Cooperation Project: Sensors for Industry 4.0


In the cleanroom of the Fraunhofer IAF Minister Dr. Nils Schmid and Prof. Reinhold R. Geilsdörfer, President of the DHBW inform themselves about epitaxy procedures for radar sensor technology. (Source: Fh.-IAF)

In future, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) Loerrach will cooperate to develop inexpensive sensor systems for industry 4.0  applications.
The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft will fund the project with an overall budget of 1.2 million Euros throughout the upcoming years. During his visit at Fraunhofer IAF in Freiburg, Baden-Wuertemberg’s Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr. Nils Schmid, welcomed the cooperation of the two institutions. ″The project contributes significantly to the envisaged aim of the state government in turning Baden-Wuerttemberg into the leading provider for industry 4.0″, enhanced minister Dr. Nils Schmid. The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF in Freiburg and the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Lörrach will jointly develop novel sensor systems for the monitoring, securing and control of production chains. This technology shall help to support mainly small and mediumsized regional companies on their way to industry 4.0.
The DHBW cooperates closely with partners from industry, as all students are employed at companies parallel to their studies. Fraunhofer IAF is one of the leading research institutes in the field of microelectronics and sensing based on compound semiconductors. ″We will combine the expertise and infrastructures of both institutions in order to jointly foster the development of industry 4.0 in the Upper Rhine region. We therefore want to become a motor for future production technologies and outputs″, states Professor Dr. Oliver Ambacher, head of Fraunhofer IAF.

Radar and laser sensors for industry 4.0
Increased expectations and requirements for production have led to a melting of mechanical and electrical engineering with information technologies. Highly sensitive sensor systems are an essential precondition for the intelligent production of the future. Under the project management of Professor Dr. Frauke Steinhagen, full professor for electrical engineering at the DHBW Lörrach, it is the aim to develop inexpensive sensor systems in close cooperation with local companies. One research focus will be set on radar sensing, which delivers precise distance measurements even under extreme production conditions, such as heat, smoke or fog. Furthermore, lasersensing shall facilitate the checking for impurities on surfaces during the running production process in future.

Fostering the local sensing-research
″The cooperation with Fraunhofer IAF is an important step for the further development of our research activities at the DHBW. Especially in the field of industry 4.0 we are currently developing various teaching and research projects, including new master programs such as Integrated Engineering. The cooperation will support us in reaching these goals″, says Professor Reinhold R. Geilsdörfer, president of the DHBW. Professor Dr. Frauke Steinhagen will lead the group ″sensor systems″ at Fraunhofer IAF. After her studies of electrical engineering, she was awarded her PhD degree in 1996, specializing on laser diodes for fast data transfer. For several years she researched in the field of high frequency circuits at Fraunhofer IAF, before becoming professor for electrical engineering at the DHBW Lörrach in 2001. ″As I’m very familiar with both institutions, I am looking forward to making use of the competences of both
sides. This will enable us to significantly strengthen the region’s research and development work in the field of sensing″, states Professor Dr. Frauke Steinhagen.
The ″cooperation program for universities of applied sciences″ of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is supported by federal and state funding. The financial resources are used to set up research facilities for teachers of universities of applied sciences at a Fraunhofer Institute, providing access to the specific research infrastructure. The close cooperation with local companies secures the stringent orientation of research and developments along industry needs and requirements. Also the students of the DHBW Loerrach have access to the research infrastructure of Fraunhofer IAF, such as laboratories and equipment. (Source: Fh.-IAF)

Links: Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF

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