Production and Supply of Services – Manufacturing Technologies and Production Processes

Innovative manufacturing technologies increase production efficiency and product quality. Fraunhofer researchers are focusing their efforts on new, environmentally friendly manufacturing techniques suitable for large-series production. Such solutions include optimized forming, bonding and powder techniques along with microassembly, coating techniques that do not damage paintwork, and laser technology. In future, lasers will be used to melt, weld and cut, replacing conventional welding and cutting methods.

Produktion und Dienstleistung

Reference projects

Track & Trace without markers

Tracking everything down to the last screw

The traceability of individual products is proving difficult in times of strongly interlinked chains for production and global supply. For high-priced components, the industry now uses RFID labels, data matrix codes or even chemical markers for identification purposes. Yet seamless traceability of the production history also makes sense for low-cost products, because even a single connector, worth only a few cents, may impair the performance and durability of a complex and costly end product. More cost-effective »tracking & tracing« solutions are in demand for small, price-sensitive components such as electrical plug connectors or spark plugs. Often it is technically unfeasible or simply too expensive to use labels or special markings in such cases.

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Saving energy in the production of chemicals

The production of chemicals consumes huge amounts of energy. In fact, it accounts for 20 percent of Europe's total commercial energy demand. Any reduction in this energy consumption would have a beneficial effect both on the environment and on the budgets of chemical companies. To achieve this goal, a team led by Dr. Michael Bortz and Professor Karl-Heinz Küfer of the Fraunhofer Institute for Indus­trial Mathematics ITWM developed a model-based toolbox. The algorithms com­bine machine learning methods with physical contexts to make the processes they model as realistic as possible. The result is that energy savings in the double-digit percent range have already been achieved in existing production plants.

The chemical giant BASF SE as well as the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical com­pany LONZA Group AG see this as an immense benefit. At BASF SE, the toolbox is available to hundreds of chemical engineers. But it’s use is not limited to the chemical industry. It can be used to advantage wherever processes with a large number of influencing factors have to be controlled.

Lighthouse project "Go Beyond 4.0"

Digital printing and laser technologies are as yet only rarely used for the individualization of products in mass production. However, this combination of approaches would make it possible to create individualized series products in a resource-efficient and cost-saving manner, even down to manufacturing single unique items. Mastering this challenge is the objective of the new Fraunhofer lighthouse project "Go Beyond 4.0".

futureAM – Next Generation Additive Manufacturing

On November 14th, 2017, the Fraunhofer focus project, futureAM, was launched in Aachen under the auspices of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT. Six project partners – the Fraunhofer Institutes ILT, IWS, IWU, IGD and IFAM as well as the LZN Laser Zentrum Nord – have set themselves a clear goal: Over the next three years, they will work closely together to secure the prerequisites for significant technological leaps in additive manufacturing with metallic materials (metal AM).

Fraunhofer Group for Production

The Fraunhofer Group for Production is a cooperative venture, created with the aim of collaborating on production-oriented research and development to offer customers comprehensive single-source solutions.