CU West is one of the seven regional clusters in Composites United e.V., the world's largest network for fiber-based multi-material lightweight construction with 400 members. CU West has 60 members in western Germany - a number of highly innovative SMEs, renowned large companies and international research institutions.
Dr. Heinz Kolz, CU West cluster managing director, has his office at the Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe (IVW) in Kaiserslautern, and the interests and needs of CU West members are the focus of his work. "We want to strengthen existing regional competencies in the field of high-performance fiber composite technology and support our members on their way to becoming leading technology providers. Through events, we promote cooperations and joint development projects. In the monthly "Jour Fixe", we introduce members from various fields of technology and discuss their central topics. In the series of events "Composites meet User Industries", we promote exchange with user industries such as the metal industry or mechanical engineering," says Dr. Heinz Kolz. Guests are welcome and can register free of charge at composites-united.com/cluster/cu-west
For cross-industry networking, CU West also initiates cooperations with other industry associations. For example, with the Commercial Vehicle Cluster (CVC), the largest German cluster in the commercial vehicle industry. In the CVC, manufacturers of commercial vehicles work closely with supplier companies and researchers at the Technische Universtität Kaiserslautern. CU West focused on this potential at its annual conference and, together with IVW and the CVC, invited attendees to the CU Innovation Day "Composite Meets Commercial Vehicle" on November 25, 2021.
The event focused on "Lightweight Design," "Hydrogen Propulsion Systems," and "Multimaterial Applications and Smart Structures." The more than 100 guests discussed forward-looking technologies and future areas of application for composites in commercial vehicle construction with the speakers.
"Composite materials will make important contributions in the development of commercial vehicles in the future, especially to achieve climate targets. IVW accompanies development processes from materials development and component design to process optimization," said Prof. Dr. Ulf Breuer, Scientific Director of the Leibniz-Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe. "Composite materials make contributions to energy savings in many applications. In our lead project on hydrogen drive systems, composites will not only be used in the tank systems," adds Dr. Martin Thul, Managing Director of Commercial Vehicle Cluster - Nutzfahrzeug GmbH.
The members of Composites United e.V. benefit from the network in many ways and take advantage of a wide range of services: these include not only regular specialist events and over 40 technical working groups. The exchange and networking with experts from the industry, in addition to regular information on technological developments, are the decisive aspects for participation in the network, according to a member survey. Development projects are bundled in cooperations and supported as publicly funded projects. Joint stands at major international trade fairs offer members the opportunity to present their technologies, products and innovations. CU also supports human resources development by offering further training, projects to recruit young talent and assistance in recruiting skilled workers. International events and worldwide cooperation provide bridges to important export markets. Through its capital city office in Berlin, CU promotes and represents the common interests of its members on the political stage.