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IK4-IDEKO presents a solution to make smes in the machine tool sector more competitive

SMEs in the Machine-Tool sector have, from today, new technological solutions that will help them compete successfully at international level. 
Ideko-Ik4 technology centre in Elgoibar has succeeded in providing the European Manufacturing SMEs in this sector the methodology and knowledge required for micro-manufacturing, and developing and manufacturing a micro milling machine that has become a benchmark at national and international level. 
This machine together with three other prototypes (laser micro machining, micro wire EDM and micro sinker EDM) and several demonstrators have played a leading role in the European LAUNCH-MICRO project, whose conclusions were presented at midday today at Ideko-Ik4. The project is within the technology centre's "Microtechnologies and Ultraprecision" research area, which is dedicated to the development of machines, systems and manufacturing processes for parts with submicrometric dimensions and tolerances.
Led by Ideko-Ik4, and made up of a consortium of 28 companies and technological centres in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland and the United Kingdom, the project has lasted 51 months with a budget of 9 million euros, co-financed by the European Economic Community.
The practical applications of these developments are especially focussed on the following sectors: medical (dental, orthopaedic, optical, etc), moulds, aeronautic, automation, renewable energies, etc, and its fundamental objective is for the Machine Tool sector to technologically equip these companies so that they can be more competitive and, so, contribute to the sustainability of the economic growth of the European Union.
In this time of crisis, this is very positive news in a sector that, in Spain, has seen a drop in production of 27.8% in the last year. This will allow the SMEs, which represent 90% of the Machine Tool market, to open new business opportunities and offer innovative solutions at European and international level.
With this project, Ideko-Ik4 has reaffirmed its commitment to bringing differentiator technologies to manufacturing that will allow it to improve its competitive position and consolidate its specialisation in microtechnologies and ultraprecision.
The prototype presented today can be visited at the Ideko-Ik4 stand at the next Machine Tool biennial that will take place this spring in Bilbao.