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SUPRA - Sustainable Production by Automation
About SUPRA

News

01. May 2024 - Welcome to the team

We are pleased to be starting the second year of Phase 1 strengthened with 23 network partners and warmly welcome our 7 new partners.

With DeSonic GmbH, we have a long-established partner in the field of ultrasonic cleaning systems and water-based cleaning systems in standard and special system construction. From the ultrasonic generator to the fully automatic cleaning system, the company serves everything from a single source and from its own production and relies on innovative systems for optimal operation and control.

As a specialist in the production of inductors, cutting tools, tools for processing cables and plastic pipes as well as progressive sports equipment, GBZ Mannheim GmbH & Co. KG supports our common network vision. Tools, products and related services are designed, developed, manufactured and supported for a wide range of application areas in mechanical engineering and the sports industry.

As an engineering service provider and contract manufacturer, H+E Produktentwicklung GmbH offers solutions for a wide range of industries. These include, among others, tool and mold making, appliance, household and medical technology, aerospace, automotive and special machine construction. H+E GmbH's portfolio includes research and development, simulation, prototype production, post-processing, testing and documentation. Manufacturing processes for machining and additive component production are combined. As a new partner, he complements the network with comprehensive knowledge of post-processing and surface refinement of additively manufactured components.

The Professur BWL3 – Unternehmensrechnung und Controlling The Professorship of Business Administration 3 – Corporate Accounting and Controlling focuses on strategic management, investment accounting, cost accounting, cost management, cost-oriented product development, controlling and general management techniques. In the network, the focus is on the economic viability of products, processes and services, with economic aspects being given particular consideration in the goal triangle of sustainability. The professorship is of great importance as a cross-sectional partner in all lines of development.

The Sächsische Textilforschungsinstitut e.V. (STFI) has been an important innovation partner and service provider for its customers for 30 years. It addresses technical and social questions with an open, interdisciplinary and reliable approach. The institute's work focuses on the areas of technical textiles, nonwovens, lightweight textile construction, functionalization, recycling, digitalization and Industry 4.0. In addition, the STFI has many years of experience and expertise in testing and certifying personal protective equipment (PPE) and geosynthetics. In the future, the STFI is increasingly focusing on contemporary and application-oriented research by establishing the Center for Textile Sustainability. As an affiliated institute of Chemnitz University of Technology , the STFI strengthens interdisciplinary collaboration through its membership in the network and opens up new fields of application along the textile value chain.

We are also pleased to work with SECO/WARWICK S.A and Lumel Alucast Sp. z o.o. to welcome two new Polish partners to the network.

SECO/WARWICK S.A. offers precise and energy-efficient vacuum systems as well as other solutions for heat treatment and metallurgy. With over 50 years of experience, the company serves various industries including aerospace, automotive and medical. Through close collaboration with network partners, the needs of the industry are identified at an early stage in order to develop future-proof products and services.

Lumel Alucast Sp. z o.o. is a leading manufacturer of high pressure aluminum castings with over 70 years of experience. They offer complete solutions from design to assembly and serve various industries such as automotive and lighting. Their modern machinery and innovative technologies make it possible to identify the needs of the industry at an early stage and develop future-proof products, including automated processes and real-time object recognition.

22.-23. April 2024 – 1. Entrepreneur trip to Poland

  • German-Polish delegation from the first entrepreneurial trip at dinner in the Winny Dworek winery. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
    German-Polish delegation from the first entrepreneurial trip at dinner in the Winny Dworek winery. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
  • In the Hermes Fulfillment distribution and returns center, we were able to experience state-of-the-art intralogistics automation solutions. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
    In the Hermes Fulfillment distribution and returns center, we were able to experience state-of-the-art intralogistics automation solutions. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
  • Prof. Wojciech Strzyżewski, Rector of the University of Zielona Góra, took the time for a personal reception in the Rectorate. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
    Prof. Wojciech Strzyżewski, Rector of the University of Zielona Góra, took the time for a personal reception in the Rectorate. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
  • Prof. Slawomir Klos and Vice-Rector Prof. Justyna Patalas-Maliszewska led us through the new laboratory halls of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
    Prof. Slawomir Klos and Vice-Rector Prof. Justyna Patalas-Maliszewska led us through the new laboratory halls of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
  • At the Swiebodzin plant of the international group Adient, we experienced the partially automated production of seat frames in the automotive sector. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
    At the Swiebodzin plant of the international group Adient, we experienced the partially automated production of seat frames in the automotive sector. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden
  • We took the opportunity to visit our new network member, SECO Warwick S.A. Photo: SECO Warwick S.A.
    We took the opportunity to visit our new network member, SECO Warwick S.A. Photo: SECO Warwick S.A.
  • Modern vacuum furnaces for heat treatment in various industries. Photo: SECO Warwick S.A.
    Modern vacuum furnaces for heat treatment in various industries. Photo: SECO Warwick S.A.

