Ceremony for the opening of the new Foundry Technology Center with greetings from research and teaching, politics and industry
Exactly two years after the foundation stone was laid, the new Foundry Technology Center of the Fraunhofer IGCV in Garching was inaugurated on October 13, 2021. "A place for research and cooperation", "Strengthening Germany as a production location" - much praise and recognition was expressed during numerous greetings and celebratory speeches. The guests were impressed by the new building, which in future will provide a home for research at every step of the casting process: from mould production to the finishing process.
The scientific area of "Foundry Technology" is one of the core competences of the Fraunhofer Institute for Foundry, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV. The researchers work with great enthusiasm on individual solutions for industry in order to transfer knowledge and innovative developments directly into industrial applications.
The focus of the work at Fraunhofer IGCV in Garching is primarily on the topics of moulding materials, sand and chill casting processes and simulation. In addition to novel approaches to the combination of moulding materials, the prediction of casting processes and the integration of quality assurance measures, the scientific staff are researching the embedding of casting systems in overall control solutions and are thus addressing the potential of Industry 4.0.
In future, the scientists working in these areas will have a completely new research environment at their disposal: the Foundry Technology Centre in Garching. In the building that has now been inaugurated, they will find the best conditions to drive innovations in foundry technology.
A new home for foundry technology
In the new building, research is conducted on every single step of the casting process and further developments are driven forward. This is also reflected in the character of the building. From the interior design to the exterior façade, the materials are derived from the basic structures of the raw materials and the foundry materials. Moulding sand, core sand and metallic surfaces characterise the appearance of the new building.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, based in Germany, is the world's leading organisation for application-oriented research. With its focus on future-relevant key technologies and on the exploitation of results in business and industry, it plays a central role in the innovation process. As a guide and stimulus for innovative developments and scientific excellence, it helps to in shaping our society and our future. Founded in 1949, the organisation currently operates 75 institutes and research facilities in Germany. Around 29,000 employees, most of whom are trained in the natural sciences or engineering, produce the annual research volume of 2.8 billion euros. Of this, 2.4 billion euros is generated by contract research.
In future, the 1,500 m² main floor space will house various functional areas. At the centre is the foundry hall, complemented by workshops, laboratory areas, meeting and seminar rooms, office areas for scientists, administration and communal and communication zones.
The new foundry technology centre is located on a 36,500 m² area on which the new Fraunhofer research campus is being built. In addition to the Fraunhofer IGCV, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Safety AISEC has already moved into a building there. The future location of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cognitive Systems IKS is currently in the concept phase.
The new Fraunhofer research campus is in the immediate vicinity of the Garching campus of the Technical University of Munich. Existing strategy and synergy effects with the neighbouring natural science and engineering faculties and facilities can be better utilised and further developed.
Ceremony for the opening of the new foundry technology centre
After the employees of the Fraunhofer IGCV had already moved into the building in July 2021, it was presented to guests from politics, industry and science in a ceremonial setting on 13 October 2021.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Volk, Director of the Fraunhofer IGCV and responsible for the scientific field of foundry technology, welcomed the guests together with Prof. Dr. Raoul Klingner, Director of Research Management and Governance of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
Prof. Dr. Raoul Klingner was enthusiastic about the new site and its potential for the future: "The new Foundry Technology Centre of the Fraunhofer IGCV creates a place for research and cooperation on application-oriented cutting-edge technologies in the field of foundry research - an important topic for the future, as it represents key technologies for many application areas and industries. For example, the automotive industry benefits from research in the field of drive components, chassis parts and structural castings," said Prof. Dr Raoul Klingner.
This was followed by further words of welcome. Roland Weigert, State Secretary in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, emphasised the importance of the Bavarian foundry industry with its centres in Central Franconia, Swabia and the Upper Palatinate with over 11,000 employees. According to Weigert, the foundry sector is a key technology for many industries, especially for the automotive and mechanical engineering sectors or aerospace - because no wind turbine housing or important engine parts would function without the casting of metallic materials. Since only science and research can drive further development in foundry technology, Weigert sees the Fraunhofer IGCV in charge: "It would be great if an answer could be found at the new research and science location in Garching as to how foundry operations can be run on green hydrogen or green electricity in the future. Researchers will benefit from an ideal research network of natural science and engineering faculties in the near vicinity."
According to Weigert, the new IGCV building of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will be the new centrepiece of Science City.
Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann, President of the Technical University of Munich, Dr.-Ing. Erwin Flender, member of the Fraunhofer IGCV Board of Trustees, BDG e.V. and VDG e.V. and Christoph Göbel, District Administrator of the Munich district, also congratulated the institute on its new building and emphasised its successes in foundry technology.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carsten Intra, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said in his speech: "The new building of the Fraunhofer IGCV is representative of the increasing need for scientific knowledge in production technology as a whole. The research work carried out by the institute helps in a very tangible way to strengthen Germany as a production location and to maintain its special position in the world."
The presentation of the new Foundry Technology Centre by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Volk and Dr.-Ing. Steffen Klan, Institute Director and Head of the Foundry Technology Department at Fraunhofer IGCV, was followed by tours of the building.
During the subsequent get-together, the guests had the opportunity to discuss individual research topics with Fraunhofer IGCV experts in the context of demonstrations. With hearty food, brass band music and interesting conversations, the guests were able to enjoy a festive end to the event.