Micro-manufacturing research : drivers and latest developments (Keynote Paper)

Qin, Yi (2015) Micro-manufacturing research : drivers and latest developments (Keynote Paper). In: 23rd International Conference on Computer-Aided Production Engineering, 2015-11-03.

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    Abstract

    Increased demands on micro-products and miniaturised systems/devices may have been a main driver to the rapid growth of the interest in research in micro- and nano-manufacturing. It seems, however, not to be the only reason why so much funding has been made available for researchers to be able to conduct research in this emerging field. A review was conducted recently with a view to gaining a clearer view of demands on the applications and on trends in developments in micro-manufacturing, by looking at the market, research topics, projects, interactions with industry, outcomes and applications. It was found that there have been significant changes/advances in micro-manufacturing research, compared to what had been undertaken and achieved in 5 ~ 10 years ago, being reflected especially by: (i). micro-manufacturing research bridging “nano-manufacturing” and “macro-manufacturing” and hence, bringing nano-technology into real-life and affordable products; (ii). addressing multi-length scale manufacturing problems and hence, linking it to macro-sized product manufacturing, which adds its relevance to general manufacturing and wide-sector applications; (iii). micro-manufacturing research being shifted from “process focus” to “market/product” driven research and technological development addressing production capability, product quality, pilot production line demonstration and delivery; and (iv). micro-manufacturing research playing roles in helping to transform traditional industry and products. These new developments may justify past and current significant investment in research and technological development in micro- and nano-manufacturing, and suggest more significant impacts to come in near future.