ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing – Bundled Know-how at the RWTH Aachen Campus

Press Release / 1.10.2015

The Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology IPT and for Laser Technology ILT founded the ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing along with partners from science. The new Center aims to help manufacturing companies – from large concerns via medium-sized companies down to small enterprises – employ the additive manufacturing method usefully and profitably for their production processes.

© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen.
The managing directors Dr. Johannes Witzel (left) und Dr. Kristian Arntz (right) are proud of the new ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen.
Time for networking at the ACAM opening ceremony on September 23, 2015, at the RWTH Aachen Campus.

Can companies use additive manufacturing to master the various challenges they face, such as generating fundamentally new component designs or developing new, faster and more accurate processes and equipment? At RWTH Aachen Campus, a new company has emerged, using the strength of the expert community in this area of technology: on September 23, 2015, the opening event of the ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing GmbH took place in Aachen, which was well attended by more than 100 interested parties.

Additive Manufacturing: Only Successful Together

Strategic partners, such as the Aachen-based Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology IPT and for Laser Technology ILT, play an important role in the ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing GmbH. Professor Günther Schuh, who is member of the board of directors of Fraunhofer IPT, puts the focus on establishing a network which shows the participants paths along an AM roadmap. In this combination, approximately 30 years of experience with project-oriented research collaboration help out, to which Professor Reinhart Poprawe, director of the Fraunhofer ILT, pointed at the beginning of the opening ceremony.

ACAM’s managing directors come from the Fraunhofer institutes, one from IPT and the other from Fraunhofer ILT, each of whom has a different motive for founding the company. Dr. Kristian Arntz of Fraunhofer IPT is fascinated about the underlying idea of the center. “We approach a topic here in an integrated way from project, advanced training, feasibility studies, consulting all the way to compiling knowledge in an AM community.” Dr. Johannes Witzel from Fraunhofer ILT focuses on the force “which lies in the unique combination of world-renowned active and renowned large institutions in this area.”

Offer of cooperation

Companies are able to participate as a partner in the ACAM community; the annual costs vary from 12,000 euros (basic), 40,000 euros (business) up to the individual contract-negotiated service package (cooperation). But whoever settles on campus can offer something special to its employees. Dr. Arntz: “The employees of these companies can participate in training offered by RWTH Aachen University and are directly involved in the university environment.” When it comes to education, ACAM is planning a tailor-made idea. Dr. Witzel: “Starting in 2016, we will establish, along with RWTH Aachen University, a wide range of seminars tuned to the needs of the industry. In the long term, ACAM is striving for a qualified, certified degree for this area – thus, a Master or Bachelor of Additive Manufacturing.”

Strategic partners of the ACAM Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
  • Institute for Toolless Manufacturing IMF, an affiliated institute of the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences
  • KEX Knowledge Exchange AG
  • Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components at RWTH Aachen University
  • Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University.

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