The Technical University of Munich (TUM), Oerlikon, GE Additive and Linde are collaborating to create an additive-manufacturing (AM) cluster that will conduct research on — and develop — AM technology at a single hub location.
The collaborative efforts will help to integrate AM into the manufacturing process and enable companies to use the technology in their production. The cluster will be open to additional participants in the future.
Michael Suess, chairman of the Oerlikon Group (www.oerlikon.com
), said: “By having all of the players located in a single hub, we are accelerating the development and application of the technology for various industries.
“Bavaria is the perfect place for us to house this initiative, as it promotes energy and production efficiency.”
Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group, said: “The project is an excellent example of close collaboration between industry, academia and politics to innovate and industrialise a technology like additive manufacturing.
“AM is a technology that supports our aim of providing sustainable solutions for all industries.
“It completely transforms the production process, and it requires change in every aspect of manufacturing — supply chain, production, employee training, quality inspection, product validation and regulation.”
One of the first initiatives ‘enabled’ by the AM cluster will see Oerlikon and TUM develop a new research institute.
The Additive Manufacturing Institute will focus on inter-disciplinary 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 at various TUM faculties (mainly mechanical engineering, but also chemical engineering, the physics department and informatics) 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.