Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Individualization of Products in Mass Production within the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project »Go Beyond 4.0«


Six Fraunhofer Institutes have demonstrated the individualization of single products in mass production environments by the employment of digital printing and laser technologies. This substantial progress provides completely new opportunities for design and weight reduction by material savings.

Six Fraunhofer Institutes (ENAS, IFAM, ILT, IOF, ISC and IWU) have succeeded to manufacture electrical conductor patterns, sensors, and high-tech lighting modules, individually integrated into components by using digital printing and laser technologies.

The result: individualization of components in mass production environments with new opportunities for design, material savings and weight reduction.

The demand for customized components with sophisticated electrical or optical functionalities in industrial production has been growing for years. By integrating digital printing and laser technologies into existing mass production environments, the challenges of individualization can be faced successfully. Thus, the development of entirely new products becomes feasible.

»At first, it sounds paradoxical to produce unique products in mass production lines. However, if the digital manufacturing technologies of inkjet printing and laser processing are clever integrated into mass production environments, the respective products can be individualized in-line«, explains Prof. Reinhard Baumann of Fraunhofer ENAS, project coordinator of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »Go Beyond 4.0«.

In a short video about the lighthouse project (available online:, the feasibility of combining digital printing, laser processing and further latest production technologies is pictured based on three technology demonstrators.

Demonstrator »Smart Door« - manufacturing domain automotive engineering

As a result of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project, the design of automotive body components, here car doors, can be revolutionized. The video shows that conductive tracks can now be directly applied to automotive body parts employing digital printing and laser processes. This makes a complex body part lighter and subsequently the manual installation of a wire harness redundant.

Demonstrator »Smart Wing« - production domain aviation

Lightweight constructions in aviation, here wings, are due to their fiber-reinforced composite materials (CFRP and GFRP) suitable for the integration of printable components as temperature sensors or signal lines. Printed heating structures including sensors will enable chemical-free defrosting of wings and the collection of data for the on-board management.

Demonstrator »Smart Luminaire« - production domain lighting

In the course of the lighthouse project, optically transparent bodies such as lenses, projecting lettering or logos, were manufactured by 3D printing and adjacent laser processing. In addition, these processes allow the integration of electrically conducting paths and LEDs into the volume of the transparent optics. The revolutionizing results are complex lighting elements directly displaying dynamic information.

Background of the lighthouse project:

The lighthouse project »Go Beyond 4.0« is a research project of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, fully financed by Fraunhofer and carried out by the Fraunhofer Institutes ENAS, IFAM, ILT, IOF, ISC and IWU. The aim of the project is to exploit the Fraunhofer synergistic potential by joining the competences of several Fraunhofer Institutes to take on current industrial challenges. Over a three-year period, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft invests eight million euros in the lighthouse project.

Further information can be found at  and  


Weitere Informationen:

Thomas Eck | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Caterpillars of the wax moth love eating plastic: Fraunhofer LBF investigates degradation process
06.08.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Machine learning methods provide new insights into organic-inorganic interfaces
04.08.2020 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: ScanCut project completed: laser cutting enables more intricate plug connector designs

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.

Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...

Im Focus: New Strategy Against Osteoporosis

An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.

Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...

Im Focus: AI & single-cell genomics

New software predicts cell fate

Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

Latest News

Rare Earth Elements in Norwegian Fjords?

06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences

Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life

06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Turning carbon dioxide into liquid fuel

06.08.2020 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>