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High throughput integrated technologies for multimaterial functional Micro Components (HINMICO)
Start date: Oct 1, 2013, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Volume production at industrial scale of miniaturised multi-material 3D (polymer-polymer, metal-polymer, metal-metal, polymer-ceramics,...) still face important challenges to be affordable by SMEs. Challenges not only in terms of precision manufacturing (precision engineering <0.01%) but also in the adequate interaction between the different constituent materials.Besides multi-material micro-system manufacturing processes still show to be time and cost consuming mainly from assembling activities and back en processes (35-60% of the total manufacturing costs come only from the assembling), so further research efforts in alternative and more integrated manufacturing concepts(over-moulding of micro-components and in-mould assembly technology would avoid the assembly step) are needed.To answer those problems the development of high-throughput and cost-efficient process chains based on micro injection should consider the following aspects:• Improved volume production, not only from the standpoint of the necessary accuracy and performance of the process, but also regarding the interaction/bonding of the different materials which make up the produced parts and the possibility of selective functionality of their surfaces.• The integration of the different processes including the feeding and handling systems for automatic operation in order to eliminate human intervention and manufacturing costs.• Analyse the most suitable process control, online verification and back-end processes taking into account the features of the multi-material replicated parts represented by five demonstrators.The aim is to reduce manufacturing costs up to 40%. Thus, the HINMICO project final outcome will enable to produce high quality multi-material micro-components through more integrated, efficient and cheaper process chains.
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