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Enabling SMEs and mid-caps uptake of Additive Manufacturing by bridging gaps in the digital process chain

OBJECTIVES

AMable main objective is the creation of a sustainable Digital AM eco-system for accelerating the uptake of AM technologies; leading to the development of innovative business and service models and new value-chain models in a full-digital environment.

European SMEs can connect to the AMable eco-system through a marketplace that offers all necessary services to cross the valley from AM-idea to AM-prototype. At the core of the eco-system is an industrial data space that is in line with the European Industrial Data Space initiative to ensure security and availability of digitally signed and protected content.

Platform activities will help to bridge the gaps in the digital design chain for Additive Manufacturing (AM) of functional parts covering metals, ceramics, plastics and polymers.

Keen Bull, as a European Commission’s Digital Innovation Hub, provides requirements and recommendations for human-centred design principles and activities throughout the services life-cycle and current business model and organizational model assessment. We are contributing to develop a service for mapping the status of SMEs practices to give a clear picture of the company before starting any activities to introduce AM capabilities. This service will help managers/owners to better define objectives, make decisions, set expectations and evaluate impacts.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Adoption of AM technologies will enhance resource and energy efficiency in comparison with traditional manufacturing technologies. Moreover, decentralized manufacturing will allow to reduce transportation costs and improve logistics. These issues will be quantified in application experiments including LCA.

AM experimentation leveraged by AMable will allow energy efficient and circular economic principles could be implemented more easily with a positive impact on energy management and resources/waste management. The increased integration of AM solutions with forecasting and simulation capabilities will enable and facilitate a new generation of proactive manufacturing processes better suited for implementation of zero-defect and zero-impact production strategies in manufacturing SMEs.

PROJECTED FIGURES

20%

Less waste in manufacturing

30%

Reduction of energy consumption

20%

Less use of raw materials

ADDITIONAL EXPECTED IMPACTS

The increase of current SME’s knowledge and skills in AM (by completing feasibility and best practices experiments and by customized training) will contribute to the reshoring of manufacturing activities and reorganisation of OEM’s value chains.

Overall digitalization of factories and adoption of AM technologies will create safe and attractive jobs and will put an end to the current beliefs that manufacturing is risky or dirty. This factor will contribute attracting the most brilliant minds to manufacturing disciplines.

AMable’s specific support to education and training services is crucial to enable the up-skilling and re-skilling of the European workforce so SMEs and mid-caps can fully embrace and build a competitive advantage for future AM products.

EU flagThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 768775.