Photonics in Manufacturing
A strong manufacturing industry, with the economic growth and jobs it provides, is critical for the future social sustainability and welfare of Europe. Global competition requires European companies to develop innovative products using new materials and/or new functionalities, well beyond defending niches against low-cost competition with incremental advances.
This evolution will require access to key enabling technologies, manufacturing approaches and design methodologies. This means adaptive and evolving factories capable of high-performance, small-scale production, combining flexibility, productivity, extreme precision and zero-defects while remaining energy- and resource-efficient and economically effective across the supply chain. Significant industrial paradigm shifts are underway: shorter time-to-market, a broader vision of high performance (i.e. incorporating precision, size or sustainability on top of productivity), mass customization and services. The trend towards customization and the growing importance of industrial design, as observed most notably in consumer electronics, will require novel methods for proving new product properties and shapes, and bespoke production capabilities.
These grand challenges, addressed through key enabling technologies such as photonics, will offer opportunities for new products and new business development from novel high-tech manufacturing.
Examples of where photonics is applied in Manufacturing:
- Laser-based 3D printing, welding, cutting
- High power laser systems for manufacturing
- Selective etching
- Computer vision systems for quality control – In-line inspection
- Sensors for preventive maintenance
- High sensitivity sensors for manufacturing
- Tailored industry4.0 sensors and equipment
- Micro- and nano fabrication
- Smart textiles
- Virtual prototyping