Current Collaborative Projects

On this page you will find a selection of the current collaborative projects of the Fraunhofer ILT. Detailed information can be found in the project profiles below and on the respective project websites.

 

Launch in 2015

 

Launch before 2015

“futureAM” - Next Generation Additive Manufacturing

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has launched a new cooperation platform to continue developing the additive manufacturing of metallic components: the focus project futureAM. Six project partners, the Fraunhofer Institutes ILT, IWS, IWU, IGD and IFAM, as well as the Fraunhofer Research Institution IAPT, will secure Germany's technological lead in the field of additive manufacturing and make distributed resources more usable in a decentralized manner. One goal is to significantly accelerate 3D printing of metal parts while reducing manufacturing costs. The collaboration will create new digital process chains as well as scalable and robust AM processes. In addition, the institutes will develop corresponding system technology and automation and expand the range of processable materials.

In a joint ”Virtual Lab“, the futureAM partners will develop demonstrator components that show the practical suitability and the potential of the technologies developed. They will digitally map real systems and processes and optimize them by means of simulation tools – enabling users, for example, to make better predictions, or to detect and eliminate errors more quickly.

The project structure encompasses four fields of activity, which are intended to help secure the technological lead in AM: 1. Industry 4.0 and Digital Process Chains, 2. Scalable and Robust AM Processes, 3. Materials, and 4. System Technology and Automation. Fraunhofer ILT in Aachen, which will coordinate the focus project for a period of three years, is in charge of the second field of activity. The scientists from Aachen are developing robust additive manufacturing processes as well as novel plant designs with large building spaces to increase process scalability.

Project Information

Title “futureAM” - Next Generation Additive Manufacturing
Term 1.7.2017 – 30.6.2020
Supported by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V.
Website Project Website “futureAM”
Contact Person M.Sc. Christian Tenbrock

“EVEREST” – Development of Intelligent Process and System Technology for Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition

The focus of EVEREST is to develop an intelligent process and system technology for extreme high-speed laser material deposition (EHLA) in order to make the technology available to broad industrial application. In addition to the development of robust processes for rollers in the chemical and paper industry, the partners will develop systems for automated geometry detection, tool path planning as well as process monitoring for intelligent repairs and hybrid additive manufacturing and will integrate them into a demonstration machine.

Project Information

Title “EVEREST” – Development of Intelligent Process and System Technology for Extreme High-Speed Laser Material Deposition
Term 01.04.2017 – 31.03.2020
Project Sponsor Projektträger Jülich / Leitmarktagentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person M.Sc. Gregor Bultel

“INSPIRE” – Interferometric Distance Sensor System with Autonomous Subsystems for High-Precision Inline Measurements to Control Automated Manufacturing Processes

The goal of “INSPIRE” is to create an interferometric distance sensor system for absolute measurement which is also capable of performing simultaneous inline detection of the macroscopic and microscopic geometric workpiece properties of metal semi-finished products.

Project Information

Title Interferometric Distance Sensor System with Autonomous Subsystems for High-Precision Inline Measurements to Control Automated Manufacturing Processes – “INSPIRE”
Term 01.04.2017 – 31.12.2019
Project Sponsor Fraunhofer ILT
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Website Project Webseite “INSPIRE”
Contact Person Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Hölters

“CeGlaFlex” – Process Chain for Form-Flexible Ceramic and Glass-Based Switching and Display Elements

According to the current state of the art, there are only inadequate approaches and methods to produce thin ceramics in a continuous process chain with high transparency, high dimensional accuracy as well as high surface and edge quality. But not only is there a lack of transparent, form-flexible ceramics, suitable processing technologies are also needed with which 3D components can be produced with the required qualities of surfaces and edges. Furthermore, there are currently no processes available which can treat the ceramic thin-glass composites necessary for a functional electronic component with switching and display functions. In the joint Fraunhofer project CeGlaFlex, the partners will investigate and develop, therefore, processes and process chains that can machine form-flexible ceramic and glass-based switching and display elements.

