The FP7 DEMETRA project helps machines become more efficient, reliable and silent


Summer 2017

Mechanical power transmissions are extensively used in many industrial sectors, such as transportation, energy production and industrial automation. In such areas, where the impact on the environment is a key factor in assessing system performance, they represent a failure-prone subsystem, responsible for substantial energy losses and noise emission.

The industrial partner (Siemens Industry Software, Belgium) and the two academic partners (University of Calabria, in Italy, and KU Leuven, in Belgium) of the DEMETRA project are developing advanced modelling and testing technologies to enable multi-attribute simulation and optimization of mechanical transmissions, as to increase effi ciency and durability of industrial machinery while reducing noise and vibration levels.

Due to current trend towards system lightweighting, structures are becoming lighter and more fl exible, which makes conventional analysis methodologies incapable of providing optimal design parameters, since it is no longer possible to optimize separately the different components, due to their mutual effects in the full dynamic response. Innovative methods are needed to enable improved virtual prediction and system-level performance optimization.

Supported by the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) scheme, the DEMETRA researchers are joining expertise and efforts to establish a simulation methodology that is capable of capturing the system non-linear dynamics in a multi-discipline integrated, detailed, yet computationally efficient way. The resulting cross-fertilization of industrial needs/expectations and state-of-the-art research methodologies is enabling the achievement of:

  • Efficient simulation models and algorithms for capturing the non-linear dynamics of gearboxes;
  • Multi-attribute optimization strategies from upfront design arrangements, to macro-geometry definition and micro-geometry refinement;
  • Model validation on dedicated test-rigs and system-level cases;
  • Novel techniques for transmission error measurement.

In parallel with the challenging scientifi c objectives of the project, one DEMETRA priority has been set in promoting full career development of the involved Fellows through their participation in a comprehensive programme of activities for scientifi c and transferrable skills training.

For more information visit the project website at or contact the project coordinator at

The research leading to these results has received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013/ under REA grant agreement n°324336 – DEMETRA: Design of Mechanical Transmissions: Efficiency, Noise and Durability Optimization.