The European NEXT project on the machine tool of the future is entering its final phase
The NEXT project is the most important and ambitious project that the European Union has undertaken to date in the machine tool sphere. The project has a budget of 24 million euros and brings together a total of 24 members, amongst which is ONA Electroerosión, and other leading companies in the sector in Europe, technology centres and universities.
NEXT (Next Generation Production Systems) programme research is aimed at developing technologies that allow the machine tool sector to adapt to the production changes that are occurring in the customer industries (automotive industry, aeronautics, energy, etc.), to answer their new manufacturing needs, and distinguish them from Asian competitors.
The project, started in 2005, is planned to end in September. It is not about obtaining abstract results, quite the contrary, the European Commission wants a new generation of machines that are more efficient and easier to handle, and less pollutant.
The creation of more ecological machines is one of the project’s priority objectives. Of the 24 million euros in the project, six million have been earmarked for the environmental aspect. The biggest impact of a machine tool on the environment mainly comes when it is used, and not so much during its design and manufacturing. Therefore, the NEXT project is focused on finding solutions that reduce the energy and environmental impact during machine use. ONA occupies a prominent position in this area, as it is a global pioneer in the introduction of ecological filtering systems and industrial ecodesign.
The Next project members are convinced that the new technological developments resulting from this project will enable them to stay at the front line as regards performance and maintain or increase their respective market shares. Furthermore, ONA sees the close collaboration between the company and technology centres, such as Fatronik, a project coordinator, as very positive. As a result of this close collaboration, it is easier and more profitable for ONA to incorporate new technologies in its products and services.