The project has set itself the goals 0f developing processes and process chains that can

  • Produce thin and hence form-flexible transparent ceramics and display laminates with a thickness in the range of 100 μm,
  • Process transparent, form-flexible ceramics and thin glass composites with high three-dimensional geometrical flexibility without damaging the material functions and
  • Produce integrated switching and display elements on form-flexible substrates made of ceramic-glass composites.

Project Information

Title “CeGlaFlex” – Process Chain for Form-Flexible Ceramic and Glass-Based Switching and Display Elements
Term 01.03.2017 -29.02.2020
Supported by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
Contact Person M.Sc. Christian Kalupka

“ScanCut” – Laser Cutting in the Punching Process

Within the joint project ScanCut, four project partners are developing a hybrid manufacturing process for the high-precision laser cutting of thin-walled metal ribbons. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ILT has combined a helical-beam optic with a multi-beam module. The laser beam power is provided by a high-power USP beam source.

ScanCut is a joint project of KOSTAL Kontakt Systeme GmbH in Lüdenscheid, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, as well as Pulsar Photonics GmbH and Amphos GmbH, both of which are located in Herzogenrath.

Project Information

Title “ScanCut” –  Laser Cutting in the Punching Process
Term 01.03.2017 – 29.02.2020
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) 
Contact Person Dipl.-Ing. Frank Zibner

“SeQuLas” – Absorber-Free Laser Welding of Thermoplastics

The aim of the SeQuLas project is to develop a novel laser-based process technology that can weld thermoplastics without the use of absorbers. Using a continuously updating temperature field, the project partners will segment a seam contour and adapt the irradiation order and parameters during the welding process, thus achieving a defined energy input. This will contribute to increasing the flexibility and efficiency of industrial production in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Project Information

Title “SeQuLas” – Absorber-Free Laser Welding of Thermoplastics
Term 01.03.2017 – 30.09.2019
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur NRW
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) 
Website Leitmarktwettbewerb Produktion.NRW
Contact Person M.Sc. Phong Nguyen

“LextrA” – Laser-based additive manufacturing of components for extreme requirements out of innovative intermetallic materials

For resource and energy efficiency in industrial production, innovative materials play a decisive role: Not only do they make production processes more economical, but they are also robust and environmentally friendly. The aim of LextrA, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), is to develop additive processing technologies for special intermetallic alloys, e.g. molybdenum and vanadium silicides as well as iron aluminides. Such alloys are suitable for high-temperature applications in aerospace, power generation or toolmaking. Processes used for them include powder nozzle-based Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) and powder bed-based Selective Laser Melting (SLM), also known as laser-beam melting or laser powder-bed fusion (L-PBF). The project partners in LextrA have already successfully produced and processed Mo-Si-B alloys for turbine construction, which are suitable for operation at high hot-gas temperatures and can significantly increase the efficiency and efficiency of existing turbines. The project will help successfully develop additive processes to produce directionally solidified, low-defect structures, thereby allowing for greater overall flexibility in component design compared to established manufacturing techniques.

Project Information

Title “LextrA” – Laser-based additive manufacturing of components for extreme requirements out of innovative intermetallic materials
Term 01.02.2017 - 31.01.2020
Project Sponsor Projektträger Jülich (PTJ)
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) 
Contact Person M.Sc. Silja Katharina Rittinghaus

“NeuGenWaelz” – New Materials for the Additive Manufacturing of Roller Bearings

The goal of NeuGenWälz is the additive production of roller bearings by means of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF). To do this, the partners will develop materials and LPBF systems engineering in a coordinated and integrative way. The key challenge here is to develop a material that meets both the requirements of the roller bearing (high hardness to withstand mechanical stress) and, at the same time, that can be processed without cracks using LPBF. The crack-free processing will be supported by the use of a high temperature preheating at about 500 ° C.

