AZL Annual Partner Meeting: International lightweight network emphasizes future mobility concepts as important drivers for lightweight production
For the fourth AZL Annual Partner Meeting, 130 representatives of the AZL Partner Network consisting of more than 80 Partner Companies from 21 different countries, met in Aachen last week and discussed future topics for collaboration and identified trends for the lightweight industry during a workshop session.
The AZL Partner Companies and Institutes were updated on the activities of the previous year comprising meetings of four well-established workgroups as well as project meetings of four running Joint Partner Projects during the two-day meeting in the prestigious Aachen football stadium Tivoli. In order to define future topics, the AZL Partners discussed upcoming market trends and barriers in a workshop session. Mobility and transportation in general were identified as most important markets for lightweight technology. Future mobility concepts including autonomous driving and electric mobility have high impact on lightweight products, technologies and materials according to the open feedback of the participants.
On the first day, the participants got an insight into the research and development on new mobility concepts at the RWTH Aachen Campus. In guided tours they visited neighboring institutes and companies of AZL collaborating in the recently opened Production Engineering Cluster at the RWTH Aachen Campus. The RWTH spin-off e.GO Mobile AG presented the e.Go Life, an electric car which was developed in a 3-year development process on the RWTH Aachen Campus. The ramp-up of the serial production in spring 2018 is the starting point for the envisaged production capacities of 10,000 cars per year. The institute for Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) presenting its ramp-up factory for emission-free complete system for cities and the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University showing quality assurance equipment and research results for composite systems provided additional insights into the broad collaboration between research and industry on the RWTH Aachen Campus. Schuler presented its 1,800 tons composite press which is currently integrated into a self-regulating production system within the BMBF-funded Project “iComposite 4.0”. Furthermore, AZL presented the manufacturing of hybrid parts, consisting of continuous carbon fiber thermosets and overmolded thermoplastic stiffening structures.
AZL presented the new building blocks of the concept for co-locating development activities on the RWTH Aachen Campus, which is one of the largest research landscapes with a strong focus on production technologies to enhance the collaboration between industry and academia. Based on various tools for identifying trends and defining development projects in terms of Open Innovation, the “AZL Premium Partnership” will also include office space within the Production Engineering Cluster.
Besides the site visits and workshop session, the interactive program of the AZL Annual Partner Meeting comprised several options for networking as well as so called “Speed Dating Presentations”, in which 11 Partner Companies as well as 7 Institutes from the network presented their innovations in 6-minute presentations. The AZL Annual Partner Meeting in 2018 will take place on June 27th and 28th, 2018 in Aachen.