On 22 November 2022, the Composites Cluster organised an open day in cooperation with the Aachener Zentrum für Leichtbau (AZL Aachen), an umbrella organisation and service provider for composite technology, founded by several RWTH institutes.
After a welcome reception and presentations by AZL and its RWTH partners, the Flemish industrial participants had the opportunity to visit the machinery halls of AZL and its partners:
- Institut für Kunststoffverarbeitung (IKV): IKV is the polymer institute of RWTH, which also operates very actively in composite applications.
- Fraunhofer Institut für Produktionstechnologie (IPT) and Werkzeugmaschinenlabor (WZL): IPT is active in innovation for the composites industry, WZL is the annex lab around toolmaking.
- Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge (IKA): IKA works on vehicle innovation.
- Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA): ITA’s activities are focused on textile machinery innovation, with a strong focus on applications in the composite industry.
- Conbility GmbH: Conbility is a manufacturer of machines for composite production (ATL / winding) with supporting software. Conbility works closely with AZL and its RWTH partners.
As all these laboratories are widely operating in the field of applications in the composites industry, the participants from the Flemish industry gained insights into the latest technologies and developments on the following topics:
💡 Process Chains for Hybrid Composite Materials
💡 Material- and Processing Technologies
💡 Production Technologies
💡 Bonding Technology
💡 Lightweight Design
💡 Machine Tools and Measurement Technologies
💡 Automotive Science and Engineering
During the day and at the closing networking reception, networking was also an important ingredient of the program, both with the researchers from Aachen and among the participants themselves. With 15 participants from the Flemish industry and a day full of fascinating insights on various topics, AZL Aachen, the Composites Cluster and the participants can look back on a successful activity.
Apart from the learnings about the complementary services that RWTH can bring for our Flemish composite companies, the visit made clear that the Composites Cluster can add value to the Flemish Composites ecosystem. This has led to the conclusion that there is indeed a role for the Composites Cluster within SIM. The primary focus will be on networking, collaboration between industry and academia, and internationalisation.