Neotech AMT GmbH, a German company specializing in 3D printed electronics, and the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg’s Department of Factory Automation and Production Systems (FAPS) have been awarded an innovation prize by German company TÜV SÜD.
2019 marks the third year the Innovation Award has been given by TÜV SÜD, honouring successful cooperations between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and research institutions. Neotech AMT and FAPS were selected as this year’s winners because they jointly developed a manufacturing technology capable of 3D printing mechatronic systems.
“This year’s award winners impressively demonstrate how small and medium-sized businesses, together with a research partner, can successfully develop new technologies—showing how important SMEs are to shaping the future of our country,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Stepken, Chairman of the Board of TÜV SÜD AG. “That’s exactly what we want to show with the TÜV SÜD Innovation Award and congratulations to the innovative winning teams!”
Together, Neotech AMT and FAPS researchers have transformed the production of mechatronic systems, utilizing 3D printing to produce structural components with full electronic functionality. The technique is reportedly based on a five-axis system, which enables the production of complex, three dimensional mechatronic parts that integrate all components—from housings, to printed circuit boards—in one system. The novel approach unlocks opportunities for cost and time savings, as well as for more ecological production and higher precision parts.
The partnership saw FAPS scientists—led by Professor Jörg Franke—support Neotech’s developments with their array of systems and measuring instruments. The research partners also contributed greatly to software development for the process.
“Collaboration with FAPS has tremendously accelerated our development work,” said Dr. Martin Hedges, Managing Director of Neotech AMT. “Not only do we work faster and better, we also pooled resources and effectively used synergies. The success proves us right: the demand for our 3D print systems is constantly increasing across a number of industry sectors.
Professor Stepken added: “With this award, we want to promote research collaborations and convince more SMEs that they can increase their innovative strength together with a scientific partner: our Innovation Award creates public awareness of these important technology collaborations.”
Neotech AMT was founded in 2009 and has become a key player in the nascent 3D printed electronics field. Its patented 45X system has been adopted for a range of applications, including cell phone manufacturing. A number of applications are currently in development, such as 3D circuits, antenna, sensors and heater patterns for the automotive and industrial sectors.