FOF-07-2017: Integration of unconventional technologies for multi-material processing into manufacturing systems

Main pillar: 

  • Nanotechnologies, Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, and Biotechnology


85 000 000



Call deadline: 

Thu, 19 Jan 2017


  • Forthcoming


Specific Challenge:

The competitiveness of European manufacturing depends on producing differentiated and high added value products in an efficient and sustainable manner, with reduced production costs, increased product quality and minimised time to market. Multi-material products have the advantage of putting the right material in the right place to satisfy all the expected requirements, which is particularly relevant when high cost or critical materials are involved. The aim of this topic is to integrate unconventional manufacturing technologies within a specific set (water jet, ultrasonic and micro-wave electron beam welding and/or electro discharge machining, laser and photopolymerisation) into a manufacturing system to make multi-material products composed of high cost or critical materials with a prolonged service life. These innovative manufacturing concepts and technologies can help European industry to face the challenge of improving resource efficiency and sustainability.

The integration of the above-mentioned unconventional manufacturing technologies into the process chain may be complemented with processes such as thermal treatment, in-process inspection and control, stress-relieving, micro-structural improvements, machining and joining. Successful integration will help to achieve a breakthrough in innovative manufacturing approaches for multi-material products. The major challenge lies in reinforcing the integration of these unconventional processes into manufacturing systems for multi-material products and subsequently implementing them throughout the European manufacturing sector, as well as ensuring that the disassembly of the materials is possible to enable re-use and recycling.


The proposal should use one or more of the following unconventional manufacturing technologies (water jet, ultrasonic and micro-wave electron beam welding and/or electro discharge machining, laser and photopolymerisation) to create new manufacturing systems for multi-material products. To tackle this major challenge successfully, research will need to cover all of the following areas:

  • innovative process chains for high cost or critical multi-material products based on unconventional technologies, integrated if appropriate with more conventional manufacturing techniques such as machining and joining;
  • manufacturing processes capable of generating the features and geometries required for multi-material products as well as integrating additional improvements such as thermal treatment, stress relieving, surface hardening, corrosion resistance or micro-structural improvements;
  • new flexible machinery concepts and components to allow the integration of unconventional technologies and processes into industrial manufacturing systems able to handle a range of material combinations and products;
  • in-process inspection and control to ensure quality requirements within the innovative process chains.

Activities are expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 4 to 6. This topic addresses cross-KET activities.

This topic is particularly suitable for SMEs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The developed new technologies should lead to a remarkable impact in the following terms:

  • Reduction of at least 10% in the production time through the integration of operations and the reduction of idling time between manufacturing steps.
  • Reduction of at least 15% in the production cost through process integration and improved manufacturing quality.
  • Resource efficiency improved by reducing the use of raw materials and energy consumption by at least 10%.
  • Strengthened global position of European manufacturing industry through the intensive implementation of innovative and unconventional technologies along the European manufacturing value chain.
  • Low capital investment solutions available for SME uptake.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of the Work Programme.

Call documents: