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Schaeffler Innovation Networks

Up-to-date information about our cooperations

Network of creative minds

26.06.2019 | Herzogenaurach. Around 50 companies, research institutes and universities presented innovative ideas and new technologies at the Schaeffler event Open Inspiration. Prof. Dr. Tim Hosenfeldt, Manager Innovation and Central Technology, opened the event and emphasized the importance of open exchange in the innovation process.

Innovation is an integral part of the "Schaeffler DNA" - this was clearly demonstrated by the Open Inspiration event. Employees from all Schaeffler departments visited the innovation fair at the Schaeffler Conference Center in Herzogenaurach and discovered new technologies and promising ideas presented by the exhibitors. The contact to the external guests is quite heterogeneous: Some are suggested by colleagues, others are already partners of specific departments. In all cases, however, the aim is to create new and perhaps unexpected synergies. "The days of lone fighters are over. We have to network creative minds," explained Hosenfeldt. The creative minds who accepted the invitation to the conference centre ensured a vivid exchange, tested prototypes and took a close look at ideas. It is precisely this curiosity that makes Schaeffler successful, emphasized Hosenfeldt.

Open Inspiration took place for the third time and has already produced a wide range of projects and cooperations between exhibitors and Schaeffler. Thinking outside the box and interdisciplinary networks are important for driving innovation within the company.

Closing event "Product Development and Design Project"

05.02.2019 | Herzogenaurach. In the winter term 2018/19, Schaeffler provided the task for the Product Development and Design Project (KoPra) at the Chair of Engineering Design (KTmfk) at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Around 130 students were working in 16 teams to develop an optimized steering and control system for the Schaeffler eBoard.

To solve the task at hand, the students had to learn about a product environment that was largely unknown, find solutions to abstract problems and use a methodical approach to design the system. Working in a team under time pressure and the constructive design according to customer specifications has been a challenge for all participants but prepared them optimally for a job in engineering.

At the closing event ("Customer Closing Presentation") on February 5, 2019 at the Schaeffler Auditorium in Herzogenaurach, all teams presented their innovative solutions. A jury consisting of employees from Schaeffler and KTmfk evaluated the presentations according to the following criteria:

- Concept

- Design

- Draft

- Overall technical solution

- Final presentation

The variety of solutions and the creativity of the teams were impressive. The overall technical solution of team "Alva Engineering" was most convincing and was awarded the "ENmfk KoPra Prize" worth €300. Team "Turn" received the audience award for the best final presentation.

Digitalization & E-Mobility: PhD Day 2018

27.09.2018 | Herzogenaurach. On 27 September 2018, the first Innovation Networks PhD Day took place in Herzogenaurach. Around 50 SHARE employees, PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and professors from the four SHARE universities used the opportunity to exchange ideas with Schaeffler experts on current research topics. The event focused on digitalization and electromobility.

PhD students and Schaeffler employees from various departments gave insights into the latest trends emerging in the session "Digitalization/Industry 4.0". The presented projects included Big Data, Machine Monitoring, Additive Manufacturing, AR/VR Technology and Artifical Intelligence/Deep Learning, where the participants discussed current opportunities and challenges. In the next session on "E-Mobility", attendees could learn about new steering concepts, transport solutions and the current status of battery development. In particular, the transfer of technology from the SHARE network to R&D at Schaeffler was highlighted - a central task of the Schaeffler Hub for Advanced Research, short SHARE.

Guest speaker and founder Christopher Waldner gave innovative impulses. He spoke about intrapreneurship and opened the subsequent panel discussion with representatives of Schaeffler, the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Zollhof. The term intrapreneurship is composed of the two English words "Intracorporate" and "Entrepreneurship" and describes the entrepreneurial thinking and acting of employees in companies.

With high-speed to new insights: Researchers receive thermographic camera from Schaeffler

21.03.2018 | Herzogenaurach. Laser melting technology enables the manufacture of metal components which can later be applied in the aerospace engineering or in the medical technology. Especially, when it comes to prototype or special model building, this method is used. However, the complex physics behind this additive technology is lacking comprehensive understanding. Researchers from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) want to change this by means of a high speed thermographic camera. Schaeffler has donated the device to the Institute of Photonic Technologies (Lehrstuhl für Photonische Technologien – LPT) at the FAU.

