New cluster to accelerate uptake of AM in industry
A new technology cluster seeks to accelerate the uptake of additive manufacturing in industry through integrated research and development initiatives.
The cluster, located in Bavaria, Germany, comprises the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Oerlikon, GE Additive and Linde, and will be open to additional participants in the future.
Through a collaborative effort, the partners intend to help manufacturing companies integrate AM into their production.
‘We see this opportunity to collaborate as a win for the companies and TUM, as well as for the region,’ said Dr Christian Bruch, CEO of Linde Engineering. ‘We expect the new hub will bring jobs to the area, while also delivering new technologies and capabilities to the companies located here.’
‘By having all of the players located in a single hub, we are accelerating the development and application of the technology for the various industries,’ added Professor Dr Michael Suess, chairman of the board of directors of the Oerlikon Group. ‘Bavaria is the perfect place for us to house this initiative as it promotes energy and production efficiency, which supports Germany’s sustainability goals and the country’s desire to incorporate new technologies.’
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One of the first initiatives of the cluster will be the creation of a new research institute by Oerlikon and TUM. The ‘Additive Manufacturing Institute’ will focus on interdisciplinary research in raw material powders, optimised AM production and end-to-end process integration, including automation and AM digitalisation. Oerlikon engineers and scientists will work hand in hand with researchers and students from various TUM faculties to address all aspects of AM research and production. This will include the verification and qualification of products and the development of new AM business models.
'An integrated collaboration between powerful partners from industry and science is necessary for the industrialisation of additive manufacturing processes,’ remarked Professor Dr Thomas Hofmann, President of TUM. ‘This is the only way we will be able to overcome technological obstacles and find answers to unresolved issues in the field of standardisation.’
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The research institute will be open for research cooperation with academia and industry once the initial frameworks have been established, with an aim to broaden the international network and encourage an architecture of open partnership.
Image: Senior figures from GE, Oerlikon, TUM and Linde gathering to sign a letter of intent to form the new cluster.