Project Information

Title New Materials for the Additive Manufacturing of Roller Bearings - “NeuGenWälz”
Term 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur NRW / Projektträger Jülich (PTJ)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Contact Person M.Sc. Jasmin Saewe 

“ProLMD” – Process and System Technology for Hybrid Production of Large Components with Laser Material Deposition (LMD)

In nearly every field of manufacturing, components and resulting products are becoming increasingly complex and more individual. Moreover, to succeed in the marketplace, companies have to shorten the time they need to move from an idea of a new product to launching it on the market. Established manufacturing processes are, however, reaching their limits to a certain extent. Additive manufacturing promises considerable time savings and process innovations to create value for the manufacturing industry; it can also help companies create completely new product features. Product, process and material data on additive manufacturing processes as well as innovative materials and innovative production equipment must be made available at an early stage in product development. The results of the ProLMD development project will play a key role in strengthening Germany’s international competitiveness over the long term in line with the German Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy.

Project Information

Title Process and System Technology for Hybrid Production of Large Components with Laser Material Deposition (LMD) – “ProLMD”
Term 01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019
Project Sponsor Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA)
Supported by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Website Project Website “ProLMD”
Contact Person M.Sc. Jan Bremer

“TriboLas-3D” – Process Development for the Laser-Based Production of Site-Selective Tribological Layer Systems on 3D Surfaces

The innovations this project is pursuing will significantly contribute to increasing energy efficiency and climate protection by reducing CO2 emissions, both in terms of process and application. Due to the high energy efficiency of the laser process compared to furnace processes, the energy required to functionalize the layer can be significantly reduced with successful process development. In addition, the range of applications of tribologically stressed lightweight components will significantly expand in machine and automotive construction and the service life and the efficiency of the components will increase. Resulting from this is both an increase in energy efficiency and an emission reduction for the corresponding industrial plants and systems.

Project Information

Title “TriboLas-3D” – Process Development for the Laser-Based Production of Site-Selective Tribological Layer Systems on 3D Surfaces
Term 01.10.2016 - 30.09.2018
Project Sponsor German Aerospace Center DLR
Supported by Federal Government / Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Website Project Website “TriboLas-3D”
Contact Person M.Sc. Hendrik Sändker

DLR Joint Research Project “ALISE”

ALISE (Diode-pumped Alexandrite Laser Instrument for Next Generation Satellite-based Earth Observation) is supervised by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Together with the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics (IAP) and the subcontractor Airbus Defence & Space, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are conducting research into optical technologies for satellite-based observation of the global climate.

Project Information

Title “ALISE” (Diode-pumped Alexandrite Laser Instrument for Next Generation Satellite-based Earth Observation)
Term 01.08.2016 - 31.07.2018
Project Sponsor German Aerospace Center DLR
Supported by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
Website Project Website “ALISE”
Contact Person Dr. rer.-nat. Michael Strotkamp

“PhotonFlex” – Innovative technologies for manufacturing organic solar cells

The aim of the PhotonFlex project is to develop and test innovative technologies for the cost-effective and highly productive manufacturing of flexible organic solar cells.

Project Information

Title “PhotonFlex” – Innovative technologies for manufacturing organic solar cells
Term 01.06.2016 - 31.05.2019
Project Sponsor European Regional Development Fund (EFRE)
Supported by European Regional Development Fund
Website Project Website “PhotonFlex”
Contact Person M.Eng. Maximilian Brosda

“ProImplant” – Process Chain for the Production of Degradable Magnesium Implants for Individual Bone Defects

The aim of the project is to establish a suitable process chain that can be used in oral and maxillofacial surgery to produce resorbable, patient-specific as well as porous magnesium implants (such as scaffolds) for bone defects. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ILT will qualify the additive manufacturing process Selective Laser Melting for the processing of magnesium alloys and develop a suitable workflow for the integration of pore structures in individual implants.

Project Information

Title “ProImplant” – Process Chain for the Production of Degradable Magnesium Implants for Individual Bone Defects
Term 14.04.2016 - 15.04.2019
Project Sponsor LeitmarktAgentur.NRW / Projektträger ETN
Supported by European Regional Development Fund
Contact Person
Dr. Wilhelm Meiners

“ultraSURFACE” – Ultra Dynamic Optical Systems for High Throughput Laser Surface Processing

Efficient Surface Treatment with the Laser

Whether they are used for functional structuring, coating or polishing, lasers have proved to be very advantageous tools that have made processes in many areas of industrial production significantly more cost-effective and robust. However, previous laser applications in industrial surface treatment often have limited throughput or are not suitable for more complex adjustments.

