MUNICH—The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has developed a mobile, smart factory called CassaMobile, reports Phys.org. This mobile unit can be used, for example, to 3D-print bone drilling guides and rework them in a milling machine before verifying their quality and sealing them in sterile packaging.
The factory is housed inside a 20-foot ISO container, which a heavy truck can transport quickly to wherever it is needed. Medical products can be manufactured in close proximity to a hospital, for instance. Researchers deliberately opted for dimensions just below the threshold for an oversize load, which would require an escort vehicle to accompany the truck on the road.
"This mobile factory can reduce a delivery time of up to a week to just two days," says Raphael Adamietz, IPA's CassaMobile project manager.
Another advantage is that customers need to purchase equipment only once. They can then transport it to wherever they need it, saving money and reducing their environmental impact. As the container is fully equipped prior to transport, all the customer needs on site is electricity, water and compressed air. Production can begin immediately.