Fraunhofer launches R&D center for turbomachinery manufacturing

The new International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing will focus on research relating to turbomachine manufacturing and repair.

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The Fraunhofer Institutes for Production Technology (IPT) and Laser Technology (ILT); RWTH Aachen University’s Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) and Chair for Laser Technology (LLT) launched the International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing (ICTM) in Aachen, together with 19 industrial partners. The center’s activities will focus on research relating to turbomachine manufacturing and repair.

“The ICTM was founded to speed up innovation,” explained Prof. Fritz Klocke, director of Fraunhofer IPT and head of RWTH Aachen’s Chair of Manufacturing Technology at the kick-off meeting. “To this end, it connects experts, joins forces, and provides excellent R&D.” The industrial partners in the new network include turbine manufacturers as well as corporations and medium-sized companies covering all areas of the value chain.

On the kick-off day, the ICTM industry partners agreed on a 10-member steering committee with representatives from the industrial companies and research institutes, and selected seven collaborative research projects with a budget of around 400,000 euros. For example, the network plans to improve machining processes when using all-ceramic tools and also the final processing of additive manufacturing components.

At the end of October 2015, experts from all over the world came together in Aachen for the launch of the International Center for Turbomachinery Manufacturing (ICTM). (Courtesy: Fraunhofer IPT)

The Aachen researchers founded the research center without any government funding. Accordingly, it is one of the few independent networks to have emerged from the very successful Fraunhofer Innovation Clusters. Within seven years, an innovative and inspiring network of research and industry grew up and turned into the ICTM. “Since 2008, when the Fraunhofer TurPro Innovation Cluster was launched, we’ve reached numerous milestones together with many industrial partners,” summarized Prof. Klocke. “We started out with the focus on aircraft turbines before opening it out to incorporate the manufacturing of turbines for the energy, oil/gas, and automotive industries. Now our work in this area embraces the principal industrial sectors worldwide.”

For more information, please contact (Fraunhofer IPT) and (Fraunhofer ILT).

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