The laser expertise-sharing commission, Lashare, has called for additional partners to take part in its Laser-based Equipment Assessment (LEA). This call will offer funding of more than €1.7 million to new LEA partners, based on the rules of the seventh framework program of the European Commission. The start of the new LEAs is anticipated for 1 September 2015.
Coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, more than 36 partners from industry, small and medium sized businesses (SME), and research and technology development organisations have already teamed up to develop and apply the analytical approach. In this, an industrial user, an SME equipment supplier and a research and technology development partner jointly conduct an assessment of laser-based equipment.
During an assessment the project partners define relevant manufacturing objectives, the implementation of technological enhancements, and the final validation in a production like environment. In the end, a robust prototype of the equipment is produced that is in line with market expectations.
The results from the first phase of the project - where users, suppliers, and research partners agreed on objectives and concrete measures - have shown the predicted success of the LEAs and the identified general requirements from diverse market environments. This has led to the formulation of a competitive call which will be opened by LaShare on 1 February 2015.
Lashare intends to add 10 to 12 LEAs which focus on sensors and knowledge based ICT systems in the area of complex manufacturing tasks. The equipment addressed within such an LEA shall enable autonomous set up of machine and laser parameters for fast and flexible manufacture and/or process and quality control for robust processes and fully documented production.
Since September 2013, Lashare has initiated 14 Laser Based Equipment Assessments (LEA’s). Following the first stages of these assessments, the first solutions from the implementation phase are now being seen, with some LEA’s exchanging equipment for preliminary testing at the user sites. Newly developed laser sources were dispatched, new processing heads have been tested and work piece samples have been exchanged for analysis.