Category Archives: Science Research Technology

Science Research Technology

Fighting hunger in Africa

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports cassava research in Brunswick (Germany)

Since 2014 the cassava research of the Department of Plant Viruses of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH in Brunswick has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In December 2018 the Senior Program Officer of the Foundation, Dr. Jim Lorenzen, visited the DSMZ plant virus research group, led by Dr. Stephan Winter, in Brunswick (Germany). As part of a project funded by the Gates Foundation with about 900,000 Euro, the researchers succeeded in finding resistances to African viruses in cassava varieties from South America. The viruses trigger a severe root rot, the Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), which leads to complete crop loss. So far, African cassava varieties have little resistance to these viruses, often leading to catastrophic crop failures. „As the disease continues to spread from East Africa to Central and West Africa and threatens the growing in these regions, there is an urgent need to take countermeasures,“ explains Doctor Winter. After extensive trials in the Brunswick research greenhouses, the resistant cassava plants from South America were sent to research stations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria to cross virus resistance in African varieties. Experiments in South Kivu in Eastern Congo, which were evaluated after one year of field cultivation, proved that virus resistance in South American varieties is maintained in the field.

South American cassava plants as a solution for Africa
„The selected variants grow in Africa, retain their viral resistance to CBSD and remain healthy,“ says Dr. Stephan Winter, the world’s leading cassava virus researcher. In Brunswick, Dr. Jim Lorenzen and Dr. Stephan Winter discussed other research projects that, in addition to basic research on the resistance characterization of South American breeding lines, would primarily involve them directly in the breeding work of African partners. This would to make the new research results concretely applicable in Africa in the fight against hunger. „After twelve months of field cultivation, the South American cassava seedlings show excellent resistance characteristics. However, there is still a need for research when it comes to establishing the plants in different growing regions, but the first steps towards resistant cassava plants in Africa have been taken,“ Dr. Winter summarises the current situation.

Cassava as a food plant
Cassava, also known as manioc, is mainly known in this country as tapioca, the starch extracted from the manioc root. It is the most important food plant in sub-Saharan Africa and often the only daily meal for the poor. Cassava cultivation is repeatedly threatened by viral diseases. For some years now, a viral disease has been spreading from the coastal regions of East Africa. It is caused by novel Cassava Brown Streak viruses and destroys the root. The plants perish, the tuber harvest fails and threatening bottlenecks in food supplies repeatedly occur in African countries, especially in Uganda and Tanzania. The further spread of the disease, especially westward, represents an enormous threat potential for the people of countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, where cassava is of outstanding importance in agricultural production and nutrition. Since Dr. Winter became head of the DSMZ Department of Plant Viruses in 1995, viruses of tropical and subtropical plants have been an important field of research in Brunswick. The research team of the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH aims at the rapid detection of viral diseases in plants in order to effectively combat epidemics and to explore ways of effectively controlling viral diseases.

Das Leibniz-Institut DSMZ – Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen ist die weltweit vielfältigste Sammlung für biologischen Ressourcen (Bakterien, Archaea, Protisten, Hefen, Pilze, Bakteriophagen, Pflanzenviren, genomische bakterielle DNA sowie menschliche und tierische Zellkulturen). An der DSMZ werden Mikroorganismen sowie Zellkulturen gesammelt, erforscht und archiviert. Als Einrichtung der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft ist die DSMZ mit ihren umfangreichen wissenschaftlichen Services und biologischen Ressourcen seit 1969 globaler Partner für Forschung, Wissenschaft und Industrie. Die DSMZ ist die erste registrierte Sammlung Europas (Verordnung (EU) Nr. 511/2014) und nach Qualitätsstandard ISO 9001:2015 zertifiziert. Als Patenthinterlegungsstelle bietet sie die bundesweit einzige Möglichkeit, biologisches Material nach den Anforderungen des Budapester Vertrags zu hinterlegen. Neben dem wissenschaftlichen Service bildet die Forschung das zweite Standbein der DSMZ. Das Institut mit Sitz auf dem Science Campus Braunschweig-Süd beherbergt mehr als 66.500 Kulturen sowie Biomaterialien und hat 198 Mitarbeiter. www.dsmz.de

Contact
Leibnitz-Institut DSMZ Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen
Sven-David Müller
Inhoffenstraße 7 B
38124 Braunschweig
Phone: 0531-5312616300
E-Mail: sven.david.mueller@dsmz.de
Url: http://www.dsmz.de

Science Research Technology

Innovative Infrared heat reduces energy consumption in coating packaging for food

Retrofitting with modern emitters simplifies polymer coating

Innovative Infrared heat reduces energy consumption in coating packaging for food

An infrared system has dramatically reduced energy costs in the coating of board for food packaging.

An infrared system from Heraeus Noblelight has dramatically reduced energy costs in the coating of board for food packaging at the Stroud factory of The Olympic Varnish Company Ltd. By eliminating the use of steam, the new system has also reduced board spoilage caused when there are unanticipated line stoppages.
Heraeus Noblelight will present innovative infrared solutions for drying, curing and converting at the ICE exhibition, which takes place in Munich in March 2019.

