Lasers for digitalization – LZH is a „Digital Venue Niedersachsen“

Caption figure 1: Stefan Muhle presents the award „Digital Venue Niedersachsen“ to Dr. Dietmar Kracht. (Photo: LZH)

Caption figure 2: Stefan Muhle and Dr. Dietmar Kracht with employees of the LZH during the award ceremony in the LZH labs. (Photo: LZH)

Stefan Muhle, State Secretary of the Niedersachsen Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation, presented the "Digital Venue Niedersachsen" award to the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) on Thursday, August 08th, 2019.

The award is bestowed on institutions that make a special contribution to the success of digitalization in Niedersachsen through their commitment. The LZH is honored for its work in cooperation with Niedersachsen ADDITIV on the subject of 'lasers for digitalization'. Because "the LZH works on what is relevant for the future", says Stefan Muhle during the award ceremony at the LZH. "Especially Niedersachsen ADDITIV does preparatory work for others. The results are transferred directly to the companies, the SMEs shall benefit directly from the opportunities offered by Additive Manufacturing."

Digitalization in production
Components are digitized, individually manufactured, modified or repaired by 3D printing. They are monitored during the manufacturing process and over their lifetime; defective areas are accurately measured for the repair. But the components and also the people who operate the machines, remain analog. Research at the LZH faces the challenge of bringing the two together.

Dr. Dietmar Kracht: "The award is a motivation for all of us here in the LZH to further expand our activities in the field of lasers for digitalization, thus further promoting digitalization in Niedersachsen."

Bridges to the digital world
For a functioning digital production, bridges between the analog and the digital world – and vice versa – are needed. The scientists at the LZH are working on this: They are researching the digitalization of processes, high-precision sensors, imaging and process monitoring, automated repair methods for lightweight construction materials, as well as Additive Manufacturing for the production of tomorrow. 3D printing turns an analog question into a digital dataset, which in turn becomes an analog product.

Via Niedersachsen ADDITIV, which is funded by the Niedersachsen Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation and coordinated by the LZH, the LZH ensures the subsequent transfer of knowledge to the companies in Niedersachsen. The approach is to bring knowledge to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Niedersachsen through process demonstrations and dialogue events.

For the award "Digital Venue Niedersachsen", schools, universities, research institutions, start-ups, small and medium-sized companies as well as industrial companies, crafts enterprises, charitable and other institutions can apply to the Digitalagentur Niedersachsen. It is an award that highlights the extraordinary commitment to the success of digitalization in each area. In return, the award recipients undertake to inform other people and institutions about their path to advancing digitalization.

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Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH)

As an independent, non-profit research institute, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) stands for innovative research, development and consulting. The LZH is supported by the Niedersachsen Ministry of Economic Affairs, Employment, Transport and Digitalisation and is dedicated to the selfless promotion of applied research in the field of photonics and laser technology. Founded in 1986, over 170 employees are now working for the LZH.

The focus of the LZH lies on the fields of optical components and systems, optical production technologies, and biomedical photonics. Interdisciplinary cooperation between natural scientists and mechanical engineers makes innovative approaches to challenges from the most different areas possible: from the development of components for specific laser systems to process developments for the most diverse laser applications, for example for medical technology or lightweight construction in the automotive sector. Eighteen spin off companies have emerged from the LZH up to now. Thus, the LZH has created a strong transfer between fundamental science, application oriented research, and industry.