Interessengemeinschaft Leichtbau e.V. (igeL)
Interessengemeinschaft Leichtbau e.V. (igeL)
Geobenstraße 4-10
32052 Herford
Tel. +49 (0) 5221 126537
Fax. +49 (0) 5221 1265537
Date 02 / 2011
Client Interessengemeinschaft Leichtbau e.V. (igeL)
Category Presse-Information
Key ilne1102


igeL press conference on 18 Jan 2011, imm cologne
Statement Dr. Hannes Frank, Deputy Chairman of igeL

Lightweight construction is the intelligent packaging of air. In the aerospace industry, lightweight construction has been a dominant aspect of design from the very beginning. The cars of the future, whether electric or with a 1-litre petrol engine, would be impossible without lightweight construction, and indeed, lightweight design in the automotive industry is one of the major projects currently underway at the University of Paderborn.

In the timber and furniture industries, lightweight construction has been around for decades. In many people’s homes you’ll find basement doors and shelves that use honeycomb construction. In this instance, the purpose of lightweight design is to reduce costs.
As the price of timber rises and wood becomes more important as a source of energy, there is a second aspect which is attracting considerable interest: lightweight construction as an eco-friendly alternative, because it uses air instead of wood chips.

And lightweight construction has so much more to offer the furniture industry. But I don’t want to anticipate what Klaus Goecke will be talking about in a moment: furniture objects whose function and design can only be achieved with lightweight construction. Furniture manufacturers and their suppliers have recognised this opportunity, and joined forces to form the Lightweight Construction Association. The list of members reads like a Who’s Who of the German furniture industry and its suppliers.

In early January 2008, when Prof. Stosch from the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences, Bernd Riechers (then the managing director of Hettich) and I first set up igeL, the Lightweight Construction Association, we never imagined that this cluster would so soon become a representative organisation of the German furniture industry. The university’s Lightweight Construction Initiative for the Lippe region, funded by the EU, the state government, a local business support initiative and industry, addresses the questions that arise as a result of new designs and the associated standardisation.

As far as lightweight construction is concerned, the Lippe region is part of an industry hub within North Rhine-Westphalia. But even with all the hard work done by igeL and the companies involved, the trade fair stand would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy, Construction, Housing and Transport and the trade fair organiser koelnmesse. We intend to establish lightweight construction as a technology of the future in the Lippe area. The public funding we have received represents valuable financial support. But we don’t intend to accept long-term subsidies.

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