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  • Sample plate with artificial defects. Left: Measurement data. Right: Classification by algorithm
    © Fraunhofer IFAM

    Sample plate with artificial defects. Left: Measurement data. Right: Classification by algorithm

    Manual inspection processes for quality assurance are often opposed to an economic optimization of process steps. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning can overcome these hurdles and significantly increase the quality of the end product as well as the production speed. In addition, knowledge-based algorithms enable targeted knowledge transfer to support employees as well as new digital business models.

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  • The machining of large components by huge machining centers is often a bottleneck in production. In this case, process control is spatially limited to the size of the plant and restricted in flexibility by the design principle. This is avoided by using mobile industrial robots (IR). Moreover, when using CNC-controlled robots, existing programs can continue to be used. The disadvantage of conventional IRs, however, is their lower accuracy compared to a processing machine, which has so far not allowed the required processing tolerances to be maintained.

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    POWERPASTE: The hydrogen storage solution for everyone.

    As a versatile energy carrier, hydrogen will play a key role in the long-term success of the energy transition and in climate protection. In addition to climate policy aspects, hydrogen and fuel cell technologies pave the way for many sustainable jobs, new value chains, and a global market worth billions. With this in mind, Fraunhofer IFAM is developing innovative materials, manufacturing technologies, and technical components so that technical systems for the production, distribution, storage, and use of hydrogen can become more efficient, robust, safe, and economical.

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    Energy sector coupling for the energy transition.

    The German government has formulated clear targets for all areas of the energy transition. The energy supply is to be increasingly switched to renewable energies and used more efficiently. In addition to the focus on electricity generation, the sectors of heat and mobility towards renewable energies offer great potential. In order to analyze the interaction of the three sectors, adapted methods and tools are required.

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  • COUNTERING DIFFUSION AND EMBRITTLEMENT IN THE STORAGE AND TRANSPORT OF HYDROGEN | Green hydrogen will play a decisive role in a successful energy transition. The development of new hydrogen technologies requires techniques and processes that enable the safe production, storage, distribution and use of hydrogen. Central material science challenges are the diffusion of hydrogen and the associated embrittlement of used material. The "Plasma Technology and Surfaces" department at Fraunhofer IFAM is researching how surfaces can be protected against this diffusion and embrittlement by treatment with plasmas or lasers. The focus is on internal coatings for tanks and pipes, but possible applications for electrolysers, bipolar plates, and fuel cells are also being investigated.

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  • AI-CONTROLLED PROCESS MONITORING IN SURFACE PRETREATMENT WITH PLASMA AND LASER TECHNOLOGY | Pretreatment with plasma technology and decoating with laser techniques are precision processes for preparing component surfaces for further processing in the process chain, e.g. for bonding or painting. The slightest fluctuations in process parameters or starting materials can have serious consequences, even leading to component failure. Surface pretreatment processes must therefore be extremely controlled. To counteract process fluctuations, IFAM is researching into making these processes self-adjusting using optical and acoustic monitoring methods in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) and thus making them safer.

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  • THE USE OF LASER AND PLASMA TECHNOLOGY FOR BIOTRANSFORMED SURFACES | Laser and plasma techniques are well researched processes that find wide application in industrial surface treatment in order to clean surfaces or to selectively provide them with properties and functions. These techniques can also be used to engage a biological transformation of production processes and manufacturing methods. In concrete terms, this means that living systems are integrated into technical systems in order to optimize them, equip them with new functions, and make them more stable in the long term. At Fraunhofer IFAM, research is currently being carried out in various areas into how laser and plasma technologies enable and promote the integration of organisms on surfaces.

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  • INTELLIGENT POLYMER NETWORKS ENABLE RESHAPING, RECYCLING AND BIODEGRADATION OF MATERIALS | Polymeric materials can be used in many ways and are characterized by their lightweight and mechanical properties. To increase the lightweight potential, plastics are reinforced with fibers to form fiber composites. However, due to consumer pressure and regulations, companies are increasingly looking for environmentally friendly and recyclable material substitutes for conventional polymeric materials and composites. For several years, Fraunhofer IFAM has been researching switchable thermosetting materials as a promising alternative.

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    Sustainable products through the use of new polymers

    IDENTIFYING THE INNOVATION AND MARKET POTENTIAL OF NEW MATERIALS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS MADE FROM PLASTICS | It is impossible to imagine our world without plastics. Nevertheless, products made from plastics must be designed sustainably. One way of achieving more environmentally compatible products is the use of new biobased or biodegradable materials. Fraunhofer IFAM researches the potential of new materials for plastics manufacturing and processing companies. If necessary, the researchers work out different options for action and evaluate them from the point of view of materials science, production technology, economics, and above all ecology.

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    Sustainable products through the use of new polymers

    SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS THROUGH THE USE OF NEW POLYMERS | Companies are feeling pressure from consumers and policymakers to manufacture their high-quality and semi-finished products sustainably. The first step towards a better life cycle assessment is often to replace existing plastics with new polymers, which are bio-based and/or biodegradable. Fraunhofer IFAM supports companies in finding a material solution that is both sustainable and economical through market analysis, material evaluation, and material development.

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