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Thomas HIPKE

Thomas HIPKE

Division Director, FRAUNHOFER IWU


1990 - 1995 Study at the Technical University Chemnitz topics: Mechanical engineering, machine tools, construction techniques 2001 Graduate to a Dr.-Ing Technical University Chemnitz, GERMANY Dissertation: ‘”design rules for aluminium foams – materials, technologies and application” ’ 2020 – present Head of main division “Lightweight Design, Textile Technologies and Circular Economy” at Fraunhofer- Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technologies, Chemnitz, GERMANY

About Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU

Fraunhofer IWU - The leading institute for resource-efficient production The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU is a driver for innovations in the research and development of production engineering. Around 670 highly qualified employees work at our locations in Chemnitz, Dresden, Leipzig, Wolfsburg, and Zittau. We open up the potential for competitive manufacturing in automotive and mechanical engineering, aerospace technology, medical engineering, electrical engineering, and precision and microengineering. We focus on scientific developments and contract research regarding components, processes, methods, and the associated complex machine systems and their interaction with humans – the entire factory. As the leading institute for resource-efficient manufacturing, we bank on highly flexible, scalable cognitive production systems using nature as an example. We consider the entire process chain using regenerative systems and circular economy in this context. We develop technologies and intelligent production plants and optimize forming, cutting, and joining manufacturing steps. Our range of services includes the development of innovative lightweight structures and technologies for processing new materials, functional transfer to assembly groups, and the latest technologies of additive manufacturing (3D printing). We present approaches for large-scale production of essential hydrogen systems, thus contributing to the transition to renewable energies. Our researchers rethink the factory of the future holistically to combine maximum added value and minimum use of resources: highly flexible and adaptive production scalable by the number of pieces, based on renewable energies. We demonstrate how digital planning processes and simulations allow for a particularly efficient factory design. We develop high-performance processes for highly flexible energy and load management to employ renewable energies effectively. Our reference factory.H2, with real plants and digital twins, offers numerous possibilities to enterprises of all sizes to contribute their competencies or to profit from customized processes and services to efficiently produce essential hydrogen components. Our applied research offers our partners measurable added value for their competitiveness. Manufacturing enterprises of all industries and sizes may rely on our innovative strength and over 30 years of expertise in optimizing production systems. Together with our partners, we are working on future production systems.