Everywhere something has to be moved, an electric motor could come into use. Modern electric drive technologies use power electrics circuitry to feed electric machinery in such a way that the process being driven runs at the desired rpm and the required torque. With an efficient and powerful drive system, energy and resource efficiency can be improved in a broad spectrum of industrial fields. As a result, electric drives are an important technology that transcend a number of areas of the European economy.
Have you ever wondered what happened to those companies that were once huge – in some cases even the Number 1 in their sector of industry – and are now apparently gone? Some examples: The Nokia 1100 sold 250 million units, making it the best-selling cell phone in the world – despite this, the company’s cell phone business has all but disappeared now; Commodore Computers was one of the pioneers of computing and dominated many markets in the 1980s – at one point, the C64 was selling two million units a year, the equivalent of 50% market share. Nonetheless, the company went bust in 1994. Things went horribly wrong at both companies. Why?
How much of the value that companies add is then effectively lost through material residues, waste materials, and defective products? The ISO standard 14051 provides the answer by calculating material flows. A special method for evaluating company costs, this standard revolves around the analysis of energy and material flows within a company. This not only lays a foundation for assessing costs, but it also makes it possible to draft “environmental balance sheets,” for example a company’s carbon footprint. The Steinbeis Transfer Center for Marketing, Logistics, and Company Planning takes this as their starting point for training courses on resource efficiency.
The transportation and logistics industry is one of the most important areas of the German economy, second only in economic terms to the automotive industry and health care. Given this, considering how this industry operates in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability – especially as a sector dominated by small and mediumsized enterprises – it is clear that there are still many areas that need closer examination, not only to tackle practice within individual companies but also to get workers more actively involved. The Steinbeis Innovation Center for Logistics and Sustainability is demonstrating how this could work in practice.
Energy efficiency is an important issue, especially following the introduction of new energy services legislation in Germany. One thing that is often overlooked is the biggest cost driver in the processing industry: material expenditures. To make full use of any potential cost savings and raise competitiveness, companies have to look very carefully at all material flows. This raises the important question of how to organize resource efficiency projects strategically and in terms of operational implementation. The Steinbeis Transfer Center for Energy and Environmental Process Technology, Eco-Management is demonstrating the different options open to manufacturing companies when it comes to resource efficiency – showing that it really is worth subjecting the issue to closer scrutiny.
The VW emissions scandal thrust compliance with environmental legislation straight into newspaper headlines, not just within Germany. Somebody clearly developed software to cheat on emission tests carried out on diesel engines. For whoever developed the software, the “common good” or long-term environmental protection were clearly not at the top of their agenda – something that cannot be said for IVO, the Steinbeis Innovation Center Information Systems for Responsible Organizations. It has developed a software package called CCPro which is all about researching and developing innovative information systems for use in corporate environmental management, thus turning the spotlight on environmental protection.
For several years now, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) has been involved in sustainable urban planning projects in Europe. As part of this project work, it supports European cities in their endeavors to replicate sustainable urban concepts that pave the way for “smart cities.” The SEZ promotes successful concepts and sustainable technologies, ensuring more widespread dissemination and implementation. The SEZ also supports companies and research establishments in the energy sector in the exploitation of existing technologies.
Heinz Pöhler explains in our interview why he is so fascinated about the subject of energy and how sustainable energy strategies in the industry and non-residential buildings have gained in importance. He also reflects on future strategies.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Stripf talked to TRANSFER about efficient energy conversion and the current infrastructure changes in the German energy grid. He also ponders the question of which challenges this process will create for everyone involved.
It seems not a day goes by without us hearing the buzz word “energy efficiency.” We see energy effi ciency labels on products on store shelves in specialty departments selling things like consumer electronics. Even in industry, the issue of energy effi ciency is ubiquitous, guiding our decision making at every turn. Prof. Dr. Georg Kleiser, head of the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Energy-Efficient Manufacturing, explains the various aspects that companies should consider when it comes to energy effi ciency.
Dr. Bertram Lohmüller talks to TRANSFER about the sustainable and efficient use of resources and considers the role that social factors play. He also takes a look at future developments in this field.
The factory of the future must make efficient use of resources. Which factors influence this? What role should logistics play when it comes to planning factories to use resources efficiently? A look at these questions and many others in an interview with Dietmar Ausländer.
The 2015 Steinbeis Day was marked by two new changes, both of which received an extremely warm reception from the guests. This year around 500 people turned up on the traditional “Steinbeis Friday,” i.e., the last in September and for the first time Steinbeis Day took place at the Steinbeis House for Management and Technology (SHMT) in the suburb of Plieningen in Stuttgart. The program was also completely overhauled to lay emphasis on interaction, networking, and forging new contacts – which the new location is virtually made for.
