About Machining 4.0

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 machining sector comprises 6800 SMEs with 135.000 FTE and generates €24 billion turnover. This sector has innovated too little in the past 5 years, resulting in a decreased turnover (4%) and employment (5%) and delocalization of machining of large series to low-wage countries.

Project Outputs

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. 

Industrial and Information Technologies

The following outputs are envisaged:

  • An online portal that provides free access to specialized knowledge on innovative technologies for machining.
  • A transnational fieldlab 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 care of EFFRA and transferred across different sectors in NWE.


1000 SMEs acquired knowledge on innovative machining technologies, 250 SMEs experimented with new technologies and collaborated with R&D partners and 50 SMEs received intensive business support. This increases the knowledge/innovation level for machining in NWE.