Europe’s knowledge and innovative drive powered the industrial revolution, introducing machines into the production process and changing society forever. Since then, Europe’s position as a leader in machine building has remained unchanged. But because of increased competition from other parts of the world, as well as pressure to reduce the environmental impact of the industry, following a traditional approach to machine building and manufacturing processes is no longer an option.
The NEXT project, bringing together 23 partners from 8 EU Member States and Switzerland, is ensuring that Europe stays ahead of the game in the field of production systems and devices. The project has five main aims: to make production machines more environmentally friendly; to make them more autonomous; to improve performance; to develop a new business paradigm for machinery; and to share new knowledge.
The NEXT results are promising in all of these areas. Project coordinator Dr Rikardo Bueno of Spain’s FATRONIK-Tecnalia is confident that the impacts will be felt far and wide. He expects some of the project partners to be using new machines within a year of the project ending, and foresees other companies taking up the new designs soon afterwards.READ MORE