Dear readers,

"How will a global pandemic affect networking in clusters and investment in innovation projects?"

This is the question we asked ourselves repeatedly since the beginning of this year, constantly facing new situations that changed again the very next moment. Networking and innovation projects are the two pillars of our business model. Both pillars support our contribution to strengthening our partners' business development and technology development. It's hard to stand continuously on one leg, so the response to this question was crucial for us like most companies.

Maintaining sustainable partnerships and cooperation turned out to be a relevant strategy to successfully mastering challenging times for many companies - this is the conclusion we draw from the huge number of cooperation we initiated in recent months. Despite the economically tense situation at many companies, new and existing partner companies rely on our open innovation and cost-sharing activities to identify and develop innovative technologies together. What we also perceived: the weakening of the 2019's industrial boom has created space for innovation again. Employees are no longer trapped in the hectic pace of day-to-day business and are able to devote more attention to shaping the future competitiveness of their companies.

Here are a few highlights:

After discussing and identifying demands during our most important networking event – the AZL Annual Partner Meeting - we launched two joint projects in October: The development of a multi-material battery casing with 30 partners and a market and technology study on bio-based composites.

22 companies are extending or starting their AZL Partnership in the midst of challenging times. A warm welcome to: Röchling and the Teijin Group, part of our network since June and September and all seven companies that have joined us since January. Thank you, Yutaka Yagi for providing insights into market trends and sustainability for composites from Teijin´s perspective within this edition's interview.

Two of the systems developed in cooperation with partner companies (Inductive Double Belt Press and the Machine for Ultra-Fast Lamination of Tailored Blanks by Thermoplastic Tapes) have already been extensively used by component, system and material manufacturers for tests and are also available to you.

Also during the pandemic, we have further expanded our team for product and application development. Latest in October with a well-known face from the AZL family: Warden Schijve, former Chief Scientist Composites at Sabic is now Design Leader at AZL. Welcome Warden! We are looking forward to supporting our partners with your involvement in the design and implementation of competitive lightweight components.

Enjoy reading the news from our industrial and academic partners and us,

Dr. Kai Fischer (Managing Partner)
Philipp Fröhlig (Senior Project Manager)
Dr. Michael Emonts (Managing Partner), (f.l.t.r)


AZL News Ticker

++++ We welcome our new AZL Partner Companies: Röchling Engineering Plastics SE & Co. KG Teijin Group ++++ Meet all partners who joined this year ++++ Starting Projects: Concept Study & Development of a Multi-material Battery Casing + Potential for Bio-Based Composites ++++ Double-belt Press and Ultra-Fast Consolidator Machine for your Prototype Production ++++ "Next Generation Mobility Solutions" finalized with a report of 500+ slides of results ++++

Upcoming Workgroup Meetings as interactive Video Conferences on Advanced Thermoset Production (November 3rd, 2020) + High-Performance SMC (November 17th, 2020) + Composite Pipes & Vessels (December 1st, 2020) including Presentation of Technology Focus Study on thermoplastic and thermoset Hydrogen Pressure Vessels


Partner Company's News

Teijin starts its Collaboration with the AZL Partner Network and joins three AZL Projects

Yutaka Yagi, Managing Director & General Manager of Technology of the Teijin Automotive Center Europe will be one of the key contacts representing Teijin in our joint Partnership activities for business development and technology development. Read the interview with Yutaka Yagi on market trends and sustainability for composites.

AZL Partner Airborne

The Airborne Industrialisation Partner Model provides a structured approach in which during the early stages of their product development (material) manufacturers e.a. can evaluate fundamental questions on product requirements, technical feasibility and full economic predictions of a product through its life. More...

Asahi Kasei Plastics North America recently introduced SoFormTM of their diverse Thermylene® family - Asahi Kasei’s portfolio of specialty chemically coupled glass fiber reinforced polypropylenes. SoFormTM is a cost- and process-optimized material for automotive interior surfaces and industrial durable goods. More...

The new software OPLYSIS-eco® has been launched, enabling the simultaneous calculation of part cost, production capacities as well as ecological performance indicators (e.g. carbon footprint) through simple, intuitive and transparent modelling of production scenarios - regardless of industry or technology. More...

Continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites enable efficient mass production of high-performance components for sports shoes. More...

Automotive companies are always on the lookout for new solutions to help meet these consumer demands and emission standards, and unidirectional tapes (UD tapes) may be the material of choice moving forward.


AZL Partner EconCore

Thermoplastic honeycomb core industry leader, EconCore, is proud to be a major partner of an innovative project to build a car made entirely out of recycled materials by the TU/ecomotive team at Eindhoven University of Technology. The concept car is a lightweight, electric vehicle designed and built by students. More...

Since the very beginning of composite related market reports, the industry segment of Oil and Gas had its place in such. Applications for composites in this sector are manifold, but with its products not being as apparent as in Aerospace, Wind Energy or Automotive applications. More...

LAMILUX provides last mile delivery vehicles with robust composites for the inside and outside. Products like LAMILUX AntiBac, X-treme and Anti Slip protect vans and parcels on their way to the customer – especially in the last mile. LAMILUX Composites GmbH has been producing fiber-reinforced composites for nearly 70 years. More...

