Campus FES

In December 2013, the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB and the Siemens AG founded the Campus „Future Energy Systems“. It serves as a common platform for the research partnership. The goal of the partnership is to increase sustainability, reliability as well as cost effectiveness of future energy systems.

Partnership Agreement between FAU and Siemens

Within the framework of the agreement, we tackle tomorrow’s challenges. By developing comprehensive innovations in the field of process- and systems engineering, we contribute to the energy system transformation. Market-ready solutions are either integrated into the Siemens portfolio or transformed into start-up businesses. Bilateral research as well as public funded research and projects together with Siemens customers are carried out. Furthermore, we elaborate position papers on topics such as power supply and the energy market as recommendations for government policy and society. Within the scope of Campus FES activities, extensive Ph.D. and Post-Doc programs are in place to promote Germany as a business and science location.

Campus „Future Energy Systems“ as an outstanding research collaboration

Besides FAU and the Siemens Corporate Technology, further partners of the Campus FES are: Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm (ELSYS Institut für leistungselektronische Systeme), Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, Bayerisches Zentrum für Angewandte Energieforschung (ZAE Bayern) and the  Energie Campus Nürnberg (EnCN). The first batch of research topics were „green synthesis of chemical energy carriers by means of renewable energy“, “Plasma gasification of biomass”, “Energy storage technologies”, “Power electronics and converters”, and “Energy efficient drives and generators”.

Future Electronic Manufacturing and Materials

In a continuous race for higher productivity in combination with a need for reduced time to market electronics production in times of Industry 4.0 has to handle four major challenges:

1.  Made to order at high mix low volume

As seen in consumer markets, the demand for personalized goods will merge into the industrial electronics sector. Electronic manufacturers will streamline their complete supply and value chain to offer increasingly agile services and solutions. Additive manufacturing will also be used throughout the assembly and test processes to realize on-demand customer specific production.

2.  Big Data vs. Smart Data

Smart Data technology will be used to permanently monitor the performance of every process and piece of equipment within the production area to ensure that processes are under control and minimize failures. Based upon the data and the deployment of artificial intelligence closed loops will keep the processes in the required tolerances. Should a failure occur, the machine will have already alerted the production team as well as the equipment supplier responsible for maintenance and required spare parts will have been ordered.

3.  Smart Technologies and Materials

Intelligence will be built into electronic and electro-mechanical assemblies – the printed circuit board. Along with the part number of the bare board, build documentation for the final assembly will be stored in the circuit itself. As the product passes through the stages of production, operators will be able to call up the next set of construction guidance relevant to their work.

4.  Collaborative Working

A much greater use of collaborative robots (co-bots) will appear within the production. Electronic manufacturers have started to invest heavily in co-bots and the use in a wide range of applications will increase massively. Co-Bots offer high flexibility in automation, rather low invest and short set-up times. Examples of their use will include loading of SMT* components onto feeders and ‘hand placing’ components that cannot be picked by SMT equipment.

Digital Platforms in the manufacturing industries

Current situation

There is currently no clear, consistent understanding of terms such as digital platform, platform economy, platform business models or IoT platform. In end-user-related application areas (B2C), so-called “platforms” are the basis for successful applications, new business models and disruption.

Problem statement

To what extent, however, strategies, concepts and solutions can be transferred from the B2C sector to the B2B sector must be fundamentally questioned. B2C platform applications are strongly characterized by many one-off transactions that are brokered via platforms, while business relationships in B2B are more characterized by “long-lasting” rather than “ad hoc” relationships.

Solution approach

The objective is a systematic search and delineation of relevant terminology mentioned in the context of digital platforms, and a precise definition of the different types of platforms and the corresponding scope und demarcation. On this basis, the added value of platforms in the B2B area in form of a value proposition is to be worked out and explained based on successful platform solutions observable in the market.

Next Generation Power Electronics and Manufacturing

Future of Power-Electronics - Cause-and-Effect Chain

Power-electronics of today is strongly affected by three fundamental trends:

  • Worldwide electrification and automation

  • Reduction of energy consumption and CO2-Emission

  • Miniaturization by high degree integration

This leads to severe demands on power-electronics with regards to improved reliability, increased efficiency, additional functionalities associated with an increase in power density and challenges for the thermal management. Power-modules are the core of power-electronic devices like an inverter for motor/drive applications or for power converters.

Future packaging and assembly technologies of power-modules have to fulfill the increased requirements like improved power- and temperature cycling stability, low inductive interconnects and improved temperature stability. In the end this has clearly consequences for the right technology and manufacturing approaches. So future development work will focus on topics like improved CTE-adaption, copper as preferred material instead of aluminum, interconnects without bondwires, the application of Wide-Bandgap-Semiconductors, thermal management, high-temperature materials for packaging and assembly and new functionalities like condition monitoring

Future of Robotics in Automation Systems

Robotics has already significantly changed automation. More and more industrial robots are being used, as they can perform increasingly complex tasks quickly and efficiently. Robotic machining provides more flexibility that can distinctly improve efficiency on the shop floor.

In the context of industry 4.0, autonomous and interactive robot systems are becoming even more important. Aside from already implemented solutions, new applications will be realized in a near future. For those new scenarios novel robotic systems and approaches will be needed that integrate machine learning with the power of innovative cinematic concepts.

The future of robotics in automation systems is characterized by hybrid robot systems. Using nature as a model and inspiration, these robots feature both extremely stiff and compliant actuators. Due to higher flexibility and extended capabilities, it is possible to accomplish diverse and complex tasks autonomously, by being precise when needed and compliant when robustly interacting in rapidly changing environments.

Our Partners

  • Siemens
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
  • Technische Hochschule Nürnberg Georg Simon Ohm
  • Energie Campus Nürnberg
  • Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft
  • Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)