As one of a total of ten partners, Spanflug is participating in the innovative research project EREP, which investigates the possibility of successful remanufacturing through data-based decision-making and intelligent process planning.
Partners and goals of the EREP project
Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe, (PTKA) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the project was kicked off in October 2022.
Together with the industry and research partners König Metall, roeren, Siemens, SPC Werkstofflabor, Technical University of Munich, ModuleWorks, Aperion, AWM mechanical engineering and AixPath Spanflug will develop an innovative, hybrid process chain consisting of additive and subtractive processes for the field of vehicle manufacturing. "We are pleased to be involved in this sustainability project for the German industry and to advance research in the field of remanufacturing together with the project partners." Dr. Markus Westermeier, co-founder and CEO of Spanflug, summarizes the project participation.
Remanufacturing describes the refurbishment process of existing parts and is a central aspect of the circular economy. It has great potential to make industrial manufacturing more economically and ecologically sustainable and to increase the resilience of industrial companies. It is considered an important contribution towards achieving significant energy and raw material savings, particularly in the current economic and political climate, which has led to ongoing volatile supply chains.
How Spanflug contributes to the project
The EREP project in specifically elaborates how parts can be remanufactured into a new variant by applying material through additive manufacturing and subsequent material removal through machining. Applications for this process chain are, for example, large castings from the commercial vehicle sector or resources for vehicle manufacturing.
This would not only enable the manufacturing of the latest generation products from parts that have already been discarded, but would also increase overall energy and raw material efficiency.
For this purpose, the initial geometries of existing parts are to be compared with the target geometry by means of a CAD analysis. By expanding Spanflug's technology, it should be possible to identify suitable components for remanufacturing. Spanflug is working on automated calculation of manufacturing times and costs for remanufacturing. This will enable important conclusions to be drawn about the technical feasibility of remanufacturing process chains, cost efficiency, economic viability and environmental footprint.
With great pleasure, Spanflug is looking forward to the interesting exchange with the research teams as well as to innovative impulses and insights from the collaboration within the next three years. At the same time, we would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for funding the project, the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe, section Production and Manufacturing Technologies Division (PTKA-PFT) for its support as well as all project partners for the good and trustful collaboration.