Steffenberg/Vaihingen. For the manufacture of prepregs, the company Krempel GmbH located in Vaihingen/Enz relies on the cooperation with Roth Composite Machinery GmbH from Steffenberg. Precisely tailored to the customer application, the special machine builder has developed a new production line for hotmelt impregnation. More...

sensXPERT, the new product of NETZSCH Analyzing & Testing, shifts quality control into the mold to increase efficiency and enables direct feedback of the material to reduce scrap parts. Sensors, integrated in the mold, measure material properties in real-time and predict optimal curing of components. More...

SimpaTec, one of the leading engineering and software companies in the holistic development and optimization of processes, components and tools, is proud to announce the latest release of Moldex3D. The new version not only has a new name designation - Moldex3D 2020 - but goes "beyond simulation".  More...

With more than 50 years of experience in the research and production of tri-groups/tetra-groups epoxy resins and aerospace applications, Sino Polymer has developed series of high performance formulated epoxy resin systems More...

In the automotive industry, there is a huge demand of resin materials with high impact resistance due to safety in collision scenarios, and at the same time a necessity of reducing the weight of the vehicle due to regulation of CO2 emissions. More...


Partner Institutes´ News

AZL Partner IKV of RWTH Aachen University

IKV reports on robot-based filament winding unit for the research and optimisation of wet winding processes | IKV investigates fiber impregnation in injection compression pultrusion for better injection box designs More...

ITA of RWTH University

Read 11 project updates and news from ITA: Modelling and Simulation of reinforcement textiles to predict the draping behavior | InnoGrip - Development of an innovative clamping solution for the tensile testing of impregnated and non-impregnated reinforcement Fibre rovings used for lightweight construction... and 9 more.


AZL´s News

New Expertise at the AZL Network: Meet the AZL Partner Companies joined since January

Despite the tense economic situation for many companies, seven companies have started cooperation with the AZL Partner Network and 15 companies extended or upgraded their partnership in the middle of the crisis. Read more about the new partner companies in our community and meet the representatives of the new AZL Partner Companies.

Warden Schijve joins AZL Product and Application Development Team

A familiar face of the AZL network joins the AZL as Design Leader: Warden Schijve, former Chief Scientist Composites at SABIC, will be further expanding the product and application development business of the service provider for business and technology development in lightweight. More...


Update on AZL Joint Partner Projects 

Open to join: Joint Development of Multi-material EV Battery Casing with 30 involved Partners

AZL together with an international industrial consortium representing the entire value chain (including OEMs, TIER1s, manufacturers of fibers, resins, semi-finished products, sandwich technologies, production automation) started a project on October 22, 2020 to develop competitive component and production concepts for multi-material battery casings. Details on the project

Bio-based Composites: AZL cross-industry Consortium explores hidden Business Potential

Market potential, future applications and relevant technologies for bio-based composite materials are investigated in a 5-month market and technology study involving REHAU, an Automotive Tier 1, Asahi Kasei, Johns Manville, Mahr Metering Systems and several material manufacturers. Details on the project 

How can remote Engineering Teams increase their Efficiency through Model-based Systems Engineering?

Locally separated development teams face a development process determined by separated optimization models with sequential development process steps. Model based systems allows for interfaces to connect the individual models over the entire development process and to obtain parameter-based control of the continuous development process to optimize costs and weight. Click here to download PDF with project description

Jointly building a Database for SMC Materials to drive the next Generation of SMC

At AZL and IKV, we are working hard to realize this mission together with several industrial partners. The third project is about to start and open to join. The 6-months project will focus on defining appropriate material parameters for the SMC database and how these can be used for process and structure simulation. Details on the project 


AZL Partnership Meetings

• Advanced Thermoset Production | November 3rd, 2020

• High-Performance SMC | November 17th, 2020

• Composite Pipes & Vessels | December 1st, 2020

• Product Cost Benchmarking | March 25th, 2021

• Composites in Buildings & Infrastructure | February 9th, 2021

• Hybrid Thermoplastic Composites | May 6th, 2021

AZL Annual Partner Meeting 2021
Save the date: June 8 and 9, 2021

Once a year, we take the time to meet as the entire “AZL family” to define future activities, review projects and workgroups of the previous year and discuss composite trends.

Lightweight TechTalks by AZL

You can download the presentations of the first four editions with technological insights on:

• Sustainability & Recycling of Composites

• Tape Integration into Injection Molded Parts

• Composites & Additive Manufacturing

• Design Methodology for Multi-material Lightweight Components

After the very successful editions with about + 500 participants this year, we are looking forward to the next TechTalks starting in January 2021.

• January 28th, 2021 | Lightweight TechTalk  - BEST PRACTISES IN LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN

AZL and Composites World partner for expanded global Reach of Composite News

CompositesWorld will be publishing selected NewsLIGHT stories through its website and e-newsletters. These stories will link back to AZL and provide a portal for CW’s readers worldwide to learn more about our network and member companies. 

AZL partners can subscribe to CW newsletters free of charge at https://gardnerweb.activehosted.com/f/22

We look forward to increasing global awareness and networking for continued advancement in lightweight composites technologies.