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Stimulating ideas from Fraunhofer

Fraunhofer researchers will once again be presenting their innovative development work at this year’s Hannover Messe, from April 16 to 20. Selected Fraunhofer Institutes will be jointly exhibiting at five stands: Simulation, Energy, Surface Technology, Adaptronics and Stimulating ideas from Fraunhofer – Services.

Two press conferences have been organized, one combining the topics of Adaptronics, Energy and Stimulating ideas from Fraunhofer (Monday, April 16, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Hall 2, Stand D16) and one devoted to Simulation (Tuesday, April 17, at 10 a.m. in Hall 17, Stand C60). Real-time simulation (Hall 17, Stand C60) The time that elapses between the birth of an original idea and bringing a product to market is constantly decreasing. Similarly, existing products and processes need to be optimized at shorter and shorter intervals. Computerized simulation methods play a key role in this context. Fraunhofer experts will be presenting some of their projects in Hall 17, Stand C60. To keep the production line running smoothly in the factory of the future, they have developed the Smart Connected Control Platform SCCP. The special feature of this control platform is that it automatically implements changes in the manufacturing process, guaranteeing that it will always run with optimum efficiency. Related topics include the simulation of integrated process flows, optimized mechanical design of components and exceptional loads. The PackAssistant ensures that parts are always packed for shipment with the best efficiency – a boon for vehicle manufacturers. ProVis.Agent is a support tool specially designed for small and medium-sized enterprises to help them with their production planning. Enterprise Grids is a new service offered by Fraunhofer researchers, which helps companies to improve their data-processing capacity. Contact: Andreas Burblies, phone +49 (0) 4 21 / 22 46-1 83, andreas.burblies@ifam.fraunhofer.de The power grid gets smart (Hall 13, Stand E27) The power generation market is becoming more diverse. Whereas, in the past, a small number of large power plants fed their output into the grid in accordance with demand, the deregulation of the power-utility market has given rise to a situation where the electricity supply depends on a greater number of small producers. This provides a unique opportunity to stabilize parts of the power grid at distribution-network level. At Stand E27 in Hall 13, Fraunhofer researchers will be showing how this mix of resources can be used intelligently, thereby saving costs, reducing prices, and making the electricity supply more reliable. Not only the major utilities but also individual households can play their part in reducing energy consumption and costs. Here, help is at hand in the form of monitoring systems to identify power-guzzling domestic appliances or to indicate alternative, more economical supply tariffs. Other topics featured at the Fraunhofer stand are techniques for saving energy and micro power engineering. Contact: Dr. Thomas Schlegl, phone +49 (0) 7 61 / 45 88-54 73, thomas.schlegl@ise.fraunhofer.de Gleaming prospects (Hall 6, Stand C02) Scratch-resistant helmet visors and antireflective instrument covers: examples of new coating technologies that the Fraunhofer Institute for Thin Films and Surface Engineering IST, together with the Fraunhofer Networks for Transparent Scratch Protection and Photocatalysis, will be demonstrating on a motorbike at the Hannover Messe in Hall 6, Stand C02. The speedometer cover has an antireflective coating and the pistons, piston rings and valves have been treated with various wear-resistant coatings. A perfectly clear view of the road ahead is ensured by a scratch-resistant coating applied to the rider’s helmet visor and the bike’s windshield. Another product developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer IST in Braunschweig is a miniature sensor based on a thin film of carbon which can be used even in the largest industrial machines to verify whether holes have been stamped in the right place or detect places where they have been omitted. The topic being presented by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is the use of numerical simulation in paint technology. Contact: Dr. Simone Kondruweit, phone +49 (0) 5 31 / 21 55 5 35, simone.kondruweit@ist.fraunhofer.de Cutting out noise (Hall 2, Stand D24/1) Adaptronics is seen as one of the key technologies of the 21st century. Now that the fundamental research has been done, Fraunhofer researchers are ready to tackle real-life projects: The Quiet Car project demonstrates to the industrial world – and to visitors at the Hannover Messe – what adaptronic systems are capable of achieving when incorporated in the chassis of a Volkswagen Lupo. The loud hum from the engine room of private yachts and cruise liners will soon also be attenuated by active vibration-damping systems based on piezoelectric ceramics. Another novelty, being presented as a prototype as part of the Fraunhofer Adaptronics exhibit in Hall 2, Stand D24/1, is an active mounting system for an optical communications unit on board a satellite, which improves the quality of the data it transmits back to Earth. Other products on show include an active oil sump, a damped braking system, an adaptive spindle mount, cast ceramic piezoelectric actuators, and active side-impact protection devices for cars. Contact: Tobias Melz, phone +49 (0) 61 51 / 7 05-2 52 tobias.melz@lbf.fraunhofer.de Training services (Hall 2, Stand D24) Finding the right employees can be vital to a company’s success. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has set up a Talent School to give gifted youngsters an early experience of professional science before leaving school or university. The see-through laboratory in Hall 2, Stand D24, shows what the Talent School has to offer. The Fraunhofer Technology Academy, also presented in Hall 2, takes up its work at a later stage in the professional career path. It offers part-time study courses that allow management staff to obtain various masters’ degrees without interrupting their normal work, for instance an Executive MBA for technology managers, and to study for certified qualifications in specialist areas such as nanotechnology, environmental science, or adhesive joining techniques. This range of services is complemented by those offered by the Fraunhofer Patent Center for German Research PST, which lends support to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as university and non-university research institutions, in connection with the marketing of innovative products. One example of a successful development project supported by the PST is a terahertz beam source that focuses on a spot measuring only a few square millimeters (on show in Hall 2, Stand D24). When an innovative idea has demonstrated sufficient commercial potential, there is a growing tendency for researchers to set up their own spin-off companies to market the resulting product. The purpose of the Fraunhofer Venture Group is to support such forms of technology transfer. Visitors to the Hannover Messe can learn how to create and finance a new company and participate in industry networks at the “tech transfer – Gateway2Innovation” stand, where five successful spin-offs of different research institutions are profiled. One of these young companies is Tecnaro GmbH, which was spun off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT Pfinztal in July 1998 to manufacture the liquid wood product ARBOFORM®. Contact: Welf Zöller, phone: +49 (0) 89 / 12 05-13 69, welf.zoeller@zv.fraunhofer.de

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