Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lightweight Construction for Advanced Manufacturing

The European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN) is organising an event on lightweight manufacturing on Wednesday 16 December 2015 in Brussels. Entitled 'Lightweight Strategies and their Contribution to Added Value Manufacturing - A Heavy Topic?' the workshop will give an overview of state of play and recent developments in advanced manufacturing with a clearly defined thematic focus on lightweight construction and also look to identify the key future challenges and opportunities. This is an area of great interest to SusChem and highlighted in our recent Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).

The concept of 'lightweighting' refers to a means of construction with respect to materials and manufacturing that aims to reduce the mass and increase the quality of a product and all its component elements. The available data suggests that achieving a 10% decrease in weight within the broadly defined area of mobility (including cars, trucks, transport and machinery) would contribute to a reduction in emissions of some 100 million tonnes of CO2 in Germany alone - and about three billion tonnes worldwide.

For advanced manufacturing lightweight construction is a crucial factor. However, it is not just enough to integrate a small number of lightweight parts into the process of manufacturing. Lightweight design needs a holistic approach from the choice of appropriate materials and the manufacturing process itself to consideration of the efficient and low-cost recycling of the product after its use.

The ERRIN workshop aims to give an overview of state of play and recent developments in advanced manufacturing and to attempt to answer a range of questions including:

  • How do we prevent too much waste of lightweight components when it comes to mass production? Are there limits to lightweighting in construction?
  • How will changes in weight affect the driving behaviour of an extremely lightweight car?
  • How can we recycle to the maximum components of a lightweight product after use?

The workshop will take place on 16 December from 09:00 to 13:30 at the Saxony Liaison Office in Brussels at Avenue d’Auderghem 67, 1040 Brussels. The event is organised by ERRIN's Advanced Manufacturing and Nanotech working group.

The workshop will include presentations from Prof. Dr. Lothar Kroll of the Technical University of Chemnitz, Laszlo Bax of Bax and Willems Consulting and Prof. David Bailey of the Aston Business School in Birmingham.

The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion: 'Lightweight in Europe: Where are we? Where do we want to go to? What has to be  done?' with representatives from industry, academia and the European Commission.

A programme for the event can be downloaded here and you can register via this link.

Founded in 2001, ERRIN is a unique Brussels-based platform of more than 120 regional stakeholder organisations most of whom are represented by their Brussels offices. ERRIN promotes knowledge exchange between its members, focusing on joint actions and project partnerships to strengthen regional research and innovation capacities. Through these actions ERRIN seeks to contribute to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Innovation Union flagship initiative and Smart Specialisation strategies.

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