ITA won RWTH Innovation Award, Aachen, Germany

Prof. Thomas Gries, Kristina Simonis and David Schmelzeisen with the RWTH Innovation Award. Photo: Andreas Schmitter

The scientific employees Dr. Valentine Gesché, David Schmelzeisen and Kristina Simonis of Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University under the leadership of Prof. Thomas Gries, won the RWTH Innovation Award for their project “4D textile – additive manufacturing of hybrid materials for temporarily shape shifting applications.”

In this project, microstructures were printed in textiles using a 3D printer. The composite system reacts to external influences with deformation. Thus, a deformation is created without external energy input, because the required power will be saved through preloading in the textile itself. A change of environment (e.g. a rise of temperature or change of humidity) leads to a change of shape of the printed microstructure and thereby to a movement of the hybrid material 4D textile.

An international graduate college between the University of Wuppertal, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, the Massachusetts University Lowell, USA, and the RWTH Aachen University will be prepared right now to further push this research. At the moment the team is looking for new cooperation partners for further application fields of the new hybrid material.

The RWTH Innovation Award was awarded for the third time this year. Every year three projects are awarded a prize which underlines the innovation power of the region of Aachen, Germany, in a special way. Professor Malte Brettel, Prorector for economy and industry of RWTH Aachen University, handed the certificates at the RWTHtransparent“ event at the lecture hall complex C.A.R.L. in Aachen, Germany. The second prize was awarded to Moritz Cramer, Philipp Goergens, Dr. Simon Koopmann and Fabian Potratz of the Institute for High Voltage Technology, the third prize to Dr. Rebecca Engel and Dr. Marcus Rose of the Institute for Technical and Macromolecular chemistry.

About the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University

The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) belongs to the excellence university RWTH Aachen. Its core expertise consists of textile related production technologies and high performance materials. With the Centre for High Performance Materials ITA offers small and medium sized companies direct access to scientific research especially in the fields of high modulus fibres and composites. ITA provides research and development services and advanced training and creative workshops in cooperation with its partner company ITA Technologietransfer GmbH. Furthermore, ITA graduates students in various textile related courses. Please find further information at

Oerlikon expands additive manufacturing R&D and production capacity in the US

Oerlikon announced February 7, 2017 that it is expanding its global additive manufacturing (AM) business with a state-of-the-art R&D and production facility for additively manufactured advanced components in the Charlotte metro area in North Carolina, USA. Oerlikon will invest around CHF55million in this facility in 2017 and 2018, and expects to create over 100 new jobs at this site over the longer term.

As part of Oerlikon’s strategy to become a global powerhouse in surface solutions and advanced materials, the Group has identified additional growth areas such as additive manufacturing, which leverages its strong materials heritage, service reputation, access to markets, applications across industries and core competence in intelligently engineering and processing advanced materials and surface technologies.

Oerlikon expects the demand for additively manufactured metal components to increase rapidly in the coming years, making it one of the key growth areas in next-generation manufacturing technologies. Additive manufacturing is becoming increasingly suitable for the series production of advanced components. It is a technology that allows for the customization of products, the decentralization of production, change in design methodology and efficiency in material usage. The transformational impact of AM is likely to redefine some of the more conventional manufacturing value chains.

Following the acquisition of the AM production company, citim, in Germany, Oerlikon is extending its AM competence and investing in the construction of a new facility in Charlotte. The investment is an important step for Oerlikon in lowering the barriers to a wider adoption of AM by industrial customers, who can leverage Oerlikon’s AM capabilities, from the atomization of metal powders to AM production and the post processing of components. The addition of the new site in Charlotte brings Oerlikon’s AM network to four locations globally. The Charlotte site complements citim’s sites in Barleben (Magdeburg), Germany, and Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and the new production facility for advanced metal powders for additive manufacturing and advanced coatings in Plymouth Township, Michigan, USA.

The new facility in Charlotte will offer US industrial customers a single source for a full suite of integrated services for end-to-end advanced component manufacturing – from R&D, design, applications engineering and series production to post processing. The Charlotte region is home to a rapidly growing number of global industrial, aerospace, and automotive firms. The Charlotte site will be fully operational in 2018. However, Oerlikon will already begin its AM business activities in Charlotte from the beginning of 2017 at an interim facility.

Dr. Roland Fischer, CEO of the Oerlikon Group, said: “Innovation is a strategic driver of growth at Oerlikon. We consistently work at strengthening our innovation power and staying at the forefront in developing new technologies in our fields. As we strategically transform to become a powerhouse in surface solutions and advanced materials, we are investing in high growth potential businesses such as additive manufacturing. Charlotte is an important step in our plans to grow our additive manufacturing business and our investment in key technology areas. The investment underlines our intention to become a leading independent global partner in the industrialization of additive manufacturing. I would like to thank our economic development partners in North Carolina and the Charlotte region for their support in our investment.”

