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"Think Together": Specialist Conference on Lightweight Construction at Arburg

Around 100 participants from Southern Germany came together on 16 June 2016 for the twelfth "Think Together" specialist conference, organised by K.D. Feddersen and hosted by Arburg in Lossburg. The slogan was: "People. Think. Plastic." and the event focused on lightweight construction, a topic that was illuminated and discussed in detail in a series of specialist presentations and live demonstrations.

The "Think Together" specialist conference on 16 June 2016 provided an opportunity to experience lightweight construction "hands-on" in the Customer Center. Manuel Wöhrle, Senior Sales Manager Lightweight at Arburg (centre), discussed a range of topics with the participants, for example the benefits of fibre direct compounding.

  • "Think Together": Around 100 participants attend the K.D. Feddersen conference at Arburg
  • Lightweight construction: Specialist presentations on trends, machine technology and materials
  • Programme of side events: Factory tour and practical demonstrations round off the event

"Arburg is happy to provide the appropriate forum for the 'Think Together' event. We are playing our part in the exchange of experiences with presentations and interesting techniques that centre on lightweight construction. We'll show you how we work and think and what we can achieve," said Gerhard Böhm, Managing Director Sales, as he welcomed the around 100 participants to the lightweight construction event on behalf of Arburg.

Developing innovative lightweight construction solutions requires not just modern materials, but also a complete chain of processes.

Dr Stephan Schnell, Managing Director of plastic distributors K.D. Feddersen.

The twelfth specialist conference in the "Think Together" series was intended to encourage the participants to share their thoughts about trends, technologies, materials and new projects in lightweight construction.

Expert presentations on lightweight construction

The conference began with an address from Manuel Wöhrle, Senior Sales Manager Lightweight at Arburg. During his presentation on the latest trends in lightweight construction, he presented fibre direct compounding (FDC) and the Profoam physical foaming technology. Practical applications of both innovative injection moulding processes were demonstrated in the Arburg Customer Center in the afternoon. "A Passion for Lightweight Construction" was the title of Thilo Stier's presentation. The Head of Sales/Innovation at Akro-Plastic presented innovative compounds, including a new PA/PP blend and a material with carbon fibres from scraps from carbon fibre rovings from the automotive industry. This was the material used to produce moulded parts in the afternoon. Thomas Schulz, a field development engineer at Celanese, gave a presentation on long fibre-reinforced polymers in automotive applications, while Michael Büdinger, Customer Project Manager at Lyondellbasell, introduced the "Save10 initiative: lighter, smarter, more economical". The theoretical part of the event closed with presentations by Proplas Managing Director Stephan Klumpp, who spoke on prototyping using industrial computer tomography, and Gerhard Jell from the company of the same name, who talked about near-contour temperature control with metal laser sintering.

"Live" demonstrations of practical applications

Following a shared lunch, which afforded plenty of opportunities for networking and exchanging ideas, the participants broke up into small groups in the afternoon for tours of the factory and also had the opportunity to see a "live" demonstration of lightweight construction on an Allrounder injection moulding machine in the Arburg Customer Center. For example, test panels were produced using fibre direct compounding and air-bag housings were manufactured using Profoam physical foaming technology, while letter openers were injection moulded from a compound containing 40 percent carbon fibres.

"The event afforded material and machine manufacturers an excellent opportunity for dialogue and enabled them to take valuable ideas and inspirations home with them," said Manuel Wöhrle, summarising the practical part and the benefits of the specialist event: "We have shown that there are various ways to use lightweight construction in an efficient way through the right choice of material, process and mould as well as a component-specific design."

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