Funded by the European Union, the ultraSURFACE project focuses on optimizing optical systems with dynamic 3D applicability and on developing strategies for laser-based production processes with high-throughput. The project also helps to make manufacturing more environmentally friendly in Europe: The concepts under development reduce noise, dispersion dust, and the use of (toxic) chemicals as well as improve the CO2 balance by lowering emissions. Ten partners are involved in the project, which is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen.

New Optics Designs for Increased Throughput

In the ultraSURFACE project, scientists and industry partners are developing two new optical designs which allow users to adapt laser beam manipulation individually and to increase throughput by a factor of ten compared to conventional processes. To accomplish this, the partners use beam shaping and beam splitter optics for the laser. For laser polishing and coating, the beam shaping optics can be used to individually adapt the intensity profile of the laser radiation to local surface conditions. Furthermore, the surface can be processed simultaneously with several individual beams by means of the beam splitter optics for laser microstructuring.

The aim of the ultraSURFACE project is also to demonstrate that its processes can easily be used in manufacturing – the technologies developed here will later be integrated into a variety of industrial applications using appropriate prototypes. The new concepts will be tested and evaluated in laser polishing, laser thin-film processing and laser microstructuring. In addition to high-quality products for the automotive sector or for mechanical engineering in general, these concepts are also suitable for manufacturing consumer-market products. The new concepts of the ultraSURFACE project thus offer great potential for many industries – not only in the European laser market.

Project Information

Title “ultraSURFACE” – Ultra Dynamic Optical Systems for High Throughput Laser Surface Processing
Term 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018
Project Sponsor European Union
Supported by Horizon 2020 – The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, No. 687222
Website www.ultrasurface.eu
Contact Person
Dr.-Ing. Edgar Willenborg

“i-Recycle

i-Recycle is linked to the ADIR project. ADIR explores new ways of extracting rare raw materials. As these are mainly used in electronic devices, the additional project, i-Recycle, collects used official mobile phones of the employees of the Fraunhofer Institutes and the Fraunhofer central administration so that technologies investigated in ADIR can be examined in practical test series.

 

Project Information

Title i-Recycle
Term 01.02.2016 - 30.11.2019
Project Sponsor Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten
Forschung e.V.
Supported by European Union
Website www.adir.eu
Contact Person apl. Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Reinhard Noll

“ComMUnion” – Net-shape joining technology to manufacture 3D multi-materials components based on metal alloys and thermoplastic composites

The ComMUnion project is dealing with the efficient production of 3D metal/CFRP multi-material components. High-speed laser texturing, surface cleaning, laser-assisted CFRP tape laying and process monitoring are to be integrated into a robot-based production cell. The ILT is developing a polygon scanner beam deflection system for the laser texturing to generate undercut structures with high surface rates in the metallic joining partner to enable high-strength connections to the CFRP tape.

Project Information

Title “ComMUnion” – Net-shape joining technology to manufacture 3D multi-materials components based on metal alloys and thermoplastic composites
Term 01.12.2015 - 31.05.2019
Project Sponsor European Commission
Supported by Horizon 2020 – The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, No. 680567
Website http://communionproject.eu
Contact Person 
Dipl.-Ing. Oliver Nottrodt

“FlexHyJoin” – Flexible production cell for Hybrid Joining

The FlexHyJoin project is developing a fully automated process for joining TP-FRP with metal in multi-material construction. With induction and laser welding, two processes are combined in a fully automated production cell that complement each other perfectly. By implementing innovative surface structures in the metal, which are created by means of laser radiation, it is possible to achieve a positive fit and thus an optimized adhesion for hybrid components, without any additional materials such as adhesives. Due to a high degree of automation and a considerable reduction in cycle time, FlexHyJoin will advance the extensive use of hybrid components in automotive series production.