Infrared heat replaces hot steam
Olympic Varnish coats a variety of packaging for food products, ranging from sandwiches, cakes and patisserie to fish and pizza. Polymer coatings are applied to act as a double barrier, preventing any seepage or migration of grease or liquid components of the food from inside the packaging or any leeching of materials, which might taint the product into the packaging. The company also applies pigment and/or print to the outside of packaging if required.
The coater line at Stroud has three coating stations and these are used to apply the polymer coats, or pigment coats if necessary. It is important that the board is dried after each coating and previously this had been done by means of steam-heated, hot air driers in the coating line. However, this was very energy-intensive, as the driers had to be kept at temperature throughout each working shift. In addition, if there was a line stoppage, they could not be switched off and so continued to heat any boards held within the driers, leading to product damage.
To solve these problems, it was decided to use infrared for drying and three 7kW carbon medium wave modules were easily retrofitted before each drier. There was no need to remove the driers and today these are merely supplied with ambient, unheated air.
The new IR drying system has been eminently successful, as Bill Petyan, director at the company, confirms, „We now have more flexibility in coating as the IR heaters can be quickly switched on and off, significantly reducing energy costs. We can also tailor the amount of energy we need as the IR modules typically run between 30% and 60% of full load, depending on the type of board and the weight of coating. In addition, we have also installed a system to detect unwanted build-up of boards on the line when this quickly switches off the heaters“

Infrared heat saves energy
Infrared radiation heats the material precisely and efficiently. In contrast to conventional heating infrared heat is transferred without the need of a contact medium like steam or air.
Infrared modules are supplied ready-to-fit and can be integrated directly into the production process. Quick response times allow control of the emitters and help to save heating time, energy and costs.
Heraeus specialises in the production and application of high quality energy sources covering the electro-magnetic spectrum from ultraviolet to infrared. It has over 40 years of experience in infrared technology and offers the expertise, products and systems to provide efficient and effective solutions to drying, heating and curing problems throughout industry.

A globally leading technology group, Heraeus is headquartered in Hanau, Germany. Founded in 1851, it is a family-owned portfolio company which traces its roots back to a pharmacy opened by the family in 1660. Today, Heraeus combines businesses in the environmental, energy, electronics, health, mobility and industrial applications sectors.
In the 2017 financial year, Heraeus generated revenues of €21.8 billion. With approximately 13.000 employees in 40 countries, the FORTUNE Global 500-listed company holds a leading position in its global markets. Heraeus is one of the top 10 family-owned companies in Germany.
With technical expertise, a commitment to excellence, a focus on innovation and entrepreneurial leadership, we are constantly striving to improve our performance. We create high-quality solutions for our clients and strengthen their long-term competitiveness by combining unique material expertise with leadership in technology.

Heraeus Noblelight GmbH with its headquarters in Hanau and with subsidiaries in the USA, Great Britain, France and China is one of the technology- and market-leaders in the production of specialty light sources and systems. In 2017, Heraeus Noblelight employed 762 people worldwide. The organization develops, manufactures and markets infrared and ultraviolet emitters, systems and solutions for applications in industrial manufacture, environmental protection, medicine and cosmetics, research, development and analytical measurement techniques.

Contact
Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Marie-Luise Bopp
Reinhard-Heraeus-Ring 7
63801 Kleinostheim
Phone: +49 6181/35-8547
Fax: +49 6181/35-16 8547
E-Mail: marie-luise.bopp@heraeus.com
Url: https://www.heraeus.com/en/hng/press/press_overview_hng.aspx

Science Research Technology

XAIN AG transfers FROST technology to XAIN Foundation

XAIN AG transfers FROST technology to XAIN Foundation

Logo XAIN (Source: XAIN)

On the 29th November 2018, the XAIN AG has transfered the innovative FROST technology to the XAIN Foundation during an exclusive meetup in the new headquarters in Berlin. This occasion presented guests with the opportunity to learn more about the numerous applications of FROST in distributed systems, which will now be available as an open source solution. Guests were invited to view a demo and to discuss the first use cases with XAIN“s developers and business team.

Berlin, 30th November 2018 – XAIN AG opened the doors of their new Berlin headquarters to the community in order to celebrate the transfer of their ground-breaking FROST technology to the non-profit XAIN Foundation as an open-source-solution. FROST is a technology stack and programming language that was specifically developed to regulate the access to data and resources. A program written in FROST can be thought of as a „smart policy“ that articulates the exact conditions under which an access is granted or denied without relying on a central authority. Thereby, FROST is contributing technical advances in Sharing Economy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT) and cybersecurity and making them publicly available to developers, enterprises and researchers. The transfer of FROST to the foundation aims to accelerate the adoption and development of FROST by fostering a community around the technology and supporting the creation of use cases.

„The whole concept may sound quite abstract for an outsider at first. That is why we wanted to show real-world applications of FROST at our event. For example, we wanted to demonstrate the possibilities of FROST within the automotive sector with the help of a model LEGO Porsche.“, explains Simon Schwerin, Managing Director of the XAIN Foundation. He adds: „Through the transfer of this innovative technology as an open-source-solution to the XAIN Foundation, the development of FROST will be more independent and open for the discovery of new applications and industry use-cases. We wish to promote FROST as a new standard in access delegation for distributed systems and foster the development of the technology through the introduction of new ideas and contributions from the open source community.“

The event celebrating the IP transfer to the XAIN Foundation took place on the 29th November at 06.30 p.m. in the new Berlin headquarters of XAIN AG. After the official document signing, where founders Felix Hahmann and Leif-Nissen Lundbk expressed their intention to transfer core components of the FROST technology to the XAIN Foundation, all guests were invited to join a networking session with industry insiders, customers and employees of XAIN for an informal get together with drinks and hors d“oeuvres.