About Oerlikon

Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a leading global technology Group, with a clear strategy of becoming a global powerhouse in surface solutions, advanced materials and materials processing. The Group is committed to investing in value-bringing technologies that provide customers with lighter, more durable materials that are able to increase performance, improve efficiency and reduce the use of scarce resources. A Swiss company with over 100 years of tradition, Oerlikon has a global footprint of over 13 500 employees at more than 170 locations in 37 countries and sales of CHF 2.7 billion in 2015. The company invested CHF 103 million in R&D in 2015 and has over 1 350 specialists developing innovative and customer-oriented products and services.

Messe Frankfurt North America Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

German trade show giant, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, together with its North American subsidiary Messe Frankfurt Inc. based in Atlanta, Georgia, also known as Messe Frankfurt North America is celebrating its 25th anniversary. As the sole subsidiary in North America, the US based regional office has upheld the standards and traditions that continue to carry and spread the Messe Frankfurt name.

“We are proud to have served the North American market for many years, but to be celebrating a 25 year milestone with a US based regional office is an honor and we hope to continue to bring value to the Exhibition and Events industry while continuing to serve US, Canadian and Mexican exporters and buyers that attend our events overseas,” commented Dennis Smith, President and CEO of Messe Frankfurt North America. ”We cannot achieve such a successful milestone without the commitment and duty of our talented staff in Atlanta, Mexico City and Alberta, strategic partners, industry association supporters and association partners, government agencies, local convention and visitor bureaus, event vendors and the many venues that we operate from in the US, Canada and Mexico”.

Messe Frankfurt North America currently organizes 10 trade shows in the US, Canada and Mexico. Texworld USA, International Apparel Sourcing Show, Home Textiles Sourcing Expo and Boulevard Pret-a-sale are all held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City are the hosts for INA PAACE Automechanika Mexico City. NACE Automechanika Chicago is held at McCormick Place in Chicago and Texprocess Americas together with Techtextil North America are held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Waste & Recycling Expo Canada and Municpal Equipment Expo Canada rotate between the International Center in Toronto and the Palais des Congres in Montreal in alternating years. All of the venues listed above have contributed to the success of Messe Frankfurt North America’s shows by providing outstanding support and service not only to the organizer’s staff, but also to the exhibitors and attendees of the shows.

“30 years ago, Messe Frankfurt began organizing trade shows outside Germany. With 30 subsidiaries now to our name, we are one of the top international players in the event business. And Messe Frankfurt North America has been representing both the tradition and the success of the company and its customers in exemplary fashion for 25 years. This not only applies for our trade shows on the North American continent but also for thousands of American customers whom Messe Frankfurt North America helps every year to tap into international markets at 138 trade shows around the globe”, said Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

“We have a highly motivated, efficient and very likable team here in Atlanta – with superb expertise in organizing both trade shows and marketing activities offline and online. I have seen this for myself, having met many of the team in person. And I am proud that our hard work over the past 25 years has enabled us to establish a good position on the US market. This does not mean that we intend to rest on our laurels – quite the opposite, in fact: our position as the world’s highest-grossing trade show organizer with its own exhibition grounds is an impetus for further outstanding performance. I have the utmost faith in this and would like to thank you all for your sterling work to date. Let us look to the future with confidence.”

The continued success and future of Messe Frankfurt North America would not be possible without the unwavering support of the exhibitors and attendees of the trade shows and events, the cities and venues the shows are hosted in and the 100+ industry associations, government agencies and various organizations.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organizers, generating around €648 million in sales and employing 2,244 people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 30 subsidiaries and 55 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in 175 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at approx. 50 locations around the globe. In 2015, Messe Frankfurt organized a total of 133 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany. Comprising an area of 592,127 square meters, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centers. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent. For more information, please visit

Nonwovens to control our immediate environment

According to a 2015 study by EDANA, the international association serving the nonwovens and related industries and the sponsor of the INDEX™17 show, the nonwovens filtration market is expected to grow from $3.5 billion in 2014 to $4.6 billion in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 5.6%, making filtration one of the fastest growing markets for nonwovens.

An increased awareness of the need to control our immediate environment at home, in the workplace or while traveling, leads filters to play an essential role in our everyday lives. Noora Blasi, Marketing Manager, Engine and Industrial Filtration and Advanced Filtration at Ahlstrom is convinced that, “Changes in demographics, in the healthcare industry, and in resource scarcity are the key drivers contributing to the changing needs of end users.”

Clean air and drinking water, infrastructure improvements as well as the replacement of textiles and paper filter media, make filtration the fastest growing market for nonwovens. Automotive filtration remains the largest application for nonwoven filter media, followed by water and air filtration.

Visitors and exhibitors will gather at INDEX17, the world’s leading nonwovens exhibition, in Geneva from 4th-7th April 2017, to gain first-hand knowledge of the latest developments in nonwovens for filtration applications, with exhibitors showcasing the astonishing functional qualities of these versatile materials. For the first time, FILTREX™, the leading conference and meeting point for the filtration industry will take place at PALEXPO in parallel with INDEX17 (5th-6th April), thus bringing together the worlds of filtration and nonwovens.

