International Lightweight Network Defines Future Projects
At the beginning of June, 150 representatives of the AZL Partner Network including 18 new companies, who joined since the beginning of the year, met in Aachen, Germany, to discuss the activities of the last 12 months and to define future joint projects such as a market and technology study addressing the buildings and infrastructure lightweight market.
Since its foundation, the AZL Network has grown steadily: Having started with 35 founding companies, the AZL today counts 70 AZL Partner Companies coming from 18 different countries, such as the USA, India, Japan, Korea, China, Mexico and several European countries. Companies representing the complete lightweight value chain work together over the year in research and development initiatives and projects. Additionally, the complete AZL Network meets every year to define AZL´s strategy, pre-competitive Joint Partner Projects as well as new services for generating business and opening new markets.
Dr. Kai Fischer, Managing Director of AZL Aachen GmbH, states: “Within the last three years, we have built-up multiple focused research and development activities: More than 850 representatives of our partner companies have met in more than 30 workshops or workgroup meetings to define joint partner projects, to network and to drive lightweight production forward.”
For the next year, the AZL network accepted the proposal of a 6-month market and technology study on the growing market "Buildings and Infrastructure". Dr. Michael Emonts, Managing Director of AZL Aachen GmbH summarizes: “The study will comprise application analyses of 12 market segments, investigation of 100 applications, technology analyses of 25 highlight components and 10 detailed business cases. Besides requirement analyses for materials and production technologies, new concepts for efficient profitable production technologies are developed including cost engineering analysis. For the first time, this study will be open for non-partner companies to join.”
Furthermore, the AZL Partners agreed at the Annual Partner Meeting to follow-up two Joint Partner Projects on "New Designs for Low-Cost and Energy-Efficient Double-Belt Presses for Continuous Composite Manufacturing" and on a "Material and Processing Benchmark of Thermoplastic Tapes". These had been completed successfully this year.
At the Annual Partner Meeting, the AZL Partner Companies discussed not only research and development projects, but also decided to start into joint Business Development activities to enter new markets and regions. Each proposed project was accepted by more than 20 AZL Partner Companies. These companies will now meet to define the concrete project content before the projects will start in the second half of the year.
Aachener Zentrum für integrativen Leichtbau AZL Cluster der Produktionstechnik
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