For more information about XAIN Foundation, contact events@xain.io or visit https://xain.foundation/ XAIN will be hosting more events like this one in the future. More information can be found in due time at https://www.meetup.com/Innovation-and-Tech-Transfer-in-AI-DLT-and-Cybersecurity

About the XAIN Foundation

The XAIN Foundation was established as a „Stichting“ (Foundation) under Dutch law in May 2018 by the leadership team of XAIN AG to serve as a separate and independent entity from XAIN AG.

The foundation acts as open-source administrator of the FROST Technology Stack, which consists of the FROST Language, the Proof-of-Kernel-Work consensus (PoKW), and related technology components.“

Further information can be found on the XAIN Foundation homepage: https://xain.foundation

About XAIN AG

XAIN, short for eXpandable Artificial Intelligence Network, began as a University of Oxford research project in 2014. Three years later the company was incorporated in Berlin in February 2017. The company specializes in cybersecurity, blockchain technology and machine learning solutions for enterprise clients. For this, XAIN creates intelligent systems for the sharing of data, resources and knowledge, that offer a universal, user-centric access control protocol, that leverages blockchain technology to increase trust and transparency between users and enterprises. Furthermore, it grants users full access control over their machine and device permissions and allows for seamless and secure 3rd party service integration into machine networks.

Given the founders‘ backgrounds and automotive industry experience, XAIN maintains a strong research focus and specializes in delivering digital infrastructure solutions for the mobility sector. With offices in Berlin, Stuttgart and Oxford, XAIN delivers services within Europe, the UK and worldwide.

Further information can be found on the XAIN AG homepage: https://xain.io

Company-Contact
XAIN AG
Jesse Steele
Unter den Linden 42
10117 Berlin
Phone: 0049-30-89 63 19 90
E-Mail: jesse.steele@xain.io
Url: https://xain.io

Press
Quadriga Communication GmbH
Kent Gaertner
Potsdamer Platz 5
10785 Berlin
Phone: 030-30 30 80 89 13
E-Mail: gaertner@quadriga-communication.de
Url: http://www.quadriga-communication.de/

Science Research Technology

High-tech information systems take the place of a note stuck on a lamp

Success story in the „Incisions and insights“ workshop series – Reutlingen University and RZ Medizintechnik develop innovative tablet solution for the operating theatre

High-tech information systems take the place of a note stuck on a lamp

Incisions and insights workshop „heart, lungs, thorax“ (Source: Michael Latz/BioRegio STERN)

(Stuttgart/Tübingen/Reutlingen/Tuttlingen) – The Computer-Assisted Medicine research group at Reutlingen University’s School of Informatics is working with RZ Medizintechnik GmbH to develop a special tablet that provides surgeons with data and patient information directly in the operating theatre. The idea for the development resulted from „Incisions and insights“, a unique workshop series that brings together medtech engineers and surgeons around the operating table to identify and then kick-start the innovations that are needed. The project is now receiving funding from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The first systems are due to be available in operating theatres in 2019.

The first invitations to „Incisions and insights“ were sent out in June 2016. This completely new workshop series is organised by BioRegio STERN Management GmbH in conjunction with Verein zur Förderung der Biotechnologie und Medizintechnik e. V. (Society for the Promotion of Biotechnology and Medical Technology) and the Inter-University Center for Medical Technologies Stuttgart-Tübingen (IZST). It offers medtech engineers an exclusive opportunity to join medical directors and consultants from a wide range of disciplines around the operating table and discuss medical needs. The combination of live streaming from the operating theatre and practical exercises in the operating theatre at the University of Tübingen’s Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis is unique. The open dialogue is intended to inspire the participants to come up with completely new ideas, instruments and methods for surgery.

„Small and medium-sized enterprises often don’t have the opportunity to talk directly to consultants,“ says Andreas Banescu, from Tuttlingen-based RZ Medizintechnik GmbH. He was therefore pleased to take up the invitation to the workshop, which focused on pelvic surgery, and was able to see for himself what problems surgeons have with lighting and visualisation in the operating theatre. Whether operating endoscopically or openly, surgeons would like to have monitors that do not force them to look away from the patient but are instead positioned within their field of vision.

Following in-depth discussion, it was the idea of a tablet for direct use at the operating table that won over Prof. Bernhard Hirt, Director of the Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis, and Prof. Arnulf Stenzl, Medical Director of the University Department of Urology and Director of the Inter-University Center for Medical Technologies Stuttgart-Tübingen (IZST). The developers from the medtech SME are now working with medtech informatics PhD students from Reutlingen University on a tablet that features ingenious applications. Prof. Oliver Burgert from the School of Informatics is responsible for the information system, which ensures surgeons can access all the information that is relevant to them during an operation without having to turn away from the operating area. „Despite all the technology available, it’s still very common to see a note stuck to a lamp in an operating theatre,“ explains Burgert. „Our software is designed so that surgeons can preselect what data, covering areas such as pre-existing conditions, intolerances and radiological images, is to be available to them and at what point during the operation. They can then easily view and use this information via a sterile-packed tablet near the patient. The system is intended not only to supply patient data but also to aid visualisation, for example during an endoscopy, and to document the entire surgical procedure where required.

