Leuphana opens new research laboratory for production technology

2023-11-03 Leading research in production technology in Lüneburg

Lüneburg. A new research laboratory for sustainable production technology has been established on the campus of Leuphana University Lüneburg in recent months. Thanks to funding from the German Research Foundation and the state of Lower Saxony, a research extrusion press is now available there that is one of the largest and most modern of its kind in Europe. Thanks to funding from the European Regional Development Fund, a hybrid processing centre with the latest 3D printing technology and the first flexible research wire drawing machine in Germany have also been installed. This type of infrastructure is otherwise only found at technical universities. This equipment is unique in northern Germany, particularly in the field of forming technology and lightweight construction. The laboratory will be inaugurated on 8 November in the presence of experts from science and industry.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Noomane Ben Khalifa, Head of the Institute for Production Technology and Systems at Leuphana and Head of Material and Process Design at the Helmholtz Centre Hereon in Geesthacht, is convinced: "We need to fundamentally rethink research in production technology and material development. The ecological footprint must become the most important criterion in material and process development as well as in the evaluation of results." The teams at Leuphana and Hereon are conducting interdisciplinary research in this area in the fields of lightweight construction, resource efficiency, the circular economy and medical technology.

The new extrusion press represents a milestone for research into lightweight construction and resource efficiency in production technology. Unlike industrial presses of this size, the machine can be converted for a wide range of research and development purposes within a very short space of time. The focus of the research is on reducing CO2 emissions through material savings and process optimisation. One of the current projects, for example, involves the low-emission recycling of scrap metal using extremely high pressure without the need for re-melting.

"We want to put the findings from our research into practice as quickly as possible by transferring knowledge with companies. To this end, we are building a business community and organising workshops, among other things. We will also produce demonstrators to illustrate the feasibility of sustainable products," says Ben Khalifa, describing the aim of the research.

The hybrid machining centre also enables new research projects. This allows various manufacturing processes to be combined, such as metal 3D printing and subtractive processes. In order to meet the current challenges facing industrial production, manufacturing technology, materials science and the possibilities of artificial intelligence must be closely interlinked. The scientists in Lüneburg are working closely with the Helmholtz Centre Hereon in Geesthacht to conduct holistic research into the sustainability of materials and products and their interaction with the environment.

We cordially invite you to come and see the new laboratory and its impressive machines for yourself on 7 November at 2 pm. Members of the Institute of Production Technology and Systems will be happy to assist you. Simply register for a visit at henning.zuehlsdorff@leuphana.de