On April 22 and 23, 2024, we organized our first entrepreneurial trip to Poland, to the Lubusz Voivodeship, to promote cooperation between partners and open up new entrepreneurial perspectives. Over two very intensive days, we took the opportunity to exchange ideas on a professional and cultural level to build a long-term, trusting partnership. The focus of everyone involved was the development of multilateral cooperation and international research projects, which was achieved in the abundance of personal discussions between the Polish and German participants. The cross-border funding opportunities of the “Central Innovation Program for SMEs” (ZIM) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection make establishing German-Polish contacts attractive for companies.

The program included company visits to the newly built Hermes Fulfillment logistics center in Iłowa, the automotive supplier Adient in Swiebodzin and the industrial furnace manufacturer Seco/Warwick . We were also personally welcomed by Prof. Wojciech Strzyżewski, Rector of the University of Zielona Góra , and shown around the newly built mechanical engineering laboratory. At dinner at the Winny Dvorek winery, on whose hills Alexander von Humboldt historically spent his summers, we were all able to convince ourselves of the culinary advantages of Poland.

Die vielen guten Gespräche, persönlichen Worte und die Diskussion neuer Ideen haben uns vorangebracht. Wir werden nun die verschiedenen Handlungsstränge zusammenführen und sie beim nächsten Netzwerktreffen weiter vertiefen.

01. February 2024 – 3rd Network meeting

  • Old and new network partners quickly got talking in the new premises of BMF GmbH. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
    Old and new network partners quickly got talking in the new premises of BMF GmbH. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
  • Presentation of the results of the feasibility study of the company 3D-Metall Theobald by the CEO Mr. Theobald. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
    Presentation of the results of the feasibility study of the company 3D-Metall Theobald by the CEO Mr. Theobald. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
  • Karol Dabrowksi, Head of the Center for Enterprise and Technology Transfer at the University of Zielona Gora, presented the range of services on offer. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
    Karol Dabrowksi, Head of the Center for Enterprise and Technology Transfer at the University of Zielona Gora, presented the range of services on offer. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
  • Mr. Bernstein, CEO of BMF GmbH, showed the new innovations of his blasting system Twister. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm
    Mr. Bernstein, CEO of BMF GmbH, showed the new innovations of his blasting system Twister. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Matthias Rehm

The SUPRA network recently gathered at the new premises of BMF GmbH in Grüna to take a look at the future of blasting technology. The new production hall not only offered a pleasant atmosphere, but also the opportunity to visit BMF GmbH's state-of-the-art production facilities. The network partners discussed the technological roadmap and jointly developed the project ideas further. With the results of his feasibility study, Mr. Theobald (CEO of 3D-Metall Theobald) initiated an interesting discussion on the potential of additive fine printing and opened the way for further cooperation. Another important contribution to strengthening international cooperation and the exchange of innovations between Germany and Poland was made by Mr. Dabrowksi, Head of the Centre for Enterprise and Technology Transfer at the University of Zielona Gora, in his brief presentation. In the concluding tour of the company, CEO Mr. Bernstein and Mr. Krause, Sales Manager for blasting systems, provided interesting insights into the sustainable energy concept of the entire production site and presented new innovations in blasting technology. The SUPRA network once again set an example for the importance of cooperation and intercultural exchange in the modern business world.

08. December 2023 - 1st workshop on the topic of “Circular Economy Act, Landfill Ordinance and CO2 accounting according to the GHG protocol”

g>Ms. Prof. Marlen Gabriele Arnold led the workshop. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Norman Meisinger

Ms. Prof. Marlen Gabriele Arnold from the Professorship of Corporate Environmental Economics and Sustainability informed network partners and external guests about the topic of “Circular Economy Act, Landfill Ordinance and CO2 Accounting according to the GHG Protocol” at the first workshop of the SUPRA network. The participants were offered a wide range of content, from the circular economy law to the amendment of the landfill regulations. The contents of the GreenhouseGas Protocol (GHG Protocol) were also roughly outlined. The diverse questions and their answers were particularly important. In particular, the challenges of data collection, data processing, the quantifiable advantages of individual measures and the effects of setting observation limits were discussed lively and demonstrated the difficulties in practical application with regard to CO2 accounting.