The first prototypes have been successfully tested, with the first prototypical test in an operating theatre already planned for 2019. This has also been made possible by funding of 477,000 euros, with one half coming from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts and the other 50 per cent from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The tablet instantly won over the experts from the recently announced HAW-KMU-TT programme, which aims to encourage research-oriented technology transfer between universities of applied sciences and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.

„Incisions and insights“ is a success story that is set to continue,“ insists BioRegio STERN’s Managing Director Dr. Klaus Eichenberg. „Two workshops are planned for next year – „Extremities and the musculoskeletal system“ on 6 February and „Intelligent permanent implants“ on 3 July. We look forward to many more stimulating discussions and exciting innovations.“

About BioRegio STERN Management GmbH:
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH promotes economic development in the life sciences industry, helping to strengthen the region as a business location by supporting innovations and start-up companies in the public interest. It is the main point of contact for company founders and entrepreneurs in the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regions, including the cities of Tübingen and Reutlingen.
The STERN BioRegion is one of the largest and most successful bioregions in Germany. Its unique selling points include a mix of biotech and medtech companies that is outstanding in Germany and regional clusters in the fields of automation technology and mechanical engineering.

Company-Contact
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
Dr. Klaus Eichenberg
Friedrichstrasse 10
70174 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-870354-0
E-Mail: info@bioregio-stern.de
Url: http://www.bioregio-stern.de/en

Press
Zeeb Kommunikation GmbH
Anja Pätzold
Hohenheimer Strasse 58a
70184 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-6070719
E-Mail: info@zeeb.info
Url: http://www.zeeb-kommunikation.de

Science Research Technology

„Back in the Game“ app supporting treatment for depression wins at Demo Day 2018

Ideas presented by teams in 100-day MedTech Startup School 2018

"Back in the Game" app supporting treatment for depression wins at Demo Day 2018

MedTech Demo Day 2018 (Source: Armin Burkhardt)

(Stuttgart/Tübingen) – Teams of researchers, doctors and students pitched their medtech startup ideas to investors and industry experts at this year’s MedTech Demo Day. The „Back in the Game“ app impressed the most this year. Developed by a research team at the University Hospital of Tübingen, it is intended to help people suffering from depression. The Demo Day is organised by the MedTech Startup School and BioRegio STERN Management GmbH in cooperation with the Medical Innovations Foundation, the University Hospital of Tübingen and the University of Tübingen’s Technology Transfer Office.

The Demo Day was being held for the fourth time and saw a group of young researchers from Tübingen present „Back in the Game“ – an app that aims to help people with depression. The mobile phone game is a joint development by psychologists, neurobiologists, doctors and gaming specialists to assist patients while they are waiting for their treatment to start and also to prevent relapses. Professor Christian Plewnia, who heads the University Hospital of Tübingen’s Neurophysiology & Interventional Neuropsychiatry group, is supervising the team of developers.

The Demo Day took place on 15 October 2018 and provided a thrilling conclusion to a 100-day accelerator programme for selected teams pitching their laboratory/practice-based healthcare ideas to potential investors, business specialists and health experts. Prior to the event, the young researchers from a whole host of different sectors had worked on their business models with economists, scientists, doctors and lawyers – a process during which they gathered the necessary startup know-how. Amongst other things, they were required to prepare a business case and perform a market validation. At the Bootshaus am Neckar in Tübingen, they were then thrown into the lions‘ den, as it were, unveiling their proposal to an audience from the worlds of business and science. All the guests were then able to vote for their favourite, with the majority opting for „Back in the Game“.

As Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, explains: „We’ve been supporting the MedTech Startup School from the outset because good life science ideas are reliant on professional backing if they are to become a successful startup. The fact that many of the projects from previous years have already made significant progress is testament to the quality of the programme.“

The MedTech Startup School, the Startup Booster and the Medical Innovations Explorer together form the Baden-Württemberg Life Science Accelerator. The school is supported by the Baden-Württemberg State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing, the German Federal Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, and Baden-Württemberg’s state startup initiative with resources from the ESF.

About BioRegio STERN Management GmbH:
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH promotes economic development in the life sciences industry, helping to strengthen the region as a business location by supporting innovations and start-up companies in the public interest. It is the main point of contact for company founders and entrepreneurs in the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regions, including the cities of Tübingen and Reutlingen.
The STERN BioRegion is one of the largest and most successful bioregions in Germany. Its unique selling points include a mix of biotech and medtech companies that is outstanding in Germany and regional clusters in the fields of automation technology and mechanical engineering.

Company-Contact
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
Dr. Klaus Eichenberg
Friedrichstrasse 10
70174 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-870354-0
E-Mail: info@bioregio-stern.de
Url: http://www.bioregio-stern.de/en

Press
Zeeb Kommunikation GmbH
Anja Pätzold
Hohenheimer Strasse 58a
70184 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-6070719
E-Mail: info@zeeb.info
Url: http://www.zeeb-kommunikation.de

Science Research Technology

Wingcopter developes parcel drone for DHL

Rapid response from the air: medicines successfully delivered using a parcel drone in East Africa

Wingcopter developes parcel drone for DHL

The autonomous DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 completed the 60 km flight from the mainland in 40 minutes.