This year’s evening event, which followed the traditional Steinbeis Day, showed what happens when traditions meet visions. Around 600 guests from Germany and abroad were invited to the Beethoven Hall at Stuttgart’s Liederhalle convention center. The evening revolved around honors awarded to long-standing members of the Steinbeis Network, the bestowal of the Löhn Award (the Steinbeis Foundation Transfer Award) and the premiere of a Steinbeis film called Early Birds.
Testing visual contrast with contrast boards – special viewing boards with graduated levels of contrast – is an everyday medical routine in ophthalmology. It is used to check new treatments for eye conditions. eyetrial, the Steinbeis Transfer Center at the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tübingen, has been working with VISUS GmbH from Herrenberg on standardized conditions for testing visual contrast. In recognition of their successful partnership, the two project partners have been awarded the Steinbeis Foundation Transfer Award.
The desire to reduce energy consumption in industry, domestic use, and road traffic, is placing more demands on the energy efficiency of electric drives and motors. To really understand how well attempts to optimize the efficiency of electric machines and convertors actually work, accurate measurement devices are needed, as well as the right measurement techniques and analytical procedures. Motivated by strict customer requirements from businesses and the need to simultaneously capture and process electrical and mechanical measurements in real time, the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Energy-efficient Power Electronics for Electrical Drives and Power Storage Systems, which is based at Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences, has been working in collaboration with the Darmstadt-based measurement technology company HBM (Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH) to define the specifications required for measurement devices and data analysis, and to then implement these in practice. The two partners received the Steinbeis Foundation Transfer Award for their raw data analysis and the accuracy of the efficiency measurements taken on electric drives.
The development of driver assistance systems to avoid or at least reduce the number of car crashes has resulted in a rise in demand for resources to conduct maneuver testing in the lab on driver assistance equipment. Carrying out comprehensive testing on software algorithms is extremely difficult in vehicles, since certain scenarios can only be created in special environments and these often place significant strain on test drivers. It was only after the serial development of ESC devices that the automotive industry really adopted automated testing of driver assistance system in hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) test environments. These involve simulating surroundings virtually. It was against this backdrop that Daimler AG, represented by Mercedes Benz Cars Research and Development in Sindelfingen, asked Steinbeis Interagierende Systeme GmbH to work on the development and implementation of a system that would make it possible to operate a vehicle control device to work with driver assistance functions on a standard PC, and to use this device to test virtual trips. The collaborative project earned both companies the 2015 Transfer Prize from the Steinbeis Foundation.
Prof. Dr. habil. Hans Jobst Pleitner is awarded the special Steinbeis Foundation prize for his many years of exemplary service in knowledge and technology transfer on behalf of the Steinbeis Network. The foundation honors him as a role model for demonstrating the values that are important in science, transfer, and society.
Since 2009, Steinbeis University Berlin (SHB) and the management consulting company zeb have been conducting a biennial personnel survey. The study involves surveying HR managers, executives, and people with direct line responsibility at banks in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The recently published longitudinal study was managed by the Steinbeis Transfer Institute zeb/business.school backed up by seminar papers written at the School of International Business & Entrepreneurship (SIBE) at SHB.
Electronic immobilizers are used in vehicles to protect electronic car keys (smart keys or keyless entry devices). It is already known that these protective systems sometimes fail to work properly. Experience in the United States has shown that roughly 150 million vehicles could simply be driven off without permission using “the most basic technical equipment.” This was the motivation for the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Identifi cation Media & Identification Management to join forces with three partners and come up with an independent solution that works with any system.
Cloud software is now fairly mainstream in Germany. An increasing number of firms and authorities use Web-based solutions, which involve no local administration effort. Not only does this save time and money, it also helps keep data secure. A privately funded high school in Schwetzingen spotted this trend and has now been using cloud-based software for some time. It also recently adopted digischule, a grade administration tool developed by the Digital School Steinbeis Consulting Center.
The competitiveness of an enterprise hinges around its ability to think up innovations, develop them, and launch them successfully in the market – especially if the company is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). Central to this is innovation management, an area in which Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) provides support. A number of companies in Baden-Württemberg have already benefitted from its support, and worked with SEZ on the development of a strategy for the future that fits like a glove.
Smiles everywhere and satisfied people – the sight that met Ruben Maier, director of Simulation, the Steinbeis Research Center, on a visit to Bondexpo. Maier was at the international trade show for bonding technology in Stuttgart, standing at the booth of Kübler GmbH. He was the initiator of a development project at Kübler and the head of development on Dos.Base and his innovative, low-cost dosing machine has solved a key industry challenge.