The research area Integrated Technologies aims to shorten the value added chain by using multi-technology production systems. Furthermore, integrated products with functionalities that cannot be produced directly by conventional manufacturing processes are developed.
Multi-technology production systems allow for the integrated processing of various process steps on one machine setup. Additionally, certain process steps, e.g. a laser heat treatment, can be performed simultaneously and hence broaden the product range. Due to the integration and substitution of process steps, interfaces are eliminated. However, the development of multi-technology production systems is challenging since more interdependencies have to be considered. Moreover, it is investigated how the profitability of such production systems can be enhanced. Also, the flexible manufacturing of sheet metal components for small series and individual parts is studied.
The so called multi-technology products integrate several features in one product. Thus, materials and products get new properties and application areas. Here, the processing of these products is one of the main challenges. Using structured embossing or in-mold tools, plastic films can be structured in the range of microns and are used as functional surfaces. Other products under investigation are metallically coated plastic components. The metallic coating is directly applied within the injection molding process. The material combination is especially interesting due to their electric functionality and at the same time low weight compared to completely metallic parts. Moreover, the systematic development and evaluation of new technologies is promoted considering economic, ecological and social challenges.