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"Innovative Design and Top Quality in Gold Jewellery Casting through Integration of Applied Computer Simulation, Design-of-Experiments and Rapid Prototyping" (INTOGOLD)
Start date: 01 Nov 2008, End date: 31 Oct 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The European jewellery industry is facing a severe competition from Far Eastern countries on both home and export markets. The import of large volumes of low cost jewellery puts the margins under pressure. European companies, often employing less than 10 persons, traditionally show poor attraction for co-operation and research. This attitude hinders changes and innovation, though current production methods have rejection rates up to 20 or even 30% and up to 25% of job places could be lost in the sector over the next five years. Aim of this project is to introduce a new approach into jewellery design and production, through the development of a simulation tool on broad basis, the exploitation of the full potential of existing Rapid-Prototyping Technology and the use of Design of Experiment. Detailed research and analysis will be carried out both on materials properties and on processes, the latter being examined both at a laboratory and industrial scales. The SME proposer group represents the entire chain of suppliers, manufacturers and developers of jewellery materials, equipments and technology. RTD performers consist of complementary research partners with large and worldwide recognised experience. The strength of the consortium is unique, guaranteeing actuality and quality to the work to be performed, resulting in an estimated increased turnover of 20% in the first two years for the SMEs. Research results will be filtered, with the aim of extracting the main outcomes and recommendations of general applicability relevant for process innovation in the gold jewellery casting industry. Training sessions will be held, aiming at focussed transfer of the increased knowledge to the casting technicians, production engineers and product designers. The research and sustainable knowledge transfer will thus enable SMEs to offer new and innovative products to their customers, contributing to the increase of competitiveness of the European jewellery sector."
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