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Awarded: International recognition of Aachen’s experts in production of lightweight components

Two international awards at once: The lightweight experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT from Aachen/Germany won both the “JEC Americas Innovation Award 2013” in the field of “Process” and the title “German High Tech Champion 2013” in the category “Lightweight Design”.

JEC Americas Innovation Award 2013 for integrated process chain for the automated and flexible production of fiber-reinforced thermoplastic components

On October 4th Alexander Kermer-Meyer and Myron Graw from Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT received the JEC Americas Innovation Award 2013 on behalf of their 18 partners in the EU-research project “FibreChain”.

The research group with members from seven European countries was awarded for their work in the development of an integrated process chain for the flexible and automated production of composite products in small and medium lot sizes. The project results can improve the production of 3D-shaped, multi-layered products based on fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) by reducing costs, gaining a better resource and energy efficiency, and more flexibility.

Over two years the project partners developed new tools and working techniques for an automated process chain to handle and process the original materials. These techniques are not just simply the automated production of different components based on fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP), but also an integrated quality assurance and an adaptive process supervision.

The bases for this are the two production steps laser assisted tape placement and thermoforming. At the same time a market analysis confirmed the marketing capacity of exemplary produced component variations. This comprehensive and cross-industrial market study resulted in an economically efficient long-term technology development path. All project partners will now finalize the process chain together, so it will be ready for market in short time.

German High Tech Champion 2013 using laser assisted integration of local composite reinforcements

In order to turn the spotlight on outstanding application oriented German technology developers, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft awarded the “GHTC® - the German High Tech Champions Award” in Tokyo on November 18th to Alexander Kermer-Meyer, too. The young Fraunhofer scientist received the award for his outstanding research in the field of laser assisted manufacturing of composite products. This field was introduced with the title “Local Carbon – Laser-assisted integration of local composite reinforcements” during the symposium “Green Technology made in Germany – Lightweight Design” in Tokyo.

With the Local Carbon technique various materials and components can be reinforced efficiently with high performance composites to tailor products to fulfill specific mechanical, chemical, and thermal requirements. The process can be applied fully automated to process different composite materials to various shapes. The technique is an energy efficient, cost-effective, and versatile approach for the manufacturing of mass customized, high performance and lightweight components.

The award includes prize money amounting to 10,000 € and is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany.

The JEC, one of the largest organizations in composites in Europe, awards the JEC Americas Innovation Award. Since 1998 JEC recognizes new worldwide developments in the fields of composites and their processing every year. The criteria for the JEC Innovation Award are high technological quality, outstanding partnership in the process chain, marketing potential, and originality.

The GTHC-Award is part of the joint project “International Research Marketing”, a cooperation of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the DFG, and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Goal of the project is to promote the research location Germany internally and externally and to sharpen its profile in the global science market. All measures of the project are parts of the initiative “Werbung für den Innovations- und Forschungsstandort Deutschland” funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). More information can be found here:


Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Kermer-Meyer
Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT
Steinbachstrasse 17
52074 Aachen
Phone +49 241 8904-716

Susanne Krause | Fraunhofer-Institut
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