Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dipl. Wirt.-Ing. Johannes Henrich Schleifenbaum has followed the call to the newly established chair – “Digital Additive Production DAP” – of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. He assumed the position on August 1, 2016. He also took over management of the competence area “Additive Manufacturing and Functional Layers” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen on November 1, 2016.
Pooled expertise in additive manufacturing technologies in Aachen
Along with RWTH Aachen University, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences and industrial partners, the Fraunhofer Institutes ILT and IPT form a strong network promoting additive manufacturing (AM) technologies at an international level. In addition to the Photonics Cluster, inaugurated in April 2016 at the RWTH Aachen Campus, the newly established DAP chair rounds off the great spectrum of AM offered by Aachen’s R&D landscape. This includes the “Aachen Center for Additive Manufacturing (ACAM)”, as well as the “BMBF Research Campus DPP”, the “Aachen Center for 3D Printing” (a research group of Fraunhofer ILT and the FH Aachen University funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research), and numerous other collaborations between science and industry.
Knowledge Transfer into the Industry
With the newly established chair “Digital Additive Production DAP”, the RWTH Aachen University will meet the increasing demand from research and industry for know-how about additive manufacturing technologies. Prof. Schleifenbaum clearly places his interdisciplinary work in the service of making application-oriented research available to the industry. “In addition to research and education, the applications and the transfer of know-how into the industry are particularly important to me. The cooperative surroundings of the RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and industrial partners will provide the ideal fertile ground for such developments. This way, we can sustainably strengthen the manufacturing industry and meet our obligations to our partners: generating viable solutions for them”.
By connecting the new DAP chair to the Fraunhofer ILT via joint industrial projects, the partners have paved the way to exploit R&D results for industrial applications. On November 1, 2016, Prof. Schleifenbaum took over the leadership of the competence area “Additive Manufacturing and Functional Layers” at Fraunhofer ILT. With more than 100 employees, this department focuses on developing additive production process chains and making them available to the industry. These include, among others, the development of machines, the planning of AM factories, the development of design and data tools for additive manufacturing, as well as comprehensive consulting services ranging from component consulting all the way to business case assessment for the manufacturing industry. In addition, the researchers in the competence area shall continue the development of laser processes for surface treatment, such as thin film processing, heat treatment and polishing.
Prof. Schleifenbaum managed the “Tool Shop Metals” department at the Phoenix Contact Group until July 2016, but before that he had already worked as a research assistant at Fraunhofer ILT. There he received his doctorate in 2011 in the field of “Individualized Production” after having studied mechanical engineering and economics at RWTH Aachen University and the Ecole Centrale de Marseille.
“I am excited by the challenge of contributing to the comprehensive training of ‘3D printing experts’ in the future, so that this relatively young, but extremely exciting and promising technology can be developed even further at the university. At the same time, we can take this know-how and use it in the industry profitably”, Prof. Schleifenbaum said, viewing his new tasks. “Also, I am looking forward to working with colleagues from Fraunhofer ILT and its associated chairs. Many of them I still know from former times in Aachen”.