Companies + Research
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Thyssenkrupp, Jingu und Ansteel
Joint Venture for Lightweight Wheels in China
Thyssenkrupp has founded a joint venture with Chinese partners Jingu and Ansteel to produce lightweight and steel design wheels for the automotive industry in China. The main shareholder will be Jingu with 51 %, Thyssenkrupp will hold 34 % and Ansteel 15 %. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce is now examining the merger. Its decision is expected within a few months. Thyssenkrupp is contributing its technological know-how in lightweight design using hot stamping, which it has developed as part of the InCar plus project. Together with Ansteel, Thyssenkrupp has been producing high-quality hot-dip coated sheets for the Chinese automotive market in the joint venture Tagal since 2002. With an annual capacity of around 40 million tons, Ansteel is one of the world’s largest steel producers and is to ensure the supply of starting material for wheel production. Jingu is the Chinese market leader for steel wheels. It employs around 2,400 people at five production sites and has state-of-the-art research and test facilities. The joint venture’s products will be marketed under its own brands.
Strategy Paper on the Digitization of Materials Science
The German Society for Materials Science (DGM) has published a strategy paper on the digitization of materials science. It was written by a team of experts covering different areas of research and research funding. In addition to materials science and engineering, it also represents computer science. Starting from the status quo, the 20-page strategy paper describes the vision of a digital transformation within materials science and engineering, the aim of which is to improve the transparency of manufacturing processes and thus the sustainability and, in the long term, the efficiency of research and application of new materials. The strategy paper addresses the challenges posed by digitization and makes general and individual proposals for their solution. Specifically, the authors conclude that essential components of this transformation are open platforms, standards and technologies for data processing, data exchange and data analysis. This makes it possible to use existing research results more efficiently in the long term. The linking of data from different sources or projects leads to additional insights. In addition, the use of new data analysis techniques such as meta studies, data mining and machine learning facilitates the creation of studies which today are only possible with disproportionate effort.
Strategic Realignment with New Brand Concept
SGL Carbon presented its new brand concept, combining the name with a newly developed logo. Until now, the company operated under the name SGL Group — The Carbon Company. With these measures, the company is also visually putting an end to its strategic realignment. In this context, the company wants to rethink and sharpen its profile. The return to SGL Carbon as the new name is intended to express the core competence and origin. The newly developed logo is based on the hexagonal shape of the chemical structure of carbon. The division and opening of the hexagon creates a stylized “C,” the chemical symbol for carbon, as well as an arrow symbolizing the company’s orientation towards the big issues of the future.
Project Light Vehicle 2025
Cross-border Project for Light Vehicles
The EU-funded cross-border project Light Vehicle 2025 aims to boost economic growth in the cross-border Meuse-Rhine region. The region includes Wallonia and Flanders in Belgium, Limburg and Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands and North Rhine- Westphalia in Germany. Partners in the three-year project, which started in May, include Amac, Flanders Make as project manager, Automotive NL, Technifutur, the University of Liège and Campus Automobil Spa-Francorchamps. In addition to the traditionally well-known strongholds of automobile construction in Europe, the Euregio Meuse-Rhine with its numerous companies along the entire value chain offers special potential in the areas of lightweight construction, electric mobility and autonomous driving. The project aims to facilitate companies’ access to key global and local networks and to an extended supply chain of multi-material systems. This will help them to meet the challenges facing the automotive industry of the future. The competences of the companies, institutions and universities in the Euregio will be combined and illustrated in the production of three selected lightweight prototype components. The overall target of the project is to build an important virtual technology center for the future of automotive engineering. The European Union is supporting the project with 96 million euros.
New Head of Business Unit Foam
Josef Art is the new Head of the Business Unit Foam at Krauss Maffei Reaction Process Machinery. He succeeds Wolfgang Frehsdorf, who retired at the end of June. Art, an industrial engineer by training, brings 20 years of professional experience in leading positions in various companies such as BMW, Sellner Group and Misslbeck Kunststoffzentrum. Most recently, he was Managing Director at Votteler, manufacturer of paint systems, where he was responsible for sales and development. As the new head of the Business Unit Foam at Krauss Maffei, he is responsible for worldwide sales and project planning for machines and lines for the manufacture of flexible and rigid foam parts and for the German production sites in Harderberg (production of foaming tools) and Viersen (production of punching and trimming technologies) sites. Art’s new role as Head of the BU Foam will focus on strengthening and developing Krauss Maffei’s portfolio of high-quality system solutions for PUR processing and expanding its global sales and service network.
Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme has founded the Composite Application Center (CAC) in Singapore together with international partners and research institutes. The aim of the initiative is to offer developers and users from the composites industry a platform for cooperation in prototype construction or test runs. Training and support are also part of the center’s services. The aim is to reduce initial investments for the participating manufacturers and to create complete end-to-end solutions for the customer. Other partners include the Composite Cluster Singapore, Sakura Tech, Fraunhofer IGCV and Indtact. The partners cover all areas of the industrial value chain, including materials, software, production facilities, process technologies, product development and manufacturing. The group of founding members is to be expanded in the future to include compatible companies. The CAC officially started its work on May 1, 2018 and will work closely with top international researchers in the field of composite materials research. In addition, a pool of qualified specialists is to be built up in cooperation with regional education and training centers.
Board Members Elected
The MAI Carbon department of Carbon Composites e. V. held board elections. Prof. Klaus Drechsler from the Technical University of Munich remains Chairman of the Board. Günther Deinzer (Audi), Dr. Lars Herbeck (Voith Composites), Prof. Siegfried Horn (University of Augsburg) and Ralph Hufschmied (Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme) were also elected. The board elections take place every two years.
Goldene Ehrennadel for Georg Steinbichler
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg Steinbichler, Head of Research and Development Technology at Engel Austria, was honored by the Association of Austrian Plastics Processors (Vereinigung Österreichischer Kunststoffverarbeiter, VÖK) with the important award of the Goldene Ehrennadel. With this award, VÖK honors Steinbichler’s services to the development of plastics technology in Austria. After studying plastics technology in Leoben, Steinbichler began his professional career with Engel in 1982 and took over responsibility for process and technology development. He received his doctorate in 2008 from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. With the founding of the plastics technology department at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz in 2009, Steinbichler was appointed to the Board of the Institute of Polymer Injection Molding Technology and Process Automation in addition to his work at Engel. Since then, he has played a major role in expanding the range of university training for plastics engineers in Austria and strengthening university research. Most recently he was involved in the foundation of the research factory for the production of thermoplastic lightweight composites and the digitization of plastics processing, LIT-Factory for short, in Linz.