Lightweight sheet metal for economical cars

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Lightweight sheet metal for economical cars

The 950-square-meter hall was built in just under a year. The tall unit in the back is a hydraulic forming press that cost well over a million euros to build. © uwe niklas

FuRTH – the research facility neue materialien furth (NMF) has a new technology hall. Behind this seemingly banal news, however, lies a funding amount of 7.6 million euros. In the new hall, NMF researchers will experiment with lightweight materials in the future.

The regional economy should benefit from the findings.

NMF executive director professor robert singer was "highly surprised by the great response" from guests at the official opening of the new building yesterday. the research company, founded in 2006, is located in the city on the banks of the river forth on the former grundig site. 40 employees develop new materials and processes here on behalf of industrial customers. The state research facility is supported primarily by the Free State of Bavaria.

Singer also praised the cooperation with the friedrich-alexander-university erlangen-nurnberg (FAU): the "symbiosis with the university" is of outstanding importance. Their chancellor, thomas schock, emphasized that his university conducts very successful industry-related research and is thus also involved in the work of NMF. Universities often have a reputation for being too theoretical and, compared with universities of applied sciences, not practical enough.

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With regard to the discussion about whether nuremberg should have a technical university (TU) in addition to the FAU, schock reminded the audience that everything that happens in the city on the riverbank goes back to the ZMP nucleus, i.e. the central institute for new materials and process technology (ZMP) of the FAU. A TU does not make sense, said schock, it is better to expand existing competencies.

Lighter components to reduce energy consumption

With professor marion merklein, NMF has been able to win over a competent FAU expert. The owner of the Chair of Manufacturing Technology heads the lightweight sheet metal construction department and is, so to speak, the landlady in the new hall. the aim of their work is to develop processes that make components, such as those in cars, lighter in order to reduce energy consumption. At the same time, however, these lighter parts would have to be increasingly stable in order to meet the high safety requirements, for example.

In the hall, the third at NMF, merklein and her colleagues work with three large machines: a laser system for forming and cutting materials and components, a roll stand for producing sheet metal materials and a hydraulic press for forming sheet metal components.

State Secretary for Economic Affairs katja hessel (FDP), representing the state government, said that NMF is a "role model for structural change". where tube screens for televisions were once produced, today "innovative materials research at the highest level is at home. The high subsidy of 7.6 million euros from the federal and state governments is "in the best of hands".

Yesterday, after visiting NMF, hessel went on to his next appointment in Furth: the groundbreaking ceremony for the second construction phase at the grunderzentrum complex in gewerbepark sud. A new building with 4000 square meters of leasable space is being built for 5.6 million euros. Half of the money comes from the structural fund set up by the Free State after the Quelle bankruptcy.

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