ADMA: European Advanced Manufacturing Support Centre

This tool helps SMEs assess the possibility of adopting both advanced manufacturing solutions as well as social innovation strategies. Thereby transforming their organization through 7 transformation areas towards next-generation factories with more competitive, modern and sustainable production.

As the technological and social innovation expertise of a downstream SME is often quite limited, they often do not exactly know what knowledge, services and equipment is required for their demand. The European ADMA Support Centre centralized the SMEs´ requests and offered a personal contact with Factories of the Future advisors during a 36 month study that started in June 2018. The consortium included both technological and non-technological partners.

ADMA methodology:
The ADMA assessment is based on 7 transformation areas:
T1 - Advanced manufacturing technologies
T2 - Digital factory
T3 - Eco factory
T4 - End to end customer oriented engineering
T5 - Human Centered organization
T6 - Smart manufacturing
T7 - Value chain oriented open Factory

A company is considered a factory of the future with an average score of 4 out of 5 for each of the transformation domains. The tool also helps to determine priorities in the further development of the company, without having to aim for this average score.

A company can choose to perform a quick online scan or apply the ADMA methodology extensively:

  • Option 1: Perform the Factory of the Future Quick scan (30 questions) or Full scan (58 questions) and get benchmarked on all transformation areas.
  • Option 2: A Factories of the Future advisor will guide the company through the ADMA assessment and will provide a transformation plan which will give a clear view on the identified priority areas and the required transformations.

o   Step 1: The advisor has an interview (90 minutes) with the business owner/ management covering most of the relevant questions of the 7 main topics and several of the subtopics of the assessment. (Enclosed a one pager of the 7 transformations that we find very useful to use during the interviews.)

o   Step 2: The advisor performs a shop floor visit in addition to the interview (60 minutes).

o   Step 3: The advisor fills out the ADMA assessment (document enclosed). The result is a ‘shadow scan’.

o   Step 4: The SME fills out the scan. At least completed by the CEO. Additional scans completed by the HR manager, R&D department and others are recommended to properly cover the 7 transformation domains.

o   Step 5: In a second meeting, the advisor discusses the results with management to arrive at a consolidated score. Possible solutions are not yet provided. The result is an assessment of the company's 'as is' status.

o   Step 6 and beyond: Further steps are to provide the company with what we call a ‘transformation plan’.

Target audience:
CEOs and management in small and medium companies. Intended for companies with at least 10 employees.

The ADMA initiative and associated support center is currently no longer active. A follow-up project called ADMA Transformers will be launched around October 2021. You can contact Merete Norby at to know more about it.

An ADMA inspirational handbook has been published. It showcases testimonials of 15 SMEs that have benefited from the ADMA methodology in the past 3 years. You can download it here.

The ADMA project is performed on behalf of the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) under Service Contract GRO-SME-17-C-063.