo Beltrán de Nanclares

Eduardo Beltrán de Nanclares, Chairman of the new EUREKA Cluster SMART on Advanced Manufacturing, about flexible automation, virtual factories, zero defects manufacturing, eco-sustainable factories and servitisation.

With its approximately 20 industrial sectors, manufacturing forms the backbone of the economy of many countries of the European Union. Manufacturing is a vital area, whose role is increasingly seen as fundamental towards European recovery and sustainable growth.

The so-called megatrends as well as the economic turbulences influence the development of manufacturing. Ageing, environmental impacts, customization, urbanization, high demand of energy and raw materials or knowledge generation and sharing will change future products and the competitiveness of the industry. It is now time to start action with long-term strategic perspectives.

  1. Flexible Automation: Manufacture customised products with productivities and margins comparable to mass production, using flexible and automated manufacturing systems.
  2. Virtual Factory: To shorten the “time to market”, reduce costs and minimise incidents and errors in the launch cycle of new products through product-process modelling and simulation in the entire chain (design, manufacturing, assembly, operation, dismantling).
  3. Zero defects manufacturing: To achieve “zero defect” processes, integrating techniques for part characterisation, advanced monitoring technologies, techniques for managing defects, analysis of data and support for decision-making.
  4. Eco-sustainable Factory: To minimise the impact of the productive plants in their environment, by reducing energy consumption, consumption of raw materials, emissions, pollutants, noise, etc., and to improve the working conditions of the workers. This includes actions like: recover and revalue materials, minimise energy consumption, energy recovery and ensuring worker health and safety.
  5. Servitisation: To generate alternative sources of income regarding services associated with equipment and tooling. Identification, design and implementation of the technological value proposition, including a service monetisation strategy to optimise its profitability. This challenge takes into account the extended product concept, which includes the physical product itself along with a layer of value added services.

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Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.