The Technical University of Munich (TUM), Oerlikon, GE Additive and Linde have announced during the Munich Technology Conference (MTC3), October 8–10, 2019, that they will create an Additive Manufacturing cluster in Bavaria, Germany, in order to conduct research and develop AM technology from a single hub location.
The companies and organisations that will comprise the open cluster will provide collaborative efforts that are expected to help integrate AM into the manufacturing process and enable companies to use the technology in their production. The cluster also includes academic institutions and will be open to additional participants in the future.
“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,” stated Prof 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.”
Dr Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group commented, “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.”
“Bavaria already enjoys a stellar reputation as a global hotspot for additive technology – with a thriving ecosystem and a rich seam of talent,” explained Jason Oliver, President and CEO of GE Additive. “We’re excited to be part of this initiative from the very beginning and look forward to building on that solid foundation and driving tangible impact both for the region itself and further afield.”
“We see this opportunity to collaborate as a win for the companies and TUM, as well as for the region,” reported Dr Christian Bruch, Member of the Executive Board, 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.”
One of the first initiatives provided by the AM cluster will enable Oerlikon and TUM to create the The Additive Manufacturing Institute. The new research 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 collaborate 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.
Prof Thomas Hofmann, President of TUM, explained, “An integrated collaboration between powerful partners from industry and science is necessary for the industrialisation of Additive Manufacturing processes. This is the only way we will be able to overcome technological obstacles and find answers to unresolved issues in the field of standardisation.”