Notes from Spring 2022 PCMI Conference

Chemcut recently had the opportunity to attend the most recent PCMI conference in Köln, Germany. At this conference, we got the chance to enjoy tours around Köln, technical presentations, and facility tours.

Pre-Conference Tour

Before the conference began, we had the opportunity to visit two tours of Köln’s attractions – Kölner Dom (left) and the Lindt chocolate museum (right). At Kölner Dom, a guide took us through the cathedral to learn about the rich history behind the architecture and art that makes it such a marvel. Inside the chocolate museum, we learned about how chocolate is made, and the history chocolate has in Europe.


At the conference, technical papers were presented on topics relevant to photochemical machining. Of the presentations, most had a theme about changing surfaces to obtain desired characteristics. Although that was the most recurring theme, many other topics were discussed. The following are the presentations that took place:

  • Welcome to Köln – Dr. Jürgen Amann | Cologne Tourism Board| DE
  • Factors Affecting Photoresist Adhesion -David Allen | Emeritus Professor | Cranfield University| UK
  • Advancing Your Surface Science: A Unique Mobile Surface Analyzer (MSA) – Dr. Daniel Frese | Applications & Science |KRUSS Surface Science Center | UK
  • Automation of Prefabrication of the Etching Process – Steffen Herz | CEO | Atztechnik Herz GmbH & Co Kg | DE
  • High-Resolution Direct Laser Processing for Surface Functionalization and Micro Drilling – Dr. Arnold Gillner | Managing Director in Light and Surfaces| Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology| DE
  • Beyond State-of-Art: A Case Study on the Industrial Production of Iron-Nickel Ultra-Thin Foils for Etching Applications – Thomas Wegler| Mgr. Dev. Quality Precision Strip| Zapp Precision Metals GmbH| DE
  • Pulsed Electrochemical Machining: A New Process Line for the Fabrication of Complex Microstructured Tools – Monika Saumer| Microsystems Technology| University of Applied Sciences| DE
  • Reclamation Opportunities/Secondary Markets for By-Products – David Allen | Emeritus Professor | Cranfield University| UK

Facility Tours

Metaq’s facility located in Wuppertal, Germany.
Zapp’s Rolling Mill in Unna, Germany. [Photo provided by Zapp Precision Metals]

After the presentation days, we had two facilities tours. The first one we visited was Metaq’s facility in Wuppertal, Germany (left). Metaq produces precision parts of metal, plastic, and ceramic materials in this facility via cutting and etching processes.

The second facility we visited was Zapp Precision Metal’s Rolling Mill in Unna, Germany (right). There, they produce metal strips that meet tight tolerances concerning dimensional shape and mechanical properties.

Honorable Mention

This conference was the first in-person conference without Heimeran Von Stauffenberg, the previous owner of Metaq and a beloved member of the PCMI – he passed away in 2020. He was sorely missed by all long-time members and friends he had at the PCMI.

Next PCMI conference

The next PCMI conference will be in October 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Chemcut is currently expecting to attend and potentially provide a presentation.