Darmstadt/Eschborn/Bonn, 4 October 2018: Revolutionising the delivery of medicines to remote areas using drones – the pilot project Deliver Future proves that it“s not science fiction. Three experts in their respective fields are making it happen: The German drone manufacturer Wingcopter, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and DHL. Over a six-month period, they successfully tested the delivery of medicines using a drone to an island in Lake Victoria. During the trials, the autonomous DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 completed the 60 km flight from the mainland to the island in 40 minutes on average. A total of 2,200 km were flown and roughly 2,000 flight minutes recorded during the pilot project. The drone thus opens up new opportunities to adress the logistic challenges in the public health sector in many parts of Africa, especially supplying hospitals and pharmacies. Medical care for the roughly 400,000 residents of the Ukerewe island district of Lake Victoria, for instance, is severely limited. This is partly due to the poor infrastructure and difficult terrain. Six hours are needed to cover the overland route of 240 km. That makes it nearly impossible to provide emergency medication or to quickly refill cool chain commodities that are out of stock. A key feature is that the DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 barely needs any infrastructure as it takes off and lands vertically. After delivering its cargo, it can easily be loaded with blood and laboratory samples to take back to the mainland. In future, the Parcelcopter could therefore not only improve logistics in the public health sector: it has the potential to help prevent crises worldwide, for example allowing an early response to slow the spread of viral diseases like Ebola.
Short film about the Deliver Future pilot project. Find press photos and logo files here.

Wingcopter is an award-winning German manufacturer of innovative drones for logistics, surveying, monitoring and inspection. In order to achieve a new dimension of efficiency and close the market gap between commercial drones, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, the startup has specially developed and patented a unique tilting rotor mechanism. This combines the advantages of two drone types in one: The electrically powered Wingcopter drones can take off and land vertically like multicopters in a minimum of space. For efficient forward flight, the rotors can be tilted and the drone transforms into an unmanned fixed-wing aircraft in seconds. This enables long ranges of up to 100 km and a Guinness World Record top speed of 240 km/h. The Wingcopter flies autonomously and reliably even in strong winds or heavy rain. In addition to the transport boxes filled with goods or medical commodities, a variety of sensors such as full format cameras or precise laser measuring devices can easily be attached. These sensors are utilized in applications like infrastructure monitoring of pipelines, power lines or railway lines, for search and rescue missions or disaster control, as well as for mapping of huge landscapes and optimizing precision agriculture and geological research. Already today, Wingcopter is shaping the future of aviation and is dedicated to improving the lives of people worldwide by enabling meaningful civil applications.

Contact
Wingcopter Holding GmbH & Co. KG
Tom Plümmer
Kleyerstraße 7
64295 Darmstadt
Phone: +49 175 26 26 272
E-Mail: info@wingcopter.com
Url: http://www.wingcopter.com

Science Research Technology

35 years of Palas GmbH:

Pioneer and global market leader with profound expertise of nanoparticles

35 years of Palas GmbH:

Test bench presentation in Utrecht 1985 (Source: Palas GmbH)

When Leander Moelter founded Palas GmbH in 1983, aerosol technology was still in its infancy in Germany. And yet he had the vision of developing a profitable business based on „measuring and generating particles“. 35 years later, Palas® holds not only 74 patent applications but is also the worldwide market leader in the field of optical aerosol spectrometers and filter testing systems.

Today, one would describe it as a start-up with which Leander Moelter began his exemplary career 35 years ago as an aerosol technology specialist in a residential building in Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Baden. In 1979, he had successfully completed his studies in precision engineering with a focus on communications engineering at the University of Applied Sciences of Karlsruhe, and he was already responsible for development and sales as a co-partner in a manufacturer of measuring equipment for laser Doppler anemometers. He was also a member of the VDI working group „Measurement of Particles“. However, the aerosol generation systems described in the VDI guidelines were mostly used as laboratory setups only, and the sole manufacturer of suitable measuring equipment was located in the U.S..

Although aerosol technology with fine dust measurement and air quality monitoring, things that are so self-evident today, was an area that was hardly noticed in Germany and Europe at that time, Leander Moelter recognized this as a market opportunity and discussed the plan to found a company to measure particles together with his brother Wolfgang and Fritz Munzinger. The resulting business concept convinced even the highest committees: Moelter emerged as the third winner out of more than 1,000 participants in the „Ways to self-employment“ competition organized by the Capital magazine.

September 12, 1983 was the birth of the now so successful Palas GmbH, which was to become the worldwide market leader in aerosol production, dilution and particle measurement technology in the years to come.

One of the success factors of the young Palas GmbH were the annual scientific platforms on the subject of aerosol technology, which had been established early on. Leander Moelter was also a member of the round table for the founding of Technologiefabrik Karlsruhe, which also included the then Prime Minister of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg Lothar Spaeth, representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the University of Karlsruhe. Just one year later, in the summer of 1984, Palas GmbH moved from the residential building to the newly founded Technologiefabrik, which, from the very beginning, was regarded as an „incubator“ for many later highly successful companies.

Palas® counts

Daily in the media today, but still uncharted territory at that time: Diesel soot emissions. For their accurate measurement and analysis, Palas GmbH developed, together with the renowned Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, a filter photometer, which was followed in 1985 by the first saleable filter media test stand. The system was rightly celebrated as an innovation at the Filtech international trade fair in Utrecht: It was the world’s first measuring technology to evaluate the efficiency of a filter depending on particle size.

As early as 1986, the young Palas GmbH with only three employees developed ten products, such as the RBG and BEG dust feeders. The AGF aerosol generators are used to nebulize liquids, and the VKL dilution systems are used to dilute highly concentrated aerosols.