The deadly cost of air pollution

According to a 2016 World Bank study “The Cost of Air Pollution”, carried out in co-operation with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, air pollution costs the world trillions of dollars a year and severely impedes development in many countries. The World Bank found that in 2013 – the year from which the latest available estimates date – the annual cost of dirty air to the United Kingdom was $7.6 billion, to Germany $18 billion and to the United States $45 billion. In addition, the study reveals that air pollution is still the fourth leading cause of premature deaths worldwide, causing lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems. Air pollution must be made a priority and governments are slowly changing their legislation. Many factories worldwide have enforced the installation of filter bags – between 10,000 – 25,000 of these are employed in the average coal plant in China.

Indoor air pollution, the next challenge

Air pollution is a common issue in industrialized countries, however this problem does not stop at your doorstep. A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that the air inside homes can be even more polluted than outside. Such is the case in even the largest and most industrialized cities.

Solvents used to treat furniture, emissions produced from cooking, household products and soot from candles are among the long list of pollutants that can be found inside the home. This presents new opportunities for nonwovens. Filters made from nonwoven fiberglass and activated carbon – with rapid adsorption dynamics – are now being used by a number of forward-looking hotel chains in Europe now, often employing low-energy nonwoven air filters … and this is only the beginning.

For more information on INDEX™17 visit

Investing in additive manufacturing industrialization

Oerlikon announced at the end of November 2016 that it has signed an agreement to acquire citim GmbH, Germany (citim). citim is a leading company in additive manufacturing design and production of metal components. The acquisition expands Oerlikon’s additive manufacturing technology and service portfolio with established 3D printing capabilities in Europe and in the USA.

With the acquisition of citim, Oerlikon takes an important step to become a global powerhouse in surface solutions and advanced materials. Oerlikon’s knowledge in the engineering of industrial components, materials, and closely related technologies such as thermal spray and thin-film coating make it well positioned to take part in the industrialization of additive manufacturing. The acquisition of citim adds strong expertise in the area of additive manufacturing production services and paves the way for Oerlikon to become an independent service provider for additive manufacturing components. citim’s core expertise lies in metal additive manufacturing for small-series production and functional prototypes. The company operates production sites in Europe and in the USA, serving high-tech industries such as aviation, automotive and energy. In 2015, citim generated CHF 12 million in sales and profitability around the same level as the operating margin of the Surface Solutions Segment. The company has around 120 employees. Both parties agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Additive manufacturing expands the design envelope for high-performance industrial components and offers cost reductions compared to traditionally manufactured parts in many custom and low-volume applications. As components are built layer by layer according to the digital design until the three-dimensional object is created, it allows complex forms not achievable with traditional methods to be fabricated. In addition, it opens up new possibilities for designs with enhanced performance or functionalities. AM essentially also enables a more efficient use of materials and reduces material waste.

Oerlikon offers a leading portfolio of advanced metal-based materials and processing technologies applied across a wide range of industrial areas. Its materials portfolio of metal powders also includes materials fully qualified for additive manufacturing. Combining Oerlikon’s R&D skills and knowledge in the design and engineering of industrial components, powder materials, surface technologies for post-production processing and in-house services for component production, it can now offer an integrated end-to-end service concept for additive manufacturing.

Oerlikon CEO Dr. Roland Fischer said: “The competencies and team from citim will serve to consolidate our position in the additive manufacturing business, marking the acquisition as an important move for us to drive the industrialization of additive manufacturing and to become an independent service provider for the production of additively manufactured components. We will continue to make targeted investments in the additive manufacturing market to solidify our value proposition.”

About Oerlikon

Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) is a leading global technology Group with a clear strategy of becoming a global powerhouse in surface solutions, advanced materials and materials processing. The Group is committed to investing in value-bringing technologies that provide customers with lighter, more durable materials that are able to increase performance, improve efficiency and reduce the use of scarce resources. A Swiss company with over 100 years of tradition, Oerlikon has a global footprint of over 13 500 employees at more than 170 locations in 37 countries and sales of CHF 2.7 billion in 2015. The company invested CHF 103 million in R&D in 2015 and has over 1 350 specialists developing innovative and customer-oriented products and services.

About citim GmbH

Founded in 1996 as a spin-off of Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, the company first focused on prototype tooling. With around 120 employees, the company serves customers in the aerospace, energy, medical, and automotive industries. During the following years, the company’s portfolio was continuously enlarged with new technologies. In 2004, citim introduced its laser sintering technology, and in 2009, laser melting was launched onto the market. Now, with 16 up-to-date machines operating in Barleben, Germany, and at the company’s second site in Kennesaw, USA, citim is a leading supplier for additively manufactured metal parts. Various industries like automotive, motor sports, aerospace and consumer goods benefit from the company’s manufacturing experience and expertise.