"CassaMobile" - the mobile factory

In short

One container – many uses. The "CassaMobile" is a mobile minifactory, which can be used to effectively solve problems that could not be solved in the past. For example, the minifab can manufacture customized products on site with the aid of 3D printing within a very short space of time. 


In detail

Joining forces to develop the first prototype

The idea of the "CassaMobile" came about due to project partners urgently needing a cleanroom at short notice because their own were already running at full capacity. By coincidence, at the same time the EU published a tender for mobile factories. The demand for mobile factories was therefore international. In order to do justice to this mammoth project, specialized companies, universities and Fraunhofer IPA joined forces to develop a shared concept. The result was a prototype of the "CassaMobile" - a modular system in a container, which could be individually equipped with up to six different machine modules.


Many uses

A 3-D printer for plastic components, a milling machine and an assembly system are all integrated in the "CassaMobile". This enables the design potential offered by additive manufacturing to be combined with the precision of conventional manufacturing processes.

Since components inside the container can also be cleaned and sterilized, medical products such as orthopedic insoles or customized bone drilling templates can be manufactured.

Environmental conditions are controlled by means of an integrated filter system which is capable of creating cleanroom conditions that meet the air cleanliness specifications of ISO Class 6. The concentration of airborne chemical contaminants can also be lowered if necessary.


Advantages of a container factory

A major advantage over stationary production facilities is the ability to move it from place to place. Furthermore, this shortens delivery times considerably because products are manufactured in close proximity to the customer. This is a particularly important aspect when it comes to supplying patient-specific medical products.

Thanks to "CassaMobile", products can also be manufactured in remote areas with little infrastructure.

Another significant advantage is the ability to temporarily expand production facilities if, for example, larger orders cannot be covered by existing production capacities.

The integrated design means that the mobile factory can be rapidly configured for a new application and brought to its destination in one piece.



All that is needed for transport and installation is a standard flatbed truck, a crane and solid, level foundations.
On arrival, the "CassaMobile" is already equipped with almost everything for operation.

No buildings and very little infrastructure are required on site, just electricity, fresh water and compressed air, if applicable. Once the container has been installed, it is ready for operation by a suitably trained person. Should it be needed somewhere else, it can simply be moved without any problem.

This makes it possible to react very quickly to changing requirements, as less preparation time is needed than with traditional factories.

Since storage space in the container is limited, it is more suited for manufacturing smaller products in low to medium quantities.

A wide range of products can be manufactured: from automation components up to orthopedic products and surgical aids.

Wide range of possible products: from automation components to orthopaedic products to surgical aids.

Funded by

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement No. 609146 (Project CassaMobile). FP7-2013-NMP-ICT-FOF(RTD).