Six Fraunhofer Institutes have demonstrated the individualisation of single products in mass production environments by the employment of digital printing and laser technologies. This substantial progress provides completely new opportunities for design and weight reduction by material savings.
Six Fraunhofer institutes (ENAS, IFAM, ILT, IOF, ISC and IWU) have succeeded to manufacture electrical conductor patterns, sensors, and high-tech lighting modules, individually integrated into components by using digital printing and laser technologies. The result: individualisation of components in mass production environments with new opportunities for design, material savings and weight reduction.
The demand for customised components with sophisticated electrical or optical functionalities in industrial production has been growing for years. By integrating digital printing and laser technologies into existing mass production environments, the challenges of individualisation can be faced successfully. Thus, the development of entirely new products becomes feasible.
“At first, it sounds paradoxical to produce unique products in mass production lines. However, if the digital manufacturing technologies of inkjet printing and laser processing are clever integrated into mass production environments, the respective products can be individualised in-line”, explains Prof. Reinhard Baumann of Fraunhofer ENAS, project coordinator of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project “Go Beyond 4.0”.
In a short video about the lighthouse project, the feasibility of combining digital printing, laser processing and further latest production technologies is pictured based on three technology demonstrators.
Source: “Individualization of products in mass production: development of cutting-edge technology within the Fraunhofer Lighthouse project “Go Beyound 4.0”, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT