HANNOVER MESSE 2009, 20 to 24 April Hot topics 4

23.04.2009: Virtual robots making virtual cars? Not as strange as it sounds! The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) is demonstrating a simulation program at HANNNOVER MESSE 2009 which checks to see whether

100% cyberspace - Virtual robots make virtual cars

Virtual robots making virtual cars? Not as strange as it sounds! The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) is demonstrating a simulation program at HANNNOVER MESSE 2009 which checks to see whether all the components to be assembled can actually be put together without any problems. The newly developed software recognizes, for example, whether the instrument panel is too big for the available space, or whether supply lines leading alongside the car body could rub against it and cause scratches. What is special about the program: It also factors in the flexibility of the components - a first.

The software performs its calculations at the same speed as a familiar CAD program. To achieve this speed however, the developers needed to streamline the highly precise, structural-mechanical computational procedures involved. The upshot: Adequate precision, with real-time availability of the results. Design engineers can work interactively with the program and make a component shorter or longer within a matter of seconds. The program is scheduled to come to market before the end of the year, with support and training material already available.

Fraunhofer-Institut für Techno- und Wirtschaftsmathematik (ITWM)
(Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics)
Fraunhofer-Platz 1
67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany
Phone: +49 631 31600 4298
Fax: +49 631 31600 5298
Hall 17, stand D60

Competing robots pirouette "in unison"

To see what automatic guided vehicles (AGV) are capable of, you only need to visit the stand of Götting KG at HANNOVER MESSE 2009, where you will be treated to a unique "ballet" by a troupe of seven "dancing" AGVs.

What makes the performance so special: All vehicles are from different manufacturers. A wireless control system is used to coordinate the AGVs on a "dance floor" of only 100 square meters, ensuring that none of them collide. The vehicles are all of different shapes and sizes and are guided by different systems. The ballet, offered several times daily, treats the spectator not only to a unique interplay of systems, but also to a representative cross-section of the latest vehicle guidance technology.

Götting KG
Celler Str. 5
31275 Lehrte, Germany
Phone: +49 5136 8096 0
Fax: +49 5136 8096 80
Hall 22, stand C51

A wee tad of power, a mountain of coldness

Ice that is rock-hard, beer that is ice-cold: The new cooling units being unveiled by the Herborn-based Rittal company at HANNOVER MESSE 2009 can produce the same cooling output (up to 2,000 watts) at considerably lower energy consumption than comparable models. The "Cool Efficiency" units from Rittal are up to 45% more economical than conventional cooling units with the same cooling output, say the engineers at Rittal. This reduced power consumption translates into a reduction in the level of CO2 emissions of around 45%.

These energy savings have been achieved through the deployment of new compressors and fan technology as well as an optimized arrangement of the heat exchanger components and refrigerant filling capacities. These innovative cooling units come standard-equipped with nano-coated condensers and integrated electric condensate evaporation, ensuring efficiency levels and minimal maintenance costs.

Rittal GmbH & Co. KG
Auf dem Stützelberg
35745 Herborn, Germany
Phone: +49 2772 505 0
Fax: +49 2772 505 2319
Hall 11, stand D06

Electrochemical milling churns out tiny tools

The growing miniaturization of components requires increasingly innovative production processes. In eye surgery, for example, micro-pliers with a diameter of 0.3 millimeters are being used ever more frequently. At HANNOVER MESSE 2009 the ECMTEC company is presenting the result of its cooperation with two business partners: the microtechnology known as "ECF" - a type of electrochemical micro-milling.

ECF is a process with which metals, including steel, can be machined directly even down to the sub-µ zone - from rapid prototyping to mass production. ECF is used in a number of industries to manufacture metallic structures for micro-atomization and microfluidics. The process even allows for the production of disposable micro-pliers for ocular microsurgery.

Robert-Bosch-Str. 3
71088 Holzgerlingen, Germany
Phone: +49 7031 86652 0
Fax: +49 7031 86652 5
Hall 6, stand E16

Insurmountable security barriers

The fight against product piracy is assuming an increasingly critical role. The technology race between counterfeiters and original part manufacturers is leading to ever-more challenging solutions. Now a new development by Bayer Technology Services GmbH (BTS) could give protectors of intellectual property an added edge. At HANNOVER MESSE 2009 BTS is presenting exciting innovations in the field of authentication technology.

The ProteXXion process, which won the HERMES AWARD in 2007, turns the object to be protected into its very own "security marking" by using a laser to identify the object's surface properties. This process offers more security and reliability than the familiar biometric methods based on fingerprint recognition or iris scanning. In Hannover visitors can see the latest enhancements to the ProteXXion technology, now available in the form of a complete package known as "ProteXXion Tracking", which features sensors, software and database hosting for rugged industrial applications. This complete solution is designed to support the unique recognition of individual product information at every stage of the production or supply chain.

Another new product, "ProteXXion Secure Label", offers identification stickers for clients who require visible labels or whose products not suited to the laser-optical procedure due to unfavorable surface properties. BTS intends to apply its ProteXXion technology to the entire spectrum of services - from consulting, concept development and project management to adaptation of packaging and installation and maintenance.

Bayer Technology Services GmbH
Building K9
51368 Leverkusen, Germany
Phone: +49 214 30-82738
Fax: +49 214 30-9680004 
Hall 17, stand A38

Multifunctional textile laminates produce spotless fabrics

At first glance they look like normal fabrics - but look again: The multifunctional textile laminates being presented by the sarastro company at HANNOVER MESSE 2009 actually represent a modular hygienic concept for textiles.

Here's how the sarastro system works: Depending on the hygiene requirements, fabrics can be made breathable and/or water or soil-resistant, or they can be imbued with a bactericidal function. This new hygienic convenience is made possible by the use of different protective layers which are laminated onto the material. Depending on the requirements, textiles can be turned out which offer the optimum protection for a number of different settings. The new fabrics can, for example, be used for car seat upholstery as well as for operating scrubs or shoe inserts.

sarastro GmbH
Zum Schacht 7
66287 Quierschied, Germany
Phone: +49 6825 8008 90
Fax: +49 6825 8008 91
Hall 6, stand E11, a partner at SchauPlatz NANO

Hands-on automation

Enter your name in the computer, place a slip box on the transport system, pick up a pen, and you're ready to go! The model automation system being shown by ST.E.P. STEIN Expertenpool GmbH and six other cooperation partners at HANNOVER MESSE 2009 reveals how automation and manual labor can perfectly complement one another. This setup allows the visitor to play an active role by placing a slip box at the starting position of the workpiece holder transport system, then following its progress through the system.

This special innovation involves ultrasound sensors which monitor the user's every hand motion during the assembly process. The system identifies any carelessness and helps the worker to optimize procedures. A dot matrix code imprinted on the workpiece allows for a printout of the item's complete "history" at the end of the production chain. This printout contains information about the route traveled by the workpiece as well as its properties and processing. The live demonstration gives clients a tangible idea of how jobs can be optimally tailored to fit individual requirements.

ST.E.P. STEIN Expertenpool GmbH
Carl-Haag-Str. 26A
78054 Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany
Phone: +49 7720 830724
Fax: +49 7720 830796
Hall 17, stand G03

Learning from vines - Materials imitate botanical healing processes

If a vine is damaged, its "wound" closes automatically after a few days. In the course of evolution, plants have acquired the capability of sealing and healing their wounds. At HANNOVER MESSE 2009, researchers from the University of Freiburg are demonstrating how the principle of fast wound sealing in plants can be transferred to industrial materials.

In a laboratory environment, these researchers have already succeeded in developing a bionic coating which can quickly and efficiently repair the damage to pneumatic structures. Self-repairing foam prevents or at least reduces the air leakage when membranes are damaged. For damage caused by nails with a diameter of up to five millimeters, the foam was able to reduce the rate of pressure loss by two to three magnitudes compared with uncoated membranes, thus enabling an outstanding self-repairing effect.

Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Plant Biomechanics Group
Botanic Garden
Schänzlestrasse 1
79104 Freiburg, Germany
Phone: +49 761 2032803
Fax: +49 761 2032880
Hall 2, stand A35

Electricity from waste products

Biogas converters have suffered from one major drawback up to now: They rely on foodstuffs to produce electric power, and are only capable of partially processing biological waste products, since these are more difficult to convert to biogas than, for example, grain. But at HANNOVER MESSE 2009, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) are now presenting the first biogas plant which not only converts food, but also agricultural waste products, to electric power - at 30% greater efficiency.

The biogas plant requires no "edible" raw materials, relying instead exclusively on raw materials from agriculture, for example "corn straw" (i.e. the corn - or maize - plant, minus the ear. An additional advantage is the speed: A special pretreatment process guarantees that the biomass ferments into biogas in just 30 instead of the usual 80 days.

Fraunhofer Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme (IKTS)
(Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems)
Winterbergstr. 28
01277 Dresden, Germany
Phone: +49 351 2553539
Fax: +49 351 2554195
Hall 13, stand F50/1, Hydrogen + Fuel Cells group pavilion

Sundial in a jar

Clever minds are behind all the innovations at HANNOVER MESSE 2009, and their inventions often lead to new breakthroughs in industry. But sometimes these clever new developments are also just plain fun. Take, for example, the time-measuring sun cylinder with which the Solglas company is delighting visitors to its stand.

This sun cylinder is actually a kind of sundial. But instead of a rod and a flat surface, the time is displayed in a glass cylinder. How this works: The sun-cylinder sundial consists of a transparent cylinder which is exposed to the sun's rays. The outside of the cylinder is printed with a light-diffusing, elaborately calculated scale which is interrupted by a transparent ring. This scale contains a mathematically projected representation of the earth's surface on which the solar pathways (datelines) are imprinted. For each of the sun's positions, the respective times (average local times) are calculated for the clock location and entered on the scale.

The light rays are first refracted through the ring, then collected by the cylindrical shape, then reflected on the scale as a bright spot of light. The higher the position of the sun, the lower the position of the spot of light. This spot travels around the outside of the cylinder in conformance with the sun's motion. At first, during sunrise, the spot of light is located at the upper right corner of the lowest scale; as the sun climbs and continues to move westward, the spot moves parallel to the relevant dateline downward, towards the lower left.

SOLGLAS - Sundial Aesthetics
Dr. Erwin Kretschmann, Dr. Peter Zachari
Alter Zollweg 65b
22147 Hamburg, Germany
Hall 2, stand A02, a partner at the SIGNO joint pavilion

- Andrea Staude -


23.04.2009 / MaP

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