The MecaTech Cluster, a driving force for innovation in mechanical engineering.
Mechanical engineering covers a range of companies (component manufacturers/integrators) that provide clients with "functional systems" (consumer goods, machines or industrial processes) as well as companies that manufacture components or sub-assemblies by drawing on various technologies.
These "functional systems" can be found in almost all sectors of activities (consumer goods such as cars, domestic appliances, etc. but also in health devices and all types of machines or industrial processes). This is what is known as the transversality of mechanical engineering.
During the 19th century and a greater part of the 20th century, mechanical engineering depended to a large extent on steel and other metals and on the so-called "mechanisation" of parts. But this is no longer the case. Today's everyday products or processes combine a huge variety of materials and coatings, of forming technologies, in particular global technologies that work by adding materials (thixo project: forming of materials in a semi-solid state) rather than through subtraction of materials (mechanisation), sometimes in micro or nano dimensions. They combine electronics and mechanics (mechatronics) and use increasingly sophisticated calculation and simulation methods, in particular by developing multiphysical models. New combinations are currently being developed, such as biomechatronics and photonics. The project for aseptic surfaces being developed as part of the Mirage project is a good example of the integration of the knowledge and know-how linked to organic fields.
In fact, the "machines and processes" of mechanical engineering as well as its components are integrating an increasingly broad spectrum of cutting-edge scientific and technical fields. The interaction between these sciences and technologies is growing and leads to the "hybridation of mechanical engineering", generating truly ground-breakinginnovations.
The MecaTech Cluster projects are selected around four strategic lines of development :
• Materials and surfaces of the future
• Comprehensive forming technologies
• Microtechnologies and mechatronics
• Intelligent maintenance