The NPE (The International Plastics Showcase in Orlando, Florida) is one of the biggest plastics trade shows in the world. STASA (Steinbeis Applied Systems Analysis) has joined forces with the Swiss company Kistler Instrumente and together, they used this year’s show to launch the new STASA QC software on the American market.
The software was originally developed by STASA but it’s being marketed by Kistler which is based in Winterthur in Switzerland. Together, they will continue to develop the IT solution. STASA QC is a program that enhances process stability and the quality of injection-molded parts. Simultaneously, it optimizes cycle and setup times. The program systematically assesses the impact of key machine parameters on the quality of molded parts and then determines machine setting according to all optimization targets. The team uses existing sensors in combination with Kistler’s advanced CoMo injection system to predict a whole range of quality features, based on the sensor data, for each cycle and for all kinds of online activity. This makes it possible to recognize scrap parts immediately and sort them out.
STASA QC was presented at the NPE in April, thus entering the American market for the first time. The NPE covers the entire plastics industry, from raw materials supply to additives used in plastic production, plastic processing machinery and semi-finished plastic products and finished products.
Up until graduation from university, women represent 51 per cent of researchers. Afterwards, the gap between men and women only widens. Although the proportion of women in research is at around 30 per cent across Europe, women only account for 21 per cent in Germany. Around 12 per cent of the most prestigious professorships in Germany are occupied by women, across Europe the figure is 19 per cent. So how can research be structured to actively change this situation? In March, the Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (SEZ) organized a symposium at the Stuttgart Haus der Wirtschaft (House of Commerce) called “Maximising Innovation Potential Through Diversity in Research Organisations.” Its aim: to foster Europe-wide debate on the issue.
Delegates representing interest groups from nine European countries joined 90 participants to discuss the causes and background of the imbalance. The conference concluded with the EU project, GENDERA. “Our labor structures and the institutional conditions have to change for more women to forge careers in executive positions. We have noticed that today, young women already have excellent training. They don’t need further assistance proof the speakers. Rietschel, former president of the Leibniz Society and member of acatech, the German National Academy of Science and Engineering, also favors a quota and pointed to quotas that are no longer challenged in other areas. Over the past two years, the Steinbeis-Europa- Zentrum and its project partners of the EU project, the EU project GENDERA, have devoted much attention to equal opportunities for women and men within the grams,” commented Dr. Petra Püchner, Managing Director of the Stuttgart-based Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum and the German spokeswoman of the EU project, GENDERA.
Püchner, who is also deputy director of the European Centre for Women and Technology in Norway, is speaking out in favor of a quota for women. “We’ve been discussing this issue for several years, but the numbers haven’t changed,” confirms Professor Ernst Th. Rietschel, one European research landscape. GENDERA is being coordinated by the Hungarian Science and Technology Foundation and backed by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research with around € 799,000. Examples of best practice for increasing the proportion of women in research were identified and assessed in an exchange among the research organizations of partner countries. 64 successful measures from businesses, research institutions and universities are now documented in the database of the GENDERA project. In addition, task forces have been set up in each country to bridge the gap between policy and practice. The project partners in individual GENDERA countries have incorporated domestic recommendations. Furthermore, the project partners have channels of communication with various committees of the European Commission. Together, they are working on an equal opportunity concept which should influence Horizon 2020, an upcoming European Framework Programme for Research which will be underway in 2014.
The Steinbeis Innovation Center for Logistics and Sustainability has been recognized for the second time for its “Where Education and Sustainability Meet” initiative under a German UNESCO competition that highlights “Ideas for Future Initiatives” in cooperation with the drugstore chain dm. As part of the competition, the project partners are supporting the UN decade of “Education for Sustainable Development.”
The project was organized by the Steinbeis Innovation Center with the Max Weber Vocational College from Sinsheim. The aim was to look at a wide variety of activities relating to sustainability, from an LED project to a bamboo umbrella and recycled PET bottles. The young inventors presented the results of their projects to shoppers in a local dm store which supported the project by collecting € 800 of sponsorship money at the tills. “The ‘Where Education and Sustainability Meet’ initiative is making an important contribution to the development of skills amongst young people, especially in environmental, commercial and social areas,” states JensJochen Roth, head of the Sinsheim-based Steinbeis Innovation Center.