The installation of a particle counter of Russian origin into a filter test system and the subsequent license agreement with Dr. Umhauer & Prof. Loeffler from the University of Karlsruhe for in-house production at Palas® under the product name Particle Counter Sizer PCS 2000 proved to be particularly visionary.

Smaller, lighter, more accurate

While the first system still weighed 28 kg and required a peripheral zone correction, this was not necessary with the T-iris and fiber optic technology developed as part of the C1 program funded by the State of Baden-Württemberg, which led to the construction of the 2.8 kg light welas® system, a white light aerosol spectrometer, in 2000.

Between 1990 and 2000, the increasingly higher measuring accuracy under extreme conditions such as overpressure, temperatures from -90° to 250°, as well as the higher miniaturization meant a breakthrough in aerosol technology. Today, the smallest device weighing only 200 grams is light as a feather, can be wirelessly controlled and is used in numerous industries.

A leap into digitalization

Entering the digital world, Palas® also revolutionized the aerosol technology when they implemented a digital platform for the welas® system in 2008. This allowed the particle signals to be better analyzed and measured in even higher concentrations.

„Count what is countable, measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not measurable!“ In accordance with this principle of Galileo Galilei, the development of measurements of the smallest fine dust fractions in the micrometer range (PM10 and PM2.5) finally followed. With the introduction of the Fidas® fine dust measuring instruments (Finedust aerosol spectrometer) Leander Moelter quickly realized that this was the beginning of a completely different category of measuring instruments and global markets: Palas® now entered the new territory of the worldwide increasing environmental measuring technology with completely new target groups, which, however, required internationally recognized certifications and new dimensions of development, production and sales.

Motivation and Innovation Boost through Lean Management

In 2013, together with his new R&D director Dr.-Ing. Maximilian Weiß and a management consultancy, Leander Moelter decided to streamline processes, flatten hierarchies and perform certification compliant with the ISO 9001 quality management system. At the same time, the employees were more closely involved through short communication channels.

Despite the initial skepticism of the workforce towards the new lean management, the program proved to be a complete success: Identification with the company, motivation and inventiveness, resulting in innovations, especially in the development of new nanoparticle and fine dust measuring systems for environmental use, brought Palas® further ahead. The shareholders invested all profits exclusively in development. Expansion and increases in sales led to revenues of five million Euros in 2014, an increase of 26 percent from the previous year.

Today and tomorrow

Today, the Fidas® fine dust measuring systems – highly flexible stationary and mobile devices with the highest measuring accuracy that can also be applied in drones – are, at 50 per cent share, the mainstay of revenues amongst the roughly 150 products of Palas GmbH, which meanwhile grew to 68 employees.

The area of fine dust measurement offers considerable market opportunities in the future. Leander Moelter and Dr.-Ing. Maximilian Weiß, the other managing director of the company have since long recognized that air testing is not limited to outdoor applications only. Looking at the leading Asian countries in this field, interior monitoring in office buildings, schools and other buildings is becoming more and more important, and the demand for highly specialized equipment is increasing.

The subject of fine dust has also reached filter test stands in the meantime, with particle size distribution in the range of 0.3µm to 10µm being adapted even more closely to realistic conditions in future filter development, thus reacting to the real-world requirements of recent years. These new regulations are summarized in the ISO 16890 standard, which Palas® has already started to implement in the filter test benches and offers initial solutions.

A big success factor of Palas GmbH is its wide coverage of many customers and industries: In addition to federal and regional authorities, this includes the areas of automotive, environmental technology, health care and pharmacy, to which Palas GmbH supplies complete systems directly or via experienced local sales partners. In addition, Palas® supports its customers with know-how, seminars and trainings in all matters of aerosol technology and supplies everything from a One-Stop Shop. The company is thus well positioned equipped for the future as a global supplier of aerosol spectrometers and filter test systems.

Since 35 years, Palas GmbH is developing, producing and selling measuring instruments and filter test benches in the fields of aerosol technology and particle measurement. Today, Palas® is one of the international market leaders in numerous product fields. The headquarters are located in Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, and the measuring instruments are used worldwide – currently via a network of sales partners in approx. 50 countries worldwide.

Further information about Fidas® and other Palas® product lines can be found at www.palas.de

Company-Contact
Palas GmbH
Hannah Horn
Greschbachstraße 3b
76229 Karlsruhe
Phone: +49 (0)721 96213-0
E-Mail: hannah.horn@palas.de
Url: http://www.palas.de/

Press
Sylvia Lermann Public Relations
Sylvia Lermann
Enzianstr. 2c
85591 Vaterstetten
Phone: 08106-300 899
E-Mail: sylvia@lermann-pr.com
Url: http://www.lermann-pr.com

Science Research Technology

„Unmet Medical Need“ Retinitis pigmentosa: this challenge can only be solved together

RI Forum 2018: International retinal experts discuss retinal implants

"Unmet Medical Need" Retinitis pigmentosa: this challenge can only be solved together

International RI-Forum 2018 with retinal experts from all over Europe (Source: Retina Implant AG)

(Reutlingen / Vienna) – On the fringe of this year’s EURETINA congress that took place in Vienna from 20 to 23 September 2018, retinal experts from all over Europe met for the second international RI-Forum. More than 20 specialists followed the invitation of Retina Implant AG and discussed the topic:

