• Lightweighting in the spotlight at the AM4I conference
• VDMA working group Additive Manufacturing cooperates at new AM4I conference with Leichtbau BW and formnext
• Conference on May 26/27 2020 in Ludwigsburg focuses on industrial applications in mechanical engineering
Frankfurt, November 8 2019 – «With Leichtbau BW and formnext as the leading international trade fair for additive production technologies, we have found two ideal partners for our new AM4I conference in Ludwigsburg from 26th to 27th May 2020,» explains Dr. Irene Hassinger, Project Manager of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group (AG AM) at VDMA.
The industrial implementation of mechanical engineering using additive manufacturing also illuminates the subject of lightweight technology. Leichtbau BW will moderate a thematic slot of the two-day conference and will also contribute its expertise to the scientific advisory board of the new conference.
Showing the potential of additive processes in mechanical engineering
The lightweighting time slot is in line with the objectives of the conference: «We will show the application potential of additive manufacturing processes in mechanical engineering and concrete solutions for their practical implementation,» explains Hassinger. The aim is also to explain the growing variety of direct, indirect and partly hybrid additive manufacturing processes for the processing of metals and plastics – and to highlight the respective advantages for users. Which processes are relevant for their application? What should be observed at the various stations of the respective additive process chain? How can the post-processing effort already be minimized in the design phase? Such questions will be taken up by the AM4I conference and answered with a view to mechanical engineering. It will also provide participants with ample opportunity to talk to relevant players in the AM industry and network in this young field of technology. These are also the core interests of the conference partners Leichtbau BW and formnext.
AM4I opts for lightweight potential in mechanical engineering
As probably the largest lightweighting network in the world with 2,200 companies and more than 300 research institutes, the Landesagentur Leichtbau BW offers support in marketing know-how and promoting innovation potential in lightweight technology. More and more additive methods are being used. «The importance of additive manufacturing in lightweight technology is increasing significantly and leads to increased material and cost efficiency, as the material is used more specifically where it is needed,» explains Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger, Managing Director of Leichtbau BW GmbH. By integrating functions, additive manufacturing can also offer users considerable added value, since components are not only lighter, but can also do more than before. «We see lightweighting as a key technology that the mechanical engineering industry can no longer ignore,» he explains. AM is an important link in this.
As a typical enabling technology, the combination of lightweight engineering and additive manufacturing has a leverage effect. By reducing moving masses, lightweight engineering ensures faster, more precise and energy-efficient processes and at the same time increases resource efficiency. This leads to greatly reduced life cycle costs. Additive processes are a key to being able to produce optimized designs at all. Their design freedom and flexibility make it possible to produce load-optimized bionic designs with varying wall thicknesses and cavities that can be structurally reinforced if necessary. The layered construction method ensures a decoupling of complexity and costs.
However, the advantages for users in mechanical engineering are not limited to lightweight technology: In addition, the elimination of toolmaking ensures greatly shortened development cycles and delivery times. Deposition welding processes enable the repair of wear, repairs and the targeted application of functional surfaces. Additive spare parts production on demand reduces storage costs. And designs can be changed and repaired even after start-up of production. And in mass production, additive manufacturing makes it possible to customize components to almost any degree.
«AM also offers enormous potential for the production of individual parts and small batches in special machine construction,» explains Hassinger. However, due to the increasing variety of solutions in the dynamic AM industry, users in the mechanical engineering industry are dependent on reliable information and know-how from practitioners so that they can get the hang of it right from the start. The conference is intended to show which processes and materials are available for this purpose.
A comprehensive market overview will be provided by the leading international trade fair for additive production technologies – formnext from 19th to 22nd of November 2019 at Messe Frankfurt. The fair reports strong growth along the entire process chain, including well-known new exhibitors from the mechanical engineering sector. As a partner of the AM4I technical conference, formnext will also contribute its network here and further intensify its ideal partnership with the VDMA’s Additive Manufacturing Working Group, which has existed for two years.
AM4I – Additive Manufacturing for Industry
Date: May 26- 27 2020
About 150 companies and research institutes collaborate under the roof of the VDMA in the Additive Manufacturing Association. System manufacturers, suppliers of components and materials, industrial users from the metals and plastics sectors, services providers for software, manufacturing, and finishing as well as researchers all have a common goal: the industrialization of additive manufacturing technologies.