The Interreg Machining 4.0 project was officially launched in January 2019 at the Manufacturing Supply Chain Awards. This project is European funded and aims to increase the knowledge level of machining SMEs transforming them into more innovative enterprises by transferring knowledge on innovative technologies, stimulating hands-on experimenting and supporting the transformation process.


Machining in North-West Europe

Machining (turning, drilling, milling) is a manufacturing process where dedicated tools are used to remove material from a workpiece to obtain the desired shape. The NWE (North-West Europe) machining sector comprises 6800 SMEs with 135,000 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) and generates €24 billion turnover. This sector has innovated too little over the past 5 years which, as a result, has had a decreased turnover (4%) and employment (5%) and delocalization of machining of large series to low-wage countries.

The project aims to increase the knowledge level of machining SMEs and transform them into more innovative enterprises by transferring knowledge on innovative technologies, stimulating hands-on experimenting and supporting the transformation process.

Machining 4.0 Project Outputs


Industrial and Information Technologies

Outputs Envisaged:

  • An online portal that provides free access to specialized knowledge on innovative technologies for machining.
  • A transnational field lab network integrating seven regional field-labs and gives machining SMEs open access to complementary state-of-the-art equipment and inspiring demonstrators.
  • Twelve machining applications – based on the typical challenges from the NWE machining sector – are co-developed with the machining SMEs to translate the broad Industry 4.0 vision into tangible applications with high potential for machining.
  • A voucher scheme is set up to (financially) support machining SMEs that want to transform their production systems (50 transformation vouchers of €12,000).
  • 50 machining SMEs are intensively supported and coached to define their transformation plan and start the integration of innovative technologies in their production system.

Project outputs are placed under the care of EFFRA and transferred across different sectors in NWE.

Fergus Quilligan, Director of Analytics at IMR:

“Machining 4.0 translates the broad Industry 4.0 vision into concrete applications for machining, tailored to SMEs.

Twelve applications based on typical challenges from the machining sector are being co-developed with machining SMEs under the following themes

  • Emerging innovative machining technologies (i.e. cryogenic, laser, precision machining)
  • Digitizing the machining shop-floor (i.e. connecting machines, extracting data, planning, and scheduling)
  • Supporting the machining operator (i.e. digital work instructions, collaborative robots)

IMR is using its successful Greybox technology to develop out a scheduling solution specifically targeted at machine shops. Eleven other applications are being developed across Europe and will be presented in a roadshow in Ireland.”

Vouchers are available for Irish machining SMEs to explore any of these applications with the associated research organization.

Keep Me Updated

IMR’s Machining 4.0 Project Partners

IMR is partnering with 9 other companies across 7 regions in northwest Europe. The project targets machining SMEs (typically 10 up to 250 FTE).


Learn more about Machining 4.0 Partners

Learn More About Machining 4.0

Sirris (Belgium)

Sirris is the collective center for and by the Belgian technological industry. We offer Belgian companies three key assets to help them remain innovative: years of experience and comprehensive expertise in a wide range of industries; high-tech testing infrastructure spread across the country; and an extensive network of partners. This way we help large and smaller players in the Belgian industry make the right technological choices and achieve sustainable economic growth.

Fraunhofer IOSB (Germany)

Fraunhofer in Lemgo follows an interdisciplinary research approach: Engineers and Computer Scientists are working together to address the open topics of industrial automation systems by applying information technologies. The objectives of our research work are the reliable operation and high adaptability of industrial automation systems. Situated in one of the most important clusters of machine engineering in Germany, new solutions are developed in a close dialog between science and industry.

UCD – LAMS (Ireland)

The Laboratory for Advanced Manufacturing Simulation (LAMS) belongs to the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering of the University College Dublin. LAMS is actively involved in research and development projects related to a series of cutting edge engineering and scientific fields and is particularly interested in collaborating with the European industry as well as with leading engineering firms.

STODT (Netherlands)

STODT Toekomsttechniek is a Dutch non-profit application center, where industries (mostly SME’s) and their personnel from the Netherlands and western Germany, receive practical training in new manufacturing technologies. The center’s focus is on the fields of machining, mechatronics, automation, and Smart Industry. STODT Toekomsttechniek is set up to help businesses improve their production and engineering processes and thereby achieve lasting higher returns.


The Advanced Forming Research Centre is a globally-recognized center of excellence in innovative manufacturing technologies, R&D, and metal forming and forging research. AFRC works with all types of organizations: from global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) all the way through to local manufacturing companies. AFRC is part of Scotland’s manufacturing research and development sector and is the country’s only High-Value Manufacturing Catapult center; one of only seven in the UK.

Swiss Mechatronics (Switzerland)

The mission of Swiss Mechatronics is to significantly increase the innovative strength of its members by linking the right partners. Swiss Mechatronics holds numerous events to enable members to network and connect. The focus lies in finding cooperative partners directly through cluster management in research and industry, nationally and internationally, anonymously or open, along the entire value-added chain; free of charge for members.

Medical Mountains (Germany)

MedicalMountains AG (MM) is a member organization focusing on microtechnologies, metal and plastic processing, and medical technology. Many of the MM members use machining processes in their production system. MM is a networking organization (Tuttlingen/Neckar-Alb region) promoting innovation, stimulating cooperation and supporting the development of foreign markets. MM has a direct link with technology mountains, the network of technology providers in the Southwest of Germany.

ZHAW (Switzerland)

Teaching, advanced vocational training, and R&D. The team is made up of 54 qualified, industry-proven and multidisciplinary professors, experienced engineers, and researchers. These carry out applied research and development on a national and international level. The institute is also responsible for teaching in all degree programs offered by the School of Engineering, in particular, they take the role of a Master Research Unit (MRU) in the field of Mechatronics and Industrial Technology.

Cetim (France)

Cetim, the French mechanical expertise center in the field of mechanics, was created in 1965. It’s a Carnot-labelled technological institute and a founding member of the Alliance Industrie du Futur (Industry of the Future Alliance). Cetim is an R&D tool for almost 6,500 mechanical companies; it employs 700 people, over 2/3 of which are engineers and technicians and features a turnover of € 113 million. Cetim has direct access to the French machining SMEs.



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