Addressing the Unmet Medical Need of Retinitis pigmentosa (RP): teaming up to pave the way for today`s available methods

The medical challenge of treating the hereditary retinal disease RP is huge and in many cases it leads to blindness. A therapy that heals all forms of this disease is not in sight, despite great efforts and initial success with gene therapy approaches. „It continues to require the combined effort of science, medicine and industry to improve the situation for many RP patients,“ explained Dr. Alfred Stett, Chief Technology Officer of Retina Implant AG that hosted the expert panel. „Our electronic implant is already available to people who are blind from RP – regardless of the genetic cause of retinal disease.“

The Reutlingen-based Retina Implant AG has developed a retinal implant that can partially restore vision in people who have no or only bare light perception due to various forms of degenerative retinal diseases such as RP. Reimbursement is already available in Germany and France. „The subretinal implant is absolutely resilient in terms of function and safety. And it’s available,“ said Professor Florian Gekeler, Medical Director at the Katharinenhospital Stuttgart in Germany.

Professor Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford UK, is convinced by the implant: „The electronic retinal implant has both light sensitivity and retinal stimulation built into it – hence when placed under the retina it truly replaces the role of photoreceptors, which are the light sensitive cells lost in patients who become blind from retinitis pigmentosa.“

The fact that there are still some challenges to overcome is accepted among all specialists in the group. „We observe that the visual perceptions generated by the implant are steadily improving with regular vision training. This has led us to develop a rehabilitation and training concept that allows patients to progressively train the use of the implant and certain visual abilities,“ explains Dr. Stett.

In addition to questions about rehabilitation, technology and surgery, the clinical experts also discussed in depth the selection of suitable patients. „Some of the most experienced international retinopathy experts have joined this RI-Forum because exchanges and collaboration need to be stepped-up to jointly overcome all barriers to existing therapies – from both patients‘ and physicians‘ perspectives,“ Prof. Gekeler summed up the evening.

About Retina Implant AG
Retina Implant AG researches and develops innovative treatments and high-tech products for people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The subretinal RETINA IMPLANT Alpha AMS can help blind patients regain a certain degree of useful sight. The CE-approved microchip is implanted beneath the retina (subretinally) at specialist RI implantation centres.
Transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES treatment) with the RI OkuStim® system offers RP patients with sufficient residual vision the opportunity to slow down the progression of the disease.
The company, based in Reutlingen, employs around 45 people and is managed by Reinhard Rubow (CEO and speaker of the Management Board), Jürgen Klein (Member of the Board, Sales & Marketing) and Dr. Alfred Stett (CTO, Member of the Board).

Company-Contact
Retina Implant AG
Volker Hiller
Gerhard-Kindler-Str. 13
72770 Reutlingen
Phone: + 49 71 21 3 64 03 – 282
E-Mail: volker.hiller@retina-implant.de
Url: https://www.retina-implant.de/en/

Press
Zeeb Kommunikation GmbH
Anja Pätzold
Hohenheimer Straße 58a
70184 Stuttgart
Phone: 0711-60 70 719
E-Mail: info@zeeb.info
Url: http://www.zeeb-kommunikation.de

Science Research Technology

Innovative mass finishing process increases the efficiency of turbines

Specially selected grinding media improve the airflow characteristics of blades.

Innovative mass finishing process increases the efficiency of turbines

The MV multivibrators are equipped with high-speed imbalance motors.

At the ALUMINIUM 2018 exhibition Walther Trowal presents its new process for the gentle surface finishing of guide vanes used in turbines and compressors. It creates very smooth surface readings and, thus, optimizes the airflow through the guide vanes.

After they have been milled from a cast block of aluminium, guide vanes for turbines or compressors require a very smooth surface to insure optimum airflow around every single blade. To date this required a complex and costly mechanical process.

Walther Trowal has recently developed a method that allows the gentle smoothing of the guide vanes after milling without rounding the leading edges beyond the acceptable tolerances – an important factor for increasing the efficiency of jet engines.

Basis for the new process are the rotary multi vibrators of the model range MV allowing the processing of guide vanes with diameters of up to 800 mm. The company utilizes special, extremely small ceramic grinding media, which provide not only optimum surface coverage on the work pieces but also smoothens the surface at the root of the vanes.

The guide vanes, but also blisks, are mounted to a fixture that is magnetically attached to the base of the processing bowl. This ensures that the overlapping, high-frequency vibrations from the multi vibrator are transferred to the work piece, causing intensive contact between the media and the vane surface areas.

The result of the fully automatic finishing process: The milling lines from the preceding machining step have been ground out creating a very smooth surface. With the new process Walther Trowal reduces the Ra surface readings from 4.0 down to 1.0 µm with only minimal rounding of the leading edges. This innovative mass finishing process creates ideal conditions for an optimum airflow through the guide vanes.

At the ALUMINIUM 2018 Walther Trowal also presents rotary vibrators used for the surface finishing of aluminium castings including the removal of burrs.

Walther Trowal at ALUMINIUM 2018
Düsseldorf, September 18 – 22, 2018
Hall 12, Stand G50

Facts about Walther Trowal

For 85 years Walther Trowal has been a pioneer and market leader in various surface treatment technologies. The company offers modular and custom engineered solutions for a wide range of surface treatment problems.

