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Hightech Strategy

New Approaches for Efficient Micro and Nano Production - µPRO

The demand for new types of skills for micro production is increasing in mechanical and plant engineering, in electrical engineering, and among users such as the automotive industry. Micro-electro-mechanical systems are already being produced, particularly where electronic production processes can be applied to produce large quantities. But flexible production processes are still needed to ensure cost-effective production for changing amounts of miniaturized products. Targeted research will provide the basis for entirely new production processes and equipment.

The entire manufacturing process for miniaturized and micro-structured parts must be optimized in order to develop the opportunities of cost-effective and flexible micro production. In addition to technical solutions, a suitable work organization and a degree of automation in keeping with the number of units produced are important. The individual elements of production systems such as design methods, and micro production and handling techniques as well as the production facilities must be aligned in terms of performance and designed to enable operation by skilled workers.

Research

The German research environment is already well developed for the industrial production of micro parts and assemblies in structures between 10 µm and 0.1µm as well as of nano-scale materials, layers and structures. Numerous institutes of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres, of universities and of the Fraunhofer Society offer good personnel and technical conditions for excellent research in this area.

The thematic fields of µPRO include inter alia:

  • Uninterrupted process chains for micro-structured parts and micro parts
  • Error-free system operation of complex mechatronic products
  • Mounting and packaging techniques for new microelectronics components
  • Production systems for the integrated production of thin and functional layers.

Objectives

Micro and nano production offer new prospects for growth and employment in a high-wage country like Germany. Major challenges must be met, for example:

  • Safe mastery of micro and nano processes
  • Error-free system operation of complex products with miniaturized engines, sensors and information technology components
  • Improvement of economic efficiency compared to traditional technologies
  • Ensuring environmental protection and good working conditions.

Results

New production technologies and equipment have been developed for micro production. Efforts were made to ensure that the new devices and tools, and the concepts for design, production, placement, testing and repair would cover the entire value added chain.

This enables the cost-effective production of changing amounts of higher performing products with a higher degree of functionality such as sensors, industrial control systems and micro engines.

The main stakeholders in the development activities are the mechanical and automotive engineering sectors and the electronics industry, as well as optical and medical engineering companies.

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© 10/22/2014 06:44 Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung