The resources available to companies aiming to develop new polymer products and technologies along the entire value chain will soon be getting even better.
The European Union, the state of Saxony-Anhalt and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are giving a combined EUR 10 million to the Fraunhofer Pilot Plant Center for Polymer Synthesis and Processing (PAZ) in Schkopau, which has been helping its customers perform polymer synthesis and processing procedures on an industrial-orientated scale since it opened in 2005.
The funding will be used to add roughly 1,000 sqm in floor space to the facility as well as to outfit it with state-of-the-art equipment, including devices that offer better possibilities for using bio-based materials and for tire applications. This equipment will provide an ideal environment for researching and developing applications related to lightweight construction (e.g., for vehicle components), digital component development and processes related to producing tailor-made plastics.
“From the material composition, through the design and the sensoring of components, to the adaptation of the production processes in order to fully exploit the potential of Industry 4.0 – digitization is rapidly changing the industry in all these areas,” said Peter Michel, head of polymer processing at the facility. “At Fraunhofer PAZ, we provide the solutions to not only prepare companies for that, but also make them benefit from these trends.” The new space is scheduled to be ready for use by 2020.