29. - 30. November 2023 - ZIM experience exchange and ZIM general assembly

g>Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. Franziska Brantner opened this year's ZIM Network General Assembly. Photo: BMWK/Peter-Paul Weiler

Once again this year, we took the opportunity to exchange ideas within the large circle of ZIM network managers and took part in the workshop "Kreativwerkstatt: Developing ideas for ecological innovations with design thinking" on November 29. During the group work, we learned about design thinking, an approach that leads to solving problems and developing new ideas through the application of creative techniques. The following day, we discussed innovations with a particular focus on conserving resources under the motto "Ecological innovations with ZIM innovation networks" at this year's annual ZIM network conference of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK). In exciting keynote speeches, we were inspired by the importance and possibilities of ecological innovations and gained new food for thought for more sustainable action. Thanks to numerous practical examples and the accompanying exhibition, we were presented with ideas and incentives for initiating new ecological innovation networks and projects. In a panel discussion, questions on sustainability, ecological innovations and the role of ZIM innovation networks were discussed from various perspectives.

26. – 30. November 2023 – SUPRA traveled to Japan with a delegation

  • Presentation of the SUPRA network and the Professorship of Production Systems and Processes at the German-Japanese Robotic Symposium 2023 in Tokyo. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Armin Schleinitz
  • Ms. Liu (l.) and Mr. Schleinitz (r.) at the German-Japanese Robotic Symposium 2023 in Tokyo. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Armin Schleinitz
  • Visit to the largest robotics trade fair in the world “iRex 2023”. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Armin Schleinitz

As part of the cluster marketing trip for players from the Saxon robotics and automation ecosystem, a delegation from associations, companies and representatives from the academic R&D sector visited Japan on a 4-day trip. SUPRA was also there! Organized by the Saxony Economic Development Agency and GERMAN TRADE & INVEST (GTAI), the delegation was provided with a comprehensive picture of the current political and economic situation in Japan, which was rounded off by cooperation with the German Embassy and the Japan Chamber of Foreign Commerce (AHK Japan). The trip also included the German-Japanese Robotic Symposium 2023 in Tokyo. Here Mr. Schleinitz introduced the SUPRA network and the Professorship of Production Systems and Processes at Chemnitz University of Technology and discussed future concepts in the field of robotics and automation as well as possible collaborations with the participants. The visit to various research institutions, companies and start-ups also provided a deep insight into the current trends in the Japanese robotics scene. Visiting iRex 2023, one of the largest robot exhibitions in the world, with a large joint GATI stand offered an excellent platform to talk to a wide range of stakeholders. Especially since this year’s motto of the leading trade fair “Sustainable Societies through Robotics” was entirely in line with SUPRA’s goals.

Many thanks to everyone involved and organizers for the successful substantive and intercultural exchange.

23. - 24. November 2023 - TUC Transition Days

All faculties at Chemnitz University of Technology were involved in the Transition Days. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Björn John

Sustainability is not only a central concern of our SUPRA network, but also of Chemnitz University of Technology as a whole. All faculties and numerous professorships are working intensively on topics for ecological, economic and social transformation. This regularly produces interesting approaches and results. Various initiatives seek sustainable solutions to complex problems with scientific curiosity.

In addition to research, there is also potential for expanding cooperation in the educational programs for students. The TUC Transition Days have served as an impulse and starting point to promote an intensified discussion and constructive cooperation in the field of research for the development and establishment of more sustainable, economically successful and socially viable approaches.

At the invitation of the organizers, we presented our ideas and initial projects that are currently being implemented. In the diverse discussions, we were able to broaden our perspective and reflect on the aspects of sustainability together with stakeholders from various disciplines. We are looking forward to the new lines of action and working together with new partners.

27. - 28. September 2023 - all about automation at the Chemnitz trade fair

Joint discussions with our network partner ARC solutions and 3D-Metall Theobald e. K. at the all about automation trade fair. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Armin Schleinitz

All about automation took place for the fourth time at the Chemnitz trade fair and can look back on increasing interest with more exhibitors, more visitors and more automation buzz than in the previous year. The 191 exhibitors also included two of our network partners. As a software system house, ARC solutions GmbH provided information about innovations in their software solutions for the manufacturing industry. 3D-Metall Theobald e. K. was also there and presented impressive additively manufactured exhibits and prototypes with remarkable attention to detail and surface quality to interested experts and practitioners. Of course, the network management visited its partners and found out about innovations in the industry. Once more the all about automation in Chemnitz underlines its importance as an automation meeting for Saxony and beyond.

