The Open Innovation Research Cluster

for Non-Ferrous Metals at RWTH Aachen University

AMAP 3rd Anniversary

AMAP: Purest Network

The Aachen birthday child is not going to herald the end of the Iron Age, but since three years it has researched alternatives with non-ferrous metals like aluminium. The talk is of the open innovation research cluster AMAP which in Aachen celebrated its third anniversary in proper style at a partner’s of the first hour.



Purest Network:
Emphasis on “open-minded teamwork“ (from left to right): Dr. Rolf Weber (AMAP), M. Eng. Michael Whitens (Ford Motor Company), Prof. Dr. Pim van der Jagt und Dr. Jürgen Wesemann (both Ford Research & Advanced Engineering), Dr. Klaus Vieregge (HYDRO Aluminium Rolled Products), Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernd Friedrich (Department of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling IME, RWTH Aachen) and Dr. Peter von den Brincken (AMAP).
Photo: AMAP/Marcel Dohmen

The ambiance could not have been more perfect: About 120 experts from industry and RWTH Aachen University as well as users met at the “Ford Research and Innovation Center Aachen” in January to celebrate the third anniversary with an ambitiously planned symposium. AMAP specific solutions and competences in research matters were presented through representative, project-related examples. Furthermore experts from industry and professors of RWTH reported on future topics and introduced future projects of the research cluster AMAP. Thereby Ford is not only partner of AMAP, but also with its pick-up-truck Ford F 150 - the best-selling car in the US - pioneer in the first large-scale application with all-aluminium bodies. At the expansion of the use of aluminium in automotive construction Mike Whitens (Ford Research & Advanced Engineering) put emphasis on the strengthened cooperation within the AMAP network. The “Director Vehicle and Enterprise Sciences“ was namely sure that the development of aluminium would be the same as that of steel with its new ultra-high strength sorts: “Here nobody can find the answers on his own”, Whitens said. “When working in AMAP projects I now hope also for the participation of other car manufacturers”.

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mathar (Vice-Rector for Research and Structure of RWTH Aachen) lauded the work of the network and the fact that a couple of years ago it picked up the Campus idea and put it into practice. “I now hope that AMAP, too, will move to the Campus area of RWTH Aachen”, the Vice-Rector said. “For me AMAP is a model with exemplary character for our Campus project.”

These messages were completely in the line of Dr. Klaus Vieregge, Chairman of the AMAP Advisory Board. He emphasized that working in the research cluster was not only about aluminium, but that it was and would be open for all materials, as well as for processing and manufacturing of products made of non-ferrous metals. As the driving factor the head of Hydro aluminium research in Bonn described the special form of open innovation which “at the same time is a chance and a risk”. In the focus there was the pre-competitive research of non-ferrous metals under the holistic aspect “from material to component”, which, however, required a long-term, but patient breathing.

At the foundation of AMAP Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernd Friedrich (Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling IME, RWTH Aachen) played an important role, when years ago he as aec chairman defined the structure of the AMAP cluster and realized it together with others. Today Prof. Friedrich is the cluster speaker of the RWTH institutes associated with AMAP.



Award-winning pioneers:
Professors Wolfgang Schneider (left) and Günter Gottstein received the AMAP Award for longstanding, patient pioneer work.
Photo: AMAP/Marcel Dohmen

About seven years ago Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schneider, past head of Hydro Aluminium Research & Development Bonn, had the idea for a common research at one site across industry and university institutes. Prof. Dr. Günter Gottstein (Department of Physical Metallurgy and Metal Physics), by now emeritus, was an engaged combatant. For the evolutionary idea and its implementation due to long-lasting tireless motivation of industry and research both scientists received the new AMAP Award in a solemnly celebration. In his laudation Prof. Dr. Andreas Bührig-Polaczek (Foundry Institute, RWTH Aachen) stated: „This award also stands for your trust in an innovative and at the same time tradition-conscious industry though it was not clear in the beginning whether it had the courage for this new form of cooperation.” The industry indeed had this courage. Therefore the AMAP combatant remembered with pleasure the first open talks in small groups which finally led to this new form of open-minded teamwork among companies and institutes.

Profile: AMAP GmbH, Aachen

The Open Innovation Research Cluster “AMAP” stands for Advanced Metals and Processes. Founded in 2012, AMAP GmbH is a subsidiary of the registered nonprofit association Aluminium Engineering Center e.V. (aec) which the heads of 10 institutes of RWTH Aachen belong to. Within the cluster at present 26 engineers and 27 senior experts from ten industry companies and six university institutes investigate the production and processing of non-ferrous metals whereby in the beginning materials on an aluminium basis were on the focus of attention. AMAP-Partner: ALERIS Rolled Products Germany GmbH (Koblenz), CONSTELLIUM Technology Center (Voreppe, Frankreich), FORD Forschungszentrum Aachen, HYDRO Aluminium Rolled Products GmbH (Bonn), MAGMA GmbH (Aachen), MUBEA Muhr und Bender KG (Attendorn), NEMAK Europe GmbH (Frankfurt/Main), NOVELIS Deutschland GmbH (Göttingen), SMS Group (Düsseldorf), TRIMET Aluminium SE (Essen) and four institutes of RWTH Aachen (Foundry Institute GI, Institute of Metal Forming IBF, Department of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling IME, Department of Physical Metallurgy and Metal Physics IMM).

Press releases

published in: NC Fertigung 01-02 2016
published in: Georessources 28. Jan 2016
Published in Aluminium Praxis