Close cooperation with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of the RWTH Aachen University
In our hometown of Aachen, we closely cooperate in all our areas of activity with the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of the RWTH Aachen University, and our administrative structures are interwoven with those of the Technical University: four fully tenured professors from the RWTH Aachen University also make up the Fraunhofer IPT’s Board of Directors. The name of the WZL has for decades been globally synonymous for successful and groundbreaking research as well as innovative ideas in the field of production technology. The WZL conducts basic as well as commercially driven research projects (which are aligned with the require-ments of the manufacturing industry) in six departments and develops practice-oriented solutions for lean and efficient production lines.
Our Network on the RWTH Aachen Campus
Eleven dedicated research clusters are currently being developed on the RWTH Aachen Campus at Melaten. The Fraunhofer IPT is providing this project with technical and personal assistance. The clusters are intended as a platform for manufacturers and research institutions to pool resources, to create synergies and to exchange their findings. This close cooperation will reduce friction losses in alignment processes, accelerate the speed of the scientific progress and improve the quality of the research activities. It will also help to reduce the costs of research and development. The Fraunhofer IPT is cooperating particularly closely with the clusters for produc-tion technology, photonics and smart logistics.
International Center for Networked Adaptive Production ICNAP
On 12 and 13 December 2018, the International Center for Networked Adaptive Production (ICNAP) convened its members for its first annual assembly in Aachen to determine its research and development priorities for the coming year. ICNAP aims to establish itself as a leading research community for new digitalization and networking production technologies by first designing and then developing new Industrie 4.0 production systems and value chains to the point where they can be integrated into industrial manufacturing lines. It was for this purpose that the ICNAP was formally established at the Hannover Messe in April 2018 by the Fraunhofer Institutes IPT, ILT and IME as well as renowned manufacturers from a wide range of industries including metrology and sensorics, IT, heavy engineering and systems engineering. Participants of the moderated research community will have access to the test and research data that will be made available within the community. ICNAP members will also be allowed to run their own applications through the community’s comprehensively networked pool of sophisticated equipment that features top-of-the-range sensorics as well as 5G data transmission facilities and that is integrated into the “Virtual Fort Knox” Fraunhofer Cloud. All of this equipment can be used in the context of joint as well as bilateral research and development projects.
The ICNAP was originally established in late 2016 as the Fraunhofer High Performance Center Networked Adaptive Production. Based on an initiative of the state government of North-Rhine-Westphalia and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, it received massive support from the industry and operated on an initial budget of 6.4 million euros. The ICNAP has been designed to operate as an institutional framework that sustains the activities of the partners in the High Performance Center and remains open for other companies that want to join.
International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing ICTM
The International Center for Turbomachinery ICTM was estab-lished at Aachen through a joint initiative of the Fraunhofer IPT, the Fraunhofer ILT and the WZL oft the RWTH Aachen University as well as the Institute for Additive Production (DAP) of the RWTH Aachen University. The ICTM’s activities reflect the entire range of technologies that is covered by the four founding members and aim to provide the turbomachinery manufacturing and maintenance industry with top-of-the-range research and development services. The ICTM was established in close cooperation with partners from the industry and is designed to accelerate the implementation of technological innovations and their integration into industrial production lines.
INC Invention Center
The Invention Center on the RWTH Aachen Campus is a place where the technical university’s partners can acquire further qualifications in technology and innovation management and strive to find perfect solutions for their manufacturing challenges. In coordination with TIME Research Area, the Fraunhofer IPT, the WZL of the RWTH Aachen University and KEX Knowledge Exchange AG, the INC Invention Center has developed INCworX, a creative space designed to provide people who are responsible for future planning and current decision-making processes in the industry with an inspiring environment for the various stages of the innovation process, from the development of initial ideas to the series production of products for commercial distribution.