Portal of the EU Integrated Project 'FUTURA'
FUTURA IP focuses in the integration of Multi-Functional Materials in the automotive industry with the simultaneous introduction of novel modular and scalable approaches for designing and producing vehicles.
The motivation behind this project is attributed to both the global market pressure and to the inherent trend of the European automotive industry toward innovation. Comprehensively, FUTURA IP attempts to address the following market demands:
- Promote the development of innovative vehicles, with high-added customer value and environmental sustainability
- Move forward from the traditional BIW structures, to a new generation vehicles with advanced functionality
- Develop a cost efficient light weight design of vehicles for lowering CO2 emissions
- Integrate innovative materials and processing methods into the BIW production
- Finaly, gain a competitive advantage for its OEM stakeholders over the the Asiatic and American competitors in terms of volume manufacturing
The challenging objectives that have been set are:
- Implementation of MFMs in vehicle mass production with a reduction of component costs up to 25%
- Develope of process chain simulation techniques to reduce development time by 20%
- Improve dimensional monitoring and production automation of large sub-assemblies and reduce quality assurance time over 30%
- Increase of vehicles’ environmental efficiency up to 50% due to new MFMs manufacturing processes
All activities foreseen will be performed within a straight forward, objective-driven research approach, which is based on the scheme: Specifications -> Technology Development -> Technology Integration. FUTURA IP is devided into five subprojects, one dealing with the managerial issues, one with the demonstration activities and three with the research and development activities:
SP1 "FUTURA Specifications Framework" will deal with the development of a framework of specfication for the materials, design, processing, LCA and produciton activties. Furthermore, novel vehicle concepts that facilitate MFMs implementation will be addressed, including modular, scalable, hybrid body and chassis structures.
SP2 "Development of MFMs' Processing Technologies" will address the state of the art forming and joining processing concepts and requirements of MFMs, including sandwich materials, nano-materials, HSSs, etc. Optimized processing procedures and conditions will be achieved through the theoretical and experimental investigation of the processing of MFMs.
SP3 "Development and Integration of Production Technologies of the FUTURA Factory" will focus in the development of intelligent, cost efficient and environmental friendly production setups for MFMs processing. Efficient operation of the production setups and their interrelation will be based on production simulation and control. Vehicle variety, safety and environmental friendliness are the major customer/society oriented perspectives to be addressed as well.
FUTURA IP is funded by the EU, under the FP6, Thematic Area: Priority 3 – NMP