As demands on miniature/micro-metal-products increase significantly, micro-metal-forming becomes an attractive option in the manufacture of these products due to its advantageous characteristics for mass production. Fundamental issues relating to materials, processes and analysis have been studied intensively in recent years and have been well documented in the literature. What are the challenges to further development that will be beyond "in-house" laboratory research? Machines, forming-tools and handling of micro-metal-parts are, for example, critical elements that significantly determine the industrial applications of micro-forming. Previous development was, however, diverse, and seemed lacking in systematic consideration. This keynote paper is dedicated to the exploration of the strategies concerning the development of equipment for micro-forming, through examining the state of the art of the development in this field and miniature manufacturing systems (micro-factory) as potential development models in particular, followed by introducing an EU fp6 Integrated Project in mass-manufacture of miniature/micro-products - MASMICRO project.
- forming machine
- miniature manufacturing system