According to the European roadmap for the Factory of the Future , high‑precision manufacturing and micro‑manufacturing of complex products obliges precision manufacturing to increase the accuracy of machines and controls. This requires the introduction of new material‑processing technologies and novel measurement technologies. It also requires process monitoring and modelling or simulation approaches, associated with novel optimization and maintenance strategies. PEM, through international and national collaboration with academic and industrial partners, is conducting research which the expected outcomes can be useful for society at large. As an example, in the SUMMIT project the expected result is to realize the full value of production data in the design and maintenance phases to increase sustainability, efficiency, and robustness in Swedish manufacturing industry. Or the FriText project, which significantly extend the lifetime of the mechanical components, reduce the energy and fuel consumption of combustion engines, hence reduce the friction losses and have better wear protection, and consequently have positive impact on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction.
Besides educating engineers for future who will shape the society and push CE, research by CMS team has also made a great social impact. ResCoM and ReCiPSS are two flagship projects coordinated by the CMS team that supported 5 European OEMs in exploring and implementing CMS. Nine SMEs (both Swedish and European) involved in these projects received support to develop methods and tools that are crucial for implementing CMS. SerBIT and CIS Sotenäs are two smaller scale projects that are supporting an OEM and a municipality in Sweden to become circular. These projects also involve SMEs that are developing IT-solutions for implementing CMS.
Furthermore, 3 spin-off companies have taken shape by participating in the above-mentioned projects and are trying to establish themselves commercially as well. CMS team is leading the KTH circular economy initiative CE@KTH aiming to boost research and education in CE at KTH and in Sweden. The team is also representing KTH in the EMF’s CE100 network and signee of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment . The team has always been an active participant in different networking/dissemination activities organized by the EC’s R&D platforms, EMF as well as major conferences such as World Circular Economy Forum, Circular Materials Conference and European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform etc. All these initiatives are aimed at supporting to ensure a sustainable society through industrial transition to CE.
Within the scope of industry 4.0, AM has the potential to disrupt international manufacturing and business operations. This is owing to the fact that AM is shifting the nature of production, sourcing, and other value-chain activities. Applications of AM to manufacture components and products are already broad and encompassing spanning aerospace, biomedical and automotive industries to art, architecture, shoe and toy manufacturing, and rapid prototyping. AM is even sometimes used to make intermediate manufacturing components such as plastic models for investment casting.