ARENA2036 introduces research findings
At a 2-day event the initiative ARENA2036 shows its research findings so far and discusses the future of mobility. Balluff and further project partners offer a view of tomorrow's production.
Having concluded the first project phase, the members of ARENA2036 are presenting current research and development projects. The event on February 22 was attended by about 800 visitors at the research campus of the University of Stuttgart in Vaihingen, including high-profile guests from politics, economics and science. The four pillars of the technical exhibition were mobility, digitalization, work and production of tomorrow. The emphasis was on how greatly intertwined these four areas are. "By exchanging individual project results, innovations for other research areas arise as well, and new technologies are developed," explains Dr. Thomas Meißner, Research Coordinator at Balluff.
Together with other project partners in the focus world Production2036 Balluff showed how the production processes of the future will work. At a joint booth the research group depicted the future everyday life of a production worker. "Individuality will play an increasing role in the future: specific customer solutions will arise from modular processes. This requires an exact knowledge of all the production process data," explains Michael Unger, Managing Director at Balluff. Accordingly Balluff showed how RFID systems are used to manage the data while at the same time automatically identifying and tracking objects.
The initiative ARENA2036 was founded by seven members in 2013, with 31 partners from economics and science now working closely together at the research campus and developing joint innovations for the mobility of the future. Balluff has been part of the initiative since last November. In the second project phase which has just commenced Balluff is bringing its know-how in the areas of sensor technology and automation. "The production of tomorrow will be modular and adaptable. This is why it will be absolutely necessary to have all the information for the production process at one's disposal," notes Meißner. "For us this means that the demands on our sensors will also change," as the research coordinator from Balluff explains the consequences for his company.
The sensor and automation specialist is meeting these challenges in two research projects. For one, Balluff intends to develop adaptable sensors which can be used flexibly for different purposes and application conditions. The second project focuses on the intelligent and secure identification of 3D printed components. "We want to turn simple components into smart parts," says Meißner.
ARENA2036, with its research campus representing the largest research platform for mobility in Germany, promotes completely new forms of cooperation between economics and science. "The on-site cooperation and joint development work are extremely valuable for each of us. Being able to exchange ideas and respond to wishes and trends at such an early stage is a huge advantage," emphasizes Meißner. "ARENA2036 makes it possible for us to cooperate with industry and science to develop pathfinding solutions for the automobile production of the future," as Unger summarizes the value of the innovation platform.
überMORGEN was the official ceremony for invited guests. Today, on February 23rd, the research campus opens the doors to a wider public under the slogan "Experience the future". Employees from the partner companies, students as well as an interested public are cordially invited to come and learn about the research projects and the work at the campus.
Founded in 1921 in Neuhausen a.d.F., Balluff employs 3600 people worldwide and represents innovative technology, quality and cross-industry experience in industrial automation. As a leading sensor and automation specialist, the family-owned company in its fourth generation offers a comprehensive portfolio of innovative sensor, identification and network technologies and software for integrated system solutions.
In 2016 Balluff Group reported revenues of around EUR 378 million Euros. In addition to the main headquarters in Neuhausen a. d. F. Balluff has sales, production and development locations around the world and can boast 37 wholly owned subsidiaries and other representatives in 68 countries. This guarantees customers swift worldwide product availability and a high standard of local support and service.