Over the next decade, for a wide range of complex products, the holistic optimization of performance will push towards new multi-material and multi-functional solutions. This will result in a change in the manufacturing paradigm by introducing new methods and process technologies within the factory in order to ensure both the required quality and sufficiently high productivity to guarantee cost-efficient manufacturing. Economic sustainability will require a re-design of products and production processes respecting the manufacturing conditions and strengths of Europe. In turn this will imply maximising manufacturing efficiency by implementing, where adequate, automated, complex and precise manufacturing steps, which can be supported by advanced technologies and knowledge available in Europe. From the perspective of mass production, economic viability is also of fundamental importance. Solutions like the adoption of lighter and higher resistant materials such as titanium, carbon composite remain critical from a cost perspective, while material availability and new regulations concerning End of Life (EoL) already constitute significant challenges for Industry. To achieve solutions which are truly viable, the ratio of cost to performance must be reduced to improve global competitiveness. The assessment of manufacturing related cost and investment factors will be strategic for the selection and optimization of innovative product/process/system solutions. New appropriate cost modelling techniques are needed to evaluate the future cost of products manufactured either by existing or new technologies, considering future scenarios where market needs, production volumes and technology maturation cause the continuous evolution of product/process/system solutions. These challenges must be faced along the entire supply chain involving OEMs, components suppliers and SMEs due to the typical supply chain of a complex product.
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