31. August 2023 - 2nd Network meeting

The SUPRA network partners as guests at ibs Automation GmbH in the Chemnitz Kauffahrtei. Photo: ibs Automation GmbH

We were guests at ibs Automation GmbH in Chemnitz for the second network meeting on August 31, 2023. At the meeting, the network management provided information about current R&D project ideas, opportunities for national and international R&D funding and explored interesting common topics for workshops and other projects. In the spirit of networking, other companies and institutions have expressed interest in becoming a member of SUPRA. Two of them - H+E Produktentwicklung GmbH from Moritzburg and the Saxon Textile Research Institute from Chemnitz - took the opportunity to present their skills to the participants on this day. Tilo Sigmund, Managing Director of ibs Automation GmbH, then showed the guests around his company and invited them to exchange ideas over a snack.

06. July 2023 - Speech in the dialogue series of the Saxon Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Society

Together with the members of the Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz Society, Dr. Rehm discussed future concepts for circular production. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Camilo Zopp

In the spirit of "The TU Chemnitz in Carlowitz's footsteps and in the light of his legacy" sustainable approaches to solutions for tomorrow's world were the focus of a public forum in the dialogue series of the Saxon Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz Society. As part of the programme, in which several researchers from the TU Chemintz present current research projects on sustainability, Mr. Dr. Rehm spoke on "Ways to the circular production of cyber-physical products" at the Carlowitz Congress Centre in the Chemnitz Stadthalle.

05. July 2023 - Visit of the network partner SCHRÖDER DESIGN

Managing Director Hans-Werner Theobald (middle) guided us through the production. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Armin Schleinitz

In terms of sustainability, we used our business trip to Leipzig to talk to another new network partner, SCHRÖDER DESIGN, about initial project ideas in the sense of the SUPRA network. In the wonderful ambience of the House of Books, the managing director, Mr. Strahl, gave us a warm welcome and showed us around the premises. The numerous products and innovations from the field of product design showed the broad portfolio and the explanations of the underlying processes once again illustrated the high creative added value. We discussed the first starting points in the design of adaptive gripper systems for a variety of dismantling processes. Here in particular there are different stakeholders whose needs must be taken into account at an early stage and mirrored to one another.

05. July 2023 - Visit of the network partner 3D-Metall Theobald

Managing Director Hans-Werner Theobald (middle) guided us through the production. Photo: TU Chemnitz/Armin Schleinitz

We finally had the opportunity to meet our new network partner, 3D-Metall Theobald e.K. based in the Business and Innovation Center Leipzig. We were happy to accept the invitation and immediately felt at home in the innovative environment of additive manufacturing. The managing director, Mr. Theobald, impressively explained the extremely high level of optimized processes and procedures to us using a wide variety of workpieces made of bronze and stainless steel. Together we developed initial ideas and concepts for the use of 3D powder bed printing in the area of mold making. We look forward to further intensifying our collaboration!

04. Juli 2023 - Guest lecture by our international coordinator Prof. Patalas-Maliszewska

Prof. Patalas-Maliszewska in the circle of international students. Photo: Chemnitz University of Technology/Matthias Rehm

As part of the international transfer of knowledge and the promotion of young students, the international Polish coordinator of SUPRA, Frau Prof. Patalas-Maliszewska, gave a lecture to our international students of the "Advanced Manufacturing" course. As an expert in the field, she gave a lecture on information systems at the various company levels and illustrated this with a large number of interesting examples from industrial practice. There was a lively exchange with the students, especially in the area of the digital twin. We would like to thank Prof. Patalas-Maliszewska and are pleased about the invitation to the international student conference in Dabki, which you finally addressed to all students.

01. Juni 2023 - Kick Off

Consortium of the international cooperation network SUPRA. Source: TU Chemnitz/Katja Klöden

After the successful approval of our concept, we were very pleased to bring all network partners to one table for a first meeting for the Kick-Off on June 1st, 2023 in our premises at Chemnitz University of Technology. With a focus on sustainable automation solutions for small and medium-sized companies in the field of production technology, we discussed initial ideas that deal with the following topics:

  • Agile Manufacturing Processes and -systems
  • Environmental Economics in Production Engineering
  • Human-Machine-Robot Cooperation
  • Smart Data and Models
  • Machine Learning
  • Smart Materials and Structures

Of course, we used the breaks for interesting conversations over coffee, cake and snacks and addressed the central topics of sustainability, digitization, but also resilience and demographic change. Many thanks to all partners for the successful start - we look forward to forming the network together.

About the network

SUPRA, the international Network about SUstainable PRoduction by Automation, is a network funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the Central Innovation Program for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (ZIM), which is coordinated by the Chair of Machine Tools and Forming Technology. The network was founded in January 2019 with 14 members from industry and research.