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Fraunhofer ILT 2011 Wins Innovation Award for Additive Manufacturing

Date Announced: 14 Nov 2011

North Rhine-Westphalia’s 2011 Innovation Award has been awarded to the team led by Professor Reinhart Poprawe, Director of the Fraunhofer ILT.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s 2011 Innovation Award has been awarded to the team led by Professor Reinhart Poprawe, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, and consisting of laser experts comprising Dr. Andres Gasser, Dr. Ingomar Kelbassa, Dr. Wilhelm Meiners, and Dr. Konrad Wissenbach. This award carries a cash prize of 100,000 euros. The Fraunhofer ILT research team has been driving progress in the field of additive manufacturing for over 20 years, developing techniques that help to save energy and resources in the production environment.

Selective laser melting (SLM) enables customized components such as medical implants or functional parts for machine tools to be manufactured cost-effectively and extremely rapidly in small batches on the basis of 3-D CAD data, following the just-in-time principle. This has opened the door to entirely new business models in the manufacturing industry, including mass customization, open innovation and co-creation, that allow end users to participate in the design process or even take over a large part of the design work themselves.

As Prof. Poprawe said, “In a few years’ time, the way spare parts are manufactured for an established supplier of hydraulic components will be radically different. Instead of keeping hundreds of variants of spare parts in stock, the manufacturer will simply store the 3-D CAD data of all components that have been produced in the past. Then, when an order is received, the appropriate part can be produced on demand using the selective laser melting process and shipped promptly to the customer.”

Source: Fraunhofer ILT

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Steinbachstr. 15
D-52074 Aachen
Germany
Phone +49 241 8906-0
Fax +49 241 8906-121

E-mail: via web site

Web Site: www.ilt.fraunhofer.de

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