Initially only making vibratory finishing equipment, over the years Walther Trowal has continuously broadened its product range and today offers a wide portfolio of equipment and services for improving all kinds of surfaces, e.g. mass finishing, part cleaning, shot blasting and drying of a wide spectrum of work pieces, last but not least, the coating of mass produced small parts.

Walther Trowal offers not only various types of equipment but complete surface treatment systems: By linking the various equipment modules and automating the complete process, we are able to precisely adapt our process technologies to the technical requirements of our customers. This also includes various types of peripheral equipment and process water cleaning and recycling systems. Of course, we also offer comprehensive pre- and after-sale service like sample processing in one of our demonstration labs and global repair and maintenance service.

Walther Trowal serves many customers in many industries around the world. For example, in the automotive and aerospace industry, medical engineering and wind power generation.

Company-Contact
Walther Trowal GmbH & Co.KG
Georg Harnau
Rheinische Str. 35-37
42781 Haan, Germany
Phone: +49 2129.571-0
Fax: +49 2129.571-225
E-Mail: info@walther-trowal.de
Url: http://www.walther-trowal.de

Press
VIP Kommunikation
Regina Reinhardt
Dennewartstraße 25-27
52068 Aachen, Germany
Phone: +49.241.89468-24
Fax: +49.241.89468-44
E-Mail: reinhardt@vip-kommunikation.de
Url: http://www.vip-kommunikation.de

Science Research Technology

GKN Powder Metallurgy Partners with HP and Volkswagen to Bring Metal 3D Printing to Mass Production

Partnership Set to Disrupt Traditional Manufacturing, Break Design Barriers and Accelerate the Adoption of Binder Jetting Technology

GKN Powder Metallurgy Partners with HP and Volkswagen to Bring Metal 3D Printing to Mass Production

Peter Oberparleiter, CEO GKN Powder Metallurgy

Chicago, IL – September 11, 2018 – GKN Powder Metallurgy, a leading innovation development partner of the manufacturing industry, today announced a strategic collaboration with HP Inc. at the 2018 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). The company will be the first to deploy the just-launched HP Metal Jet, a groundbreaking binder jetting technology, into its factories to produce functional metal parts for auto and industrial leaders, including Volkswagen and Wilo, and for companies around the world.
Together with HP, GKN Powder Metallurgy is working toward a vision of driving the global industrialization of additive manufacturing. The HP Metal Jet launch represents a paradigm shift in 3D printing for all markets as the new printer increases users‘ productivity up to 50 fold, compared to other 3D printing methods, at nearly half the cost of other binder jetting systems. The technology will enable GKN Powder Metallurgy to transform future product thinking and traditional manufacturing on behalf of its customers by reducing the time-to-market for mass-produced parts from months to weeks, lowering development costs, and providing greater design and manufacturing flexibility.

„Our vision for additive manufacturing in the enterprise moves beyond prototypes and small-series production and into mass production. We see a future where every modern digital company will have a cutting-edge 3D printer in their facilities, enabled by GKN technology, design and support, to produce metal parts in 24 hours. This strategic partnership with HP is the tipping point to accelerate that vision,“ said Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy. „Powder production and metal part processing are part of our DNA, and we have a long history of collaborating with customers and industrializing solutions that bring great benefits to the entire industry. As we join forces with HP, we want our customers to challenge us to break design barriers and accelerate the adoption of binder jetting technology as it is a wonderful compliment to our existing Additive Manufacturing technology offerings.“

As the world’s largest producer of metal parts, GKN Powder Metallurgy is uniquely positioned to advance the development of the binder jetting industry. By integrating the HP Metal Jet into the workflow across its plants worldwide, GKN Powder Metallurgy will leverage its metal expertise to engineer new powders based on customer needs and help them design parts they did not realize were possible. The company will build on its foundation of sintering 13 million metal parts per day and continue on the path to Industry 4.0, since binder jetting is a highly digital process and GKN Powder Metallurgy has already digitized its factory floors.

„HP is proud to partner with GKN Powder Metallurgy to bring the power of 3D mass production to the largest industries on earth, such as the auto and industrial sectors,“ said Stephen Nigro, President of 3D Printing, HP Inc. „The combination of HP’s breakthrough Metal Jet technology and GKN’s engineering and manufacturing leadership, promises to enable the production of millions of high-quality, low-cost 3D-printed final parts.“

In the first half of 2019, customers will be able to receive industrial-grade parts in higher quantities. GKN will produce parts using HP Metal Jet to ensure the highest standards of engineering and production quality. GKN Powder Metallurgy will be the only partner using the HP Metal Jet within the automotive and industrial market until the machine becomes generally available in 2020. For more information about this partnership, visit https://www.gkn.com/hp. To connect with GKN Powder Metallurgy at IMTS, join them at Booth #121602.

GKN Powder Metallurgy is your full metal shapes solutions provider, shaping powder metal into high performance and high precision components. We provide leading powder metal expertise and process experience to transform ideas into production. The company consists of GKN Hoeganaes, GKN Sinter Metals, and GKN Additive to provide powder materials, conventional components, and Additive Manufacturing production. We combine three focused businesses under one brand. Together we are over 7,400 problem solvers in over 34 locations, setting our global engineering network at the highest standard.

Contact
GKN Sinter Metals Engineering GmbH
Susanne Trautmann
Krebsöge 10
42477 Radevormwald
Phone: +49 (2289) 895980
E-Mail: Susanne.Trautmann@gkn.com
Url: https://www.gkn.com/hp