The fourth general meeting of the Additive Manufacturing (AM) Working Group of the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) was held at Arburg on 12 April 2018. Arburg has been represented on the board of the working group from the outset. The agenda included the activity reports from the working group, the election of the new board, interesting specialist presentations and an guided tour of the Lossburg factory.
“The Additive Manufacturing Working Group within the VDMA has been developing well in all aspects since its establishment in May 2014,” said Dr Markus Heering, Managing Director of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group within the VDMA, welcoming the 60 participants. This sentiment was echoed by Heinz Gaub, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at Arburg: “The Freeformer, which marked our entry into industrial additive manufacturing in 2013, is developing very well and our core business with injection moulding machines is also booming, so you will see our production running at full capacity this afternoon.”
Advancing additive technologies in a united effort
“Since the inaugural event in May 2014, our members have grown in number from 40 to currently 136. New companies are joining almost every month,” said Rainer Gebhardt, project manager of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group within the VDMA, in his activity report. “Our working group now covers all areas of the additive value chain and a wide range of processes in the metal and plastics sectors. Global corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises and universities work together directly to jointly promote additive technologies.”
The agenda also included the election of the board of the Additive Manufacturing Working Group within the VDMA. Christoph Hauck, newly elected CEO and Managing Director of MBFZ toolcraft GmbH in Georgensgmünd, emphasised: “I look forward to my new role, which I intend to use to promote the industrialisation of additive processes and the dynamic growth of the working group. In doing so I will rely on constructive cooperation with my colleagues on the board and with the member companies.” Heinz Gaub, also a member of the board, stated: “Over the past four years, we have seen how additive manufacturing is maturing into a practical production process and how the working group is becoming increasingly professional. In this highly dynamic environment, members benefit from rapid growth in know-how, a close exchange of experiences and joint work on topics that will be relevant in the future, such as the automation and standardisation of additive manufacturing.”
Exciting supporting programme
At the general meeting, Sascha Wenzler, head of the formnext trade fair at Mesago, outlined the positive developments and prospects for the new leading trade fair for additive manufacturing. Martin Neff, Head of Plastic Freeforming at Arburg, explained the potential of the Freeformer. In his specialist presentation, Dr Ruben Heid, Audi Technology Development, commented on the importance of additive manufacturing for the automotive industry, while Frank Burbach, an expert in technology foresight at KSB, explained the prospects for additive manufacturing in machine manufacturing.
Finally, most of the participants used the opportunity to go on a factory tour and see production at the Lossburg-based machine manufacturer for themselves.