APPOLO - Hub of Application Laboratories for Equipment Assessment in Laser Based Manufacturing
Proyecto Europeo Appolo
About the project
During more than 50 years of the existence, lasers have been proved as the unique tool for diverse material processing application. New application ideas, coming from universities and research institutions, are implemented usually by spin-off companies with limited resources for market penetration. Research laboratories are using universal tools (laser machines), while the effective and low-cost production requires adaptation of the processes and equipment during the technology assessment phase by the end-user. The process and equipment go jointly.
The APPOLO project seeks to establish and coordinate connections between the end-users, which have demand on laser technologies for (micro)fabrication, knowledge accumulated in the application laboratories of research institutes and universities and the laser equipment manufacturers (preferable SMEs: for integration, lasers, beam control and guiding, software, etc.) in order to facilitate faster validation of the process feasibility and adaptation or customization of the technology (equipment) for manufacturing conditions, including reliability of components and their interaction as well as assessment of the dedicated production processes in terms of the process speed, quality and repeatability. The HUB is established to prepare and offer laser equipment validation and certification services for businesses outside the project. Core of the consortium consist of laser application laboratories around Europe which are connected to a virtual hub to accumulate knowledge and infrastructure and promote the easy-to-access environment for development and validation of laser-based technologies. All partners selected a few directions (clusters) for validation of novel laser technologies, including equipments: the ultra-short pulse laser scribing for monolithic interconnects in CIGS solar cells: from laser to pilot line; use of lasers in smart surface texturing for automotive and printing/decoration industries and for the real-3D flexible electronics. Innovative SMEs are related to large system-integrators and end-users through the application laboratories.