Clean Manufacturing Cluster

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Clean Manufacture brings together European-funded projects which share a common goal – to help manufacturers improve the efficiency of their factories and compete worldwide. The cluster now includes seven projects involving 93 industrial and academic partners in 19 countries, covering sectors including marine, automotive, steel, civil engineering, woodworking, textiles, foodstuffs and aerospace.

In 2013, four projects funded under the European Seventh Framework Programme joined forces to give a coherent view of clean manufacturing to industry. REFORM collaborated with AREUS, EMC2Factory and ENEPLAN on different aspects of the eco-factory.  Joint dissemination and training activities were devised to spread a single message on competitive, green manufacturing to industry.

After participating in several impact seminars in Brussels, the first meeting of the cluster was held in Sheffield on 15 October 2013. Members of the four projects discussed ways of working together to enhance the research results produced and to disseminate the research as widely as possible.

In 2014, three additional research projects have joined the Clean Manufacture eco-factory research cluster. DAPhNE, Factory-ECOMATION and REEMAIN.

The cluster have joint dissemination and training events at Industrial Technologies in Athens, at TPA-Italia in Milan, EWEA in Copenhagen and at the Politecnico di Milano. 

They are part of the FOCUS project which is developing best-practice in clustering and have participated in workshops with the EFFECTIVE clustering project.


The objective of AREUS is to overcome this limitation providing an innovative integrated technology and engineering platform, which is interdisciplinary, modular and configurable. Efforts are focused on a significant reduction in their ecological footprint and in cutting total lifecycle costs while improving productivity and adaptivity. Four research and development areas have been selected and will be addressed during the project’s lifetime:

  1. Hardware technologies to leverage bi-directional energy flows and to improve the use of renewable energy sources in factory,
  2. Eco-efficient design of robotic production systems,
  3. Sustainability optimization of production processes,
  4. Lifecycle assessment of both environmental and economic costs linked with co-evolving products, processes and robotic production systems.


The overall scope of the DAPhNE project is to develop and demonstrate a package of integrated solutions for energy intensive, firing processes (ceramics, cement and glass), based on real time self-adaptive control systems for MW and process control and for tuning micro-wave technologies to the material characteristics, yielding real time information about the process energy consumption as well as the product quality.


The main objective of ENEPLAN is the development of highly flexible manufacturing systems that are adapted to a single product. These systems will cover the operation of the whole plant , from overall planning (product routes, production scheduling) down to programming the individual processes (process operation, energy efficiency etc). Process planning will be based on expert systems and tools will be developed to simulate the operation of each machine both from a technological and an economical point of view. ENEPLAN will deliver a manufacturing planning decision support tool to optimise plant operation and which can be used during every phase of production from concept design to dispatch.  


EMC²-Factory will improve and develop new technologies and processes, combining existing tools and methods in an overall integrated framework, to achieve economic and ecologic factories. It will focus on the main energy intensive processes within the most relevant industrial sectors in Europe (automotive, rail and aerospace), developing tangible and industry relevant results to be easily implemented in cross-sectoral manufacturing environments. To assure impact on European economy, EMC²-Factory's partnership includes the main Industrial players and SMEs in manufacturing, highly-recognized research centers and Universities and one of the main European industrial associations. The project results will therefore lead to a sustainable and economically profitable, green factory framework. The newly established paradigm will become a permanent reference point in European Manufacturing.


Factory-ECOMATION project will aim at enabling European manufacturing industries to overachieve Europe 2020 program targets through development of breakthrough innovations for cost-effective, highly productive, energy-efficient and near-zero-emissions production systems, by means of:

  1. Definition of a holistic perspective of the economically and ecologically oriented production environment;
  2. Development of a comprehensive sensing, monitoring and data evaluation system which could grant access to an organic view of all the materials, energy, wastes and emissions flows within the factory;
  3. Extension and development of new technologies to increase energy efficiency by reducing its consumption at machinery and production level, and by recovering it whenever wasted;
  4. Development of advanced emissions abatement technologies;
  5. Introduction of a new adaptive management and automation platform to optimize production taking into account not only productivity targets but also eco and energy-oriented ones.


Resource and Energy Efficient ManufacturINg (REEMAIN) combines cutting edge knowledge and experience from production processes, energy simulation software tools, energy and resource planning and renewable energy and storage to develop and demonstrate a methodology and platform likely to boost the efficiency of both energy and material resources.  REEMAIN will develop:

  1. Solar thermal concentration to provide a true seamless integration of renewable energy in to the manufacturing processes.
  2. Electricity storage to be used as a intermediate storage of energy for better performance and coordination.
  3. Factory simulation tools to help in the process of analyzing the factories and deciding about the best alternatives to enhance their efficiency.


REFORM will carry out research to make every part of the lifecycle of a composite component greener. Methods for forming, machining (cutting and trimming), assembly and recycling composites will be investigated and advances demonstrated through a range of case-studies. By using the technologies developed in REFORM, companies will be able to reduce lead-times and manufacturing times, reduce energy-use and the amount of scrap produced and meet end-of-life and recycling directives.  REFORM is also developing tools which will allow companies to assess the cost and environmental impact of implementing new technologies.


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Project Co-ordinator.


REFORM is a collaborative project of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.

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