SMEs and companies in the sheet metal forming sector can now apply to free services to better characterise sheet metal properties, predict part performance and prevent production loses
FormPlanet European Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) project has launched a call for SMEs and companies in the sheet metal forming sector to access to services to better characterise sheet metal properties and predict the formation of defects in an early stage of design, forecast part performance and prevent production losses.
FormPlanet services comprise novel and differentiated metal characterisation tests, in-process control systems and new modelling approaches, as well as materials information and other complimentary services, including consulting or on-demand training.
The project aims to tackle the upcoming challenges in formability and part quality assessment and support the usage of advanced high-strength materials in sheet-metal forming end-users’ sectors, such as transport, home appliances, machinery, packaging or construction.
FormPlanet’s objective is to “to ease companies’ process of technological uptake by offering services that support all steps of the development of innovative sheet metal forming parts and products”, explains Begoña Casas, FormPlanet technical coordinator and researcher of the unit of Metallic and Ceramic Materials at Eurecat technology center.
“Companies applying will have access to novel testing techniques for advanced high-performance metals, limiting productivity losses due to forming cracks and inaccurate quality assessment that cannot be predicted in the product’s design stage using traditional experimental or computational approaches”, adds Casas, which results in an increase of the usage of high-strength sheet materials for high-added value products in different applications.
The call for receiving applications is open and will run until March 31, 2021 offering up to 140,000 euros of financing to SMEs and companies. Applicants are able to propose a problem to be solved with FormPlanet offering and will receive technical services, advisory support and visibility through FormPlanet project channels.
After the assessment of proposals during April 2021, selected applicants will start their activities in May, which will last until November. Successful companies will test and validate the effectiveness of FormPlanet characterisation and modelling approaches.
An Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) is a group of entities providing common access to physical facilities, capabilities and services. The new entity to be created as part of FormPlanet project will represent the entry point to a powerful interregional network of innovation stakeholders, that will benefit from a set of tools and services conceived to support industry, especially Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), and increase the competitiveness of the European sheet metal forming sector.
The project is framed within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, and it is backed by a European consortium formed by three research centres (Eurecat, coordinator of the project, plus Fraunhofer IWU and COMTES FHT), two universities (Lulea University of Technology and the University of Pisa), three companies (Letomec, Ansys GRANTA and Applus+ Laboratories), eight industrial enterprises (Centro Ricerche Fiat (CRF), ArcelorMittal, Arania, Estamp, Arçelik, Aludium, APT and Lamera) and the Spanish Association for Standardisation (UNE).