Sustainable digital and additive production

Three questions for Prof. Dr. Heiko Wenzel-Schinzer, CDO.

Prof. Dr. Heiko Wenzel-Schinzer, CDO WENZEL Group

Funding for the Technology Transfer Center (TTZ ) in Marktheidenfeld was approved by the Bavarian Cabinet last month. We also supported the new research center. As an institute of the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences (THWS), the TTZ focuses on research in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing (additive manufacturing). We asked Prof. Dr. Heiko Wenzel-Schinzer (HWS) three questions about this.


The TTZ research will focus on the topic of "Sustainable digital and additive production". Has WENZEL already gained practical experience in these areas?

HWS: We are both suppliers and demanders in the environment of the TTZ research focus, so these are exciting topics for us:

This year, we launched our WENZEL EcoLine, the first machine series whose design is based entirely on the idea of sustainability . For this, we take back used machines from the market that have already been used for more than 20 years. Then we take the long-lasting parts of the machine, such as our machine bed made of granite, and equip them but with current technology. In numbers, we continue to use more than 2/3 of the machine's substance, but create a completely new machine that can be used for another 20-30 years. In doing so, we save about 50% of the CO2 footprint compared to a new machine. But here we are only at the beginning. The TTZ will certainly come up with many more things.

In the field of additive manufacturing, we use this technology ourselves for some components; however, we are mainly confronted with it by our customers. We measure external contours but also internal structures with our exaCT computer tomographs. These become very important for additive components, because on the one hand defects can be searched and analyzed, but on the other hand complex components are manufactured from hybrid material.


Do you already have plans for future cooperation between WENZEL and the TTZ, i.e. between business and science?

We have concrete ideas both in the area of sustainability and additive manufacturing; but now we will have to wait and see how the position is actually filled. Then we'll get started.


 Do you think that the project will attract new professionals to the region?

Yes, we are convinced that an active TTZ can retain potential skilled workers in the region. Many students go to the larger cities to study and then look for their first companies and employment contracts there. If the region can provide early links through interesting projects, young people will also get to know and appreciate interesting companies like ours in the region.


Thank you very much, Prof. Dr. Heiko Wenzel-Schinzer for your time!

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