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Wiki Best Practice Conference

User Convention

The development of the internet has drastically changed the way people gather and process information. Web 2.0 tools are becoming standard practice; some of them can even be integrated easily into a business’s existing management system. Wikis, common, easy-to-use software systems on the Web, are one such tool. They allow you to publish contents which can then be used and edited by others. The Steinbeis enterprise TQU International hold a Wiki Best Practice Conference on 10 October 2012 to give businesspeople who have successfully implemented Wikis into their management systems a chance to report on the challenges and usefulness of Wikis in modern business. 

Wikis are modern documentation and communication platforms and are well suited for process descriptions, document allocation and knowhow exchange throughout a business. Processes and products are improved and realized through the experience, know-how and involvement of employees. In this way, quality standards can be developed on an ongoing basis. It is also easy to implement certification via Wikis.

The conference, which took place in Stuttgart’s Haus der Wirtschaft (House of Commerce), focused on experience exchange, know-how transfer and insights into Wiki management systems. Through a series of lectures and panel discussions, participants gained comprehensive insight into the potential to improve management systems and processes using Wikis. Ten guest speakers from various businesses, such as TNT Post and LSG Sky Chefs, revealed how they joined forces with colleagues and used tools like Wikis and Sharepoints to implement and optimize their processes and management systems, thus raising quality.

The conference was aimed at managers, people responsible for management systems, process designers/improvers, quality managers and quality officers. 

The 3rd Ilmenau Magnet Day

All indications are that the Ilmenau Magnet Day, which took place for the third time earlier this year at Ilmenau University of Technology, and drew in more than 80 participants, has finally become something of a tradition. As in the past, Steinbeis Mechatronik, Zwick GmbH & Co. KG and TU Ilmenau were responsible for organizing the event.

The Ilmenau Magnet Day was kicked off with an evening event the day before the official opening. Professor Eberhard Kallenbach provided a brief outline of the history of TU Ilmenau and the scientific community in the Ilmenau region. Manufacturers and users of magnetic systems were invited to attend lectures related to magnetic systems and their applications.

In particular, the newest discoveries in the field of magnetic system design were presented, ranging from multi-criteria optimization to hysteresis and eddy current models, areas of application for magnetic drive elements, new methods of condition monitoring of magnetic systems with mechanical and magnetic measurements, and current developments in magnetic materials. As such, demands resulting from increasing integration of product and production system developments in magnetic systems were central to discussion (Smart Engineering). 

Solar thermal energy in heating supply

EU initiative SDHplus underway

Partners from 13 European countries met in July for the kick-off event of the EU initiative SDHplus, a program aimed at analyzing the potential to use solar thermal energy in heating supply on an international level. Working with key figures from the field, the program’s aim is also to launch a pilot scheme as an application or business model. The project is being coordinated by Stuttgart’s Steinbeis Research Institute of Solar and Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems (Solites). 

In addition to the experts from the previous initiative, SDHtake-off, new partners from France, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia and Spain have joined the project team. “At the first meeting, we were already able to discuss interesting possibilities for solar thermal energy plants in these countries, and we’re pleased to have such an extended circle of motivated project partners on board”, says Steinbeis Project Director, Thomas Pauschinger. 

In most situations, to put solar thermal energy into effective use in local and district heating, the overall setup and operating conditions have to actually allow for additional benefits and synergies. The aim of the SDHplus initiative is to analyze similar international setups and, with the involvement of relevant parties, embark on the first stages of implementation. Furthermore, in countries where the market is still new, a key concern is how to transfer know-how and prepare the market. The initiative is being sponsored by the EU’s “Intelligent Energy Europe” program.

Insights into logistics and factory planning

Logistics Day

The Steinbeis Transfer Center for Logistics and Factory Planning hosted the national “Logistics Day” in Göppingen earlier this year. Approximately 40 CEOs, logistics and productions managers from regional medium-sized companies as well as students and logistics enthusiasts followed the invitation.

At the event, STC director Dietmar Ausländer and his colleagues informed in several presentations about logistics trends and strategies, planning of factory and logistics centers as well as the path to a lean and competitive business. Moreover, practical examples gave participants a glimpse into the daily work of the logistics experts. Following a successful series of presentations, a Q&A session gave participants the opportunity to exchange ideas and ask questions.

“Logistics Day was an all-round success,” Ausländer said. “We could tell by the participants’ reaction that logistics is more crucial to entrepreneurial decision-making than it’s ever been.” The Göppingen-based Steinbeis Transfer Center develops and implements comprehensive solutions for the optimization of value-added chains, logistics systems and process environments in medium-sized businesses. With over 20 years of experience on over 500 projects in almost every sector of industry and size of company, the center has built a reputation as a source of comprehensive experience in the analysis and optimization of business logistics. 

Research Campus caMPlusQ Opens

Scientists in Saarbrücken collaborate in the fields of materials science and engineering

With roughly 300 researchers at the university and the support of three external academic research institutes, the Materials Sciences and Engineering program in Saarbrücken is considered one of the top five in the field nationwide. Scientists at the new research campus, which is abbreviated to caMPlusQ, want to further increase their networking capacity and offer local businesses intensive collaboration. Part-time training and seminars will also be on offer. Steinbeis is one of the project’s partners.

“All over the world, scientists are developing tailored materials with fascinating properties. As we discovered from a study conducted by the National Academy of Science and Engineering, around 70 per cent of German exports are international successes because they tap into innovative materials,” says Professor Dr. Frank Mücklich. Mücklich is Director of the Steinbeis Research Center at Saarland University called Material Engineering Center Saarland (MECS). He is also one of the research campus’s directors. The researchers at the campus want to make their knowledge of enhanced materials and new technology available to international companies in the region, as well as medium-sized firms with no in-house development. The companies should also profit from the pooling of skills, the laboratory facilities and the precise analytical methods used in materials science and engineering on the university campus.

At caMPlusQ, the professors of materials sciences and engineering at Saarland University have joined forces with external research institutes, including the Leibniz Institute for New Materials (INM), the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing (IZFP) and the MECS Steinbeis Research Center (Material Engineering Center Saarland). The Center for Mechatronics and Automation Engineering (ZeMA) will also be involved. The campus is open to collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) in Saarbrücken and the materials sciences program at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern.

To organize collaborative research, technology transfer and training, the scientists founded three Steinbeis centers. “These are supported by the Steinbeis Foundation through professional management and a powerful network spanning research, technology transfer, employee development and training. We see ourselves as partners of the universities and, with the help of our centers, ensure companies transfer scientific knowledge efficiently and effectively into business application. We also make sure it’s legally protected in terms of confidentiality, liability and intellectual property,” explained Professor Dr. Michael Auer, Chairman of the Steinbeis Foundation Board at the opening of the research campus. 

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