Project Information

Title “FlexHyJoin” – Flexible production cell for Hybrid Joining
Term 01.10.2015 - 31.12.2018
Project Sponsor European Commission
Supported by Horizon 2020 – The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, No. 677625
Website https://www.flexhyjoin.eu/
Contact Person 
Dipl. Wirt.-Ing. Christoph Engelmann

“ADIR” – Next Generation Urban Mining - Automated Disassembly, Separation and Recovery of Valuable Materials from Electronic Equipment

Technology metals or rare earth elements are important raw materials found in almost every electronic small appliance we use daily. However, the natural deposits of these elements are limited, and these materials must also be obtained in elaborate and often environmentally harmful processes from the appropriate ores. Using these raw materials sustainably is, therefore, becoming increasingly important. For this reason, instead of extracting raw materials, the industry is favoring material recovery: the recycling of old, unusable equipment. The Fraunhofer ILT, together with numerous international partners, is breaking new ground in the research of modern recycling processes in the project ADIR (Next Generation Urban Mining – Automated Disassembly, Separation and Recovery of Valuable Materials from Electronic Equipment). Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Framework from September 2015 to August 2019, ADIR is exploring ways to make recycling processes more effective and efficient with the help of laser technology.

The recycling and extraction of raw materials from „electronic waste“ has been growing for some time now and became the recognized state of the art in the field of electronic devices since the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, the recycling processes are subject to constant development. In conventional recycling, the equipment is usually shredded. From the resulting mix of plastics, metals and glass, the desired raw materials are extracted in metallurgical or chemical processes. In this process, however, valuable raw materials are lost. ADIR has set itself the goal of using laser-based methods to recognize the corresponding materials in the device and to separate them in a targeted manner from the other materials and recyclables in subsequent work steps.

 

Project Information

Title Next generation urban mining - Automated disassembly, separation and recovery of valuable materials from electronic equipment - “ADIR”
Term 01.09.2015 - 31.08.2019
Project Sponsor European Commission
Supported by Horizon2020:
H2020-EU 2.1.5.
H2020-EU 2.1.5.3.
Website www.adir.eu
Contact Person Dr. rer. nat. Cord Fricke-Begemann

“SYMPLEXITY” – Symbiotic Human-Robot Collaboration for Safe and Dynamic Multimodal Manufacturing Systems

Today's production technology is highly automated in many sectors. Yet the smoothening and polishing of free-form surfaces – such as tool inserts or medical implants –is still often done manually since setting up automated processing entails considerable work and costs, and hence is not economical.

SYMPLEXITY aims to exploit the possibilities of automation for this kind of work by having robots take over parts of it. For this purpose, Fraunhofer ILT and its project partners are developing cooperative and collaborative robot cells and the required safety technology in which the robot takes on simpler tasks and humans the more demanding ones.

Project Information

Title Symbiotic Human-Robot Collaboration for Safe and Dynamic Multimodal Manufacturing Systems - “SYMPLEXITY”
Term 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2018
Project Sponsor European Commission
Supported by Horizon 2020 - The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (No. 637080)
Website https://www.symplexity.eu
Contact Person Dr.-Ing. Christian Nüsser

“LASHARE” – Laser equipment ASsessment for High impAct innovation in the manufactuRing European industry

LASHARE is the acronym of a European project involving more than 30 SMEs from across Europe, partners from industry and six of the most renowned laser research institutes.

Main objective is to share knowledge on laser-based equipment and its use addressing the whole value chain end to end. As a key success factor for European manufacturing the transfer of innovative solutions from the laboratory into industrially robust products and the dissemination of its use stands at the heart of the project.

 

Project Information

Title “LASHARE” – Laser equipment ASsessment for High impAct innovation in the manufactuRing European industry
Term 25.09.2013 - today
Supported by European Union
7th Framework Program: 609046
Website http://www.lashare.eu/
Contact Person M.Sc. Dipl.-Ing.(FH) B.Eng.(hon) Ulrich Thombansen