Lighthouse project

Go Beyond 4.0 – Digital printing and laser processes

Digital printing and laser technologies are as yet only rarely used for the individualization of products in mass production. However, this combination of approaches would make it possible to create individualized series products in a resource-efficient and cost-saving manner, even down to manufacturing single unique items. Mastering this challenge is the objective of the Go Beyond 4.0 lighthouse project.

Producing small batches and even single unique items under mass production conditions calls for new manufacturing strategies. There is a great need for research and development in this context. With this in mind, six Fraunhofer Institutes have joined together under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS) to form the Go Beyond 4.0 lighthouse project. The project is working to combine traditional production methods with future-oriented technologies and digital manufacturing methods.

The researchers are developing new strategies and process innovations based on three market-relevant application areas: automobile production, aviation and illumination technologies manufacturing. Thus for example digital modules for the addition (printing) and ablation (laser) of materials are to be integrated in existing process chains as needed.

Fraunhofer solution strategy

Innovative integration of digital printing and laser manufacturing technologies in increasingly networked existing mass production environments.

Output of the project

Demonstration of the mass production of customer-individual products in batch sizes down to 1 for the three manufacturing areas automotive, aviation and illumination, using one example/demonstrator each: Smart Door, Smart Wing and Smart Luminaire.

Important cross-section topics

  • Zero-defect production and inline quality assurance
  • General product reliability concept
  • General packaging concept for integration of microsystem technologies and electronics