Feb 21, 2017 | By Tess

In terms of additive manufacturing, it has been a busy month for Swiss industrial tech company Oerlikon. Not only did it announce the upcoming establishment of an industrial 3D printing facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, but it has more recently signed two research partnerships—with the Technical University of Munich (TU Munich) in Germany, and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) in Russia—to advance additive manufacturing technologies and surface solutions.

According to the Swiss company, its letters of intent with both TU Munich and Skolkovo will seek to address and overcome existing challenges in industrial additive manufacturing, especially as the technology becomes increasingly in demand for the production of advanced and complex components. In other words, Oerlikon and both educational institutions will use their expertise in 3D printing to advance the manufacturing technology, making it more viable for mass production in such industries as aerospace, automotive, medical, and energy.

“Innovative technology is key to our growth strategy and a distinct advantage of Oerlikon,” said Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of Oerlikon. “These partnerships mark important milestones in our efforts to take a leading position in additive manufacturing, as we are seeing a growing demand for advanced components that are lighter, with embedded functionality and can benefit from the increased design freedom of AM. Additive Manufacturing has the potential to meet these requirements. With our leading expertise in advanced materials and surface technologies, we are ideally positioned to drive this technology forward.”

TU Munich has been the home of many innovative 3D printing research projects, including the optimization of 3D printed infill structures, 3D printing bio-INK, and others. Within an academic context, it has been a key player in driving forward additive manufacturing technologies. The letter of intent between Oerlikon and TU Munich was signed by Dr. Fischer and Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Herrmann, President of the TU Munich. The agreement marks yet another partnership between academia and industry for the advancement of 3D printing.

“In conducting research, it is integral for us to work hand-in-hand with technology companies to develop solutions for practical industrial challenges and applications,” commented Professor Herrmann. “Partnering with Oerlikon exactly adds that perspective for us to drive forward our additive manufacturing research projects and opens up opportunities for exciting future research together.”

The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, for its part, has also demonstrated expertise in advanced manufacturing, with a speciality in simulation processes and dedicated materials for additive manufacturing. Prof. Dr. Alexander Kuleshov, President of he Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, signed the research agreement with Oerlikon.

Notably, both of Oerlikon’s research partnership agreements were signed in Munich, largely because the German state of Bavaria will be supporting the partnerships in a significant way. The region is known for its lucrative industrial and technology sectors, and importantly, its early adoption of 3D printing tech.

Prof. Dr. Michael Süss, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oerlikon, commented: “In the name of the Board, we are proud to provide our expertise in materials and surface technologies to help advance the industrialization of additive manufacturing with two leading academic partners. Additive manufacturing is opening up new possibilities for the designing and manufacturing of industrial products. We need to exploit this potential to sustain the competitiveness of innovation-driven industrial regions such as Germany.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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