Representatives of seven companies and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) signed at the AMTC conference in Munich a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of establishing/founding the “Bavarian AM Cluster” (BAMC).
Representatives from the companies AUDI AG, EOS, GE Additive, Linde, MTU Aero Engines, Oerlikon and Siemens and the TUM have agreed to establish the “Bavarian AM Cluster” (BAMC) as a non-profit association in spring 2023. The purpose is to facilitate a state-supported, close consortium cooperation between companies and the university to overcome technical and economic hurdles on the way to the industrialization of additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing technology, also known as 3D printing, allows metal components to be produced in a “layer-by-layer” manufacturing process. Thanks to its ability to create significantly lighter structures with the same function using less raw material and also to set up production in a decentralized manner, additive manufacturing can make an important contribution to the sustainability of industrial products.
The members of the cluster decide on research priorities and projects that are implemented jointly or as part of research contracts with TUM. In addition to initiating new integrative research and development approaches, the cluster also aims to establish partnerships with other commercial enterprises and academic partners, develop innovative education and training concepts and launch lighthouse projects to demonstrate the benefits of additive manufacturing.
Unique about this cooperation is the immediate proximity of all partners and institutions to each other as the association’s premises will be located on the Garching campus in the same building as those of the relevant chairs at TUM, as well as those of the TUM-Oerlikon AM Institute. “With the Bavarian AM Cluster, the industry in Bavaria is clearly preparing for the future,” explains Prof. Michael Süss, Executive Chairman of Oerlikon. “In addition to the AMTC congress and the AM Institute founded in February between Oerlikon and TUM, this is the third initiative for joint cooperation for the industrialization of AM that we are launching. I am convinced that with the cluster, we are taking a decisive step towards the full integration of additive manufacturing into the industrial process.” Prof. Thomas Hofmann, President of TUM adds, “With the AM Cluster, we are further expanding research and development activities in the field of additive manufacturing here in Munich, thus maintaining Bavaria’s leading position in this technology field.”
In the building on the TUM Campus Garching, teaching, research and development are carried out on around 10 000 square meters and transferred directly to the production of economically attractive, technologically advanced products. The special feature here is that the university and the company conduct research together under one roof. This means maximum efficiency through the mutual provision of state-of-the-art research infrastructure and a rapid exchange of knowledge along the value chain and across all stages of maturity. Currently, final construction activities are taking place so that the Chair for Materials Technology of Additive Manufacturing (Prof. Mayr), the Chair for Laser-based Additive Manufacturing (Prof. Wudy), the TUM-Oerlikon-AM Institute, Siemens and Oerlikon can move into the building promptly. It is planned to start research operations this winter, and the “Bavarian AM Cluster” will be founded in spring 2023.