Berlin-based Fraunhofer IPK has opened the Fraunhofer Project Center for Advanced Manufacturing @ ITA, Brazil. Abbreviated FPC@ITA, the center is considered the official seal on a strategic cooperation between the German research institution and one of the top engineering schools in Brazil.
ITA offers research and education in distinct engineering fields, including aerospace, aeronautical, civil, mechanical, computer and electronics engineering. It is located inside the Department of Aerospace Science & Technology (DCTA), which is considered one of the biggest research centers in Latin America. ITA was responsible for some major achievements in Brazil in the last 60 years, including the foundation of the Brazilian Aeronautical Industry (EMBRAER), the development of the Automotive Ethanol Program as well as the enhancement of the Telecommunications Industry (Telebrás). »In the future, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology in Berlin and the Competence Center for Manufacturing (CCM) at ITA will jointly develop production technology solutions for the benefit of industry in Brazil, including German and European companies producing there«, said Prof. Dr. h. c. Dr.-Ing. Eckart Uhlmann, Director of Fraunhofer IPK and Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Project Center, during the signing ceremony in São José dos Campos on November 7th, 2017.
São José dos Campos is the perfect location for a Fraunhofer Project Center focusing on industrial research and development in Brazil. About 50 percent of Brazilian industrial enterprises are located within 200 km of the city. But this is not all: The same region also hosts 70 percent of all German enterprises that run Brazilian branches. Many of these German enterprises have expressed an interest in cooperating with FPC@ITA; a few cooperations have already started. In total, projects amounting to about 11 million euros are currently running or were recently finished by Fraunhofer IPK in Brazil, many of them already in close collaboration with ITA and CCM. The liaison in the R&D area started simultaneously with an educational cooperation: For about five years, the German-Brazilian university exchange program »Science without Borders« has led numerous Brazilian students to Fraunhofer IPK. Many of these now support Fraunhofer IPK’s research activities in their home country.
The research services of the new project office are based on the process chain in industrial companies and include sustainable innovations in the areas of corporate management, product development, production systems as well as manufacturing and automation technology. The complementary competencies of the two research institutes allow the development and prototypical implementation of complex system solutions for digitally integrated production (DIP).