A great contribution to future manufacturing technologies
The department of digital image processing at Schaeffler’s special purpose machine engineering unit with the new head office in Erlangen has been using the camera for its own experiments for a c couple of years – now many scientific projects can benefit from use of the camera because of the strong network of the Institute. The Graduate School of Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT) and the established cooperation with Schaeffler in form of the Hub for Advanced Research (SHARE) at FAU with the focus on digitization of processes in production, in product & service and society models belong to the network. “We are very glad that research at FAU can benefit from the high-tech camera. Precise and reliable data and knowledge derived from them is fundamental in the digital age. In this way, we are making a great contribution to future manufacturing technologies”, said the Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tim Hosenfeldt, Head of Technology Strategy und Innovation at Schaeffler who has donated the camera to the Ordinary of the Institute, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Schmidt.

Deeper insights into physical interactions are needed
At the Institute there are five groups for medical technology, sensor technology, simulation, ultrashort pulse laser technology and 3D printing are searching for applications of photonics and basics of interaction between light and matter. In particular, the special research area 814 at the FAU is looking forward to using the high speed thermographic camera: “We are doing research on the laser-based 3D printing and because of the high frame rate of 20 kHz we expect a better process understanding and the systems & control engineering of tomorrow”, said Tobias Kolb, a member of the 3D printing research group.

In order to promote the consistent development of future technologies, Schaeffler invests especially in research and development. For this reason, the company cooperates with universities, startups and Fraunhofer Institutes worldwide. Together with Schaeffler’s strengths and empirical values ideas can be efficiently developed further into marketable products and services. In 2017 Schaeffler disclosed almost 2.400 inventions: Currently having 26.000 patents and invention disclosures, the company belongs to the innovation leaders in the industry.

Click here for more information about the Institute of PhotonicTechnologies:

https://www.lpt.tf.fau.eu/

Schaeffler expands its cooperation with Southwest Jiaotong University

22.09.2017 | Herzogenaurach/Chengdu. Schaeffler is broadening its cooperation in the research and development of axlebox bearings for railway vehicles by adding a research team on the campus of Chinese Southwest Jiaotong University. As a world leader in the area of innovation, Schaeffler is therefore consistent in expanding its collaboration with universities, institutes, and research facilities.

Schaeffler has once again expanded its global footprint at universities by officially inaugurating a Schaeffler Hub for Advanced Research (SHARE) at Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU). This cooperation with one of the most important universities in the area of railway engineering worldwide is for the purpose of researching and developing axlebox bearings for railway vehicles. Back in 2016, Schaeffler signed a cooperation agreement with the university to establish a joint research laboratory.

“The challenges posed to future mobility outside the cities are immense as interurban traffic increases. Schaeffler has been serving the industry for over ten decades with our competence in manufacturing bearings for the railway sector. The cooperation with SWJTU will enable us to design new solutions for the interurban mobility of tomorrow by combining the research capacities of the university with our mechatronic competence and system expertise in the predictive maintenance of axlebox bearings,” said Professor Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler AG, on the occasion of the opening ceremony. Professor Gutzmer will also be serving as a guest professor at SWJTU in the future.

SHARE at SWJTU is therefore part of Schaeffler’s global innovation network – along with the company-on-campus concepts of SHARE at FAU (Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), SHARE at KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), and recently opened SHARE at NTU (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore). The different cooperations cover the future opportunities that Schaeffler has defined for itself. Whereas the focus of the research conducted by SHARE at FAU is on digitalization and production connectivity, SHARE at KIT on electric mobility and lightweight design, and SHARE at NTU on personal urban mobility, SHARE at SWJTU is specializing in interurban mobility – especially railway transportation.

Looking to the future, both Schaeffler and SWJTU expect the cooperation to go beyond the current ongoing research projects and extend to areas such as academic exchanges and talent development.

Collaboration between Schaeffler and FAU

22.07.2016 | Herzogenaurach. “Schaeffler Hub for Advanced Research at Friedrich-Alexander University”, or SHARE at FAU for short – is the name of the new collaborative research project between Schaeffler and the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).

The cooperation agreement with FAU, which was signed on July 22, enables intensive collaboration with Schaeffler. Research topics will be examined in the context of an industrialization at an early stage thanks to the presence of the automotive and industrial supplier from Herzogenaruach at the campus (Company on Campus concept). Suitable rooms can be rented on campus at short notice. A special advantage is that both partners can bundle expertise and infrastructure such as test stands, laboratories, and knowledge networks.

“Schaeffler and FAU have already successfully carried out joint projects over the last few years. With this collaborative research project, we will lay a solid and long-term foundation for increased cooperation”, said Professor Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler AG. The start of the collaboration project took place in January, when Professor Dr. Joachim Hornegger, President of the Friedrich-Alexander University, visited Herzogenaurach with 10 other professors for a joint exchange. The initial ideas were developed during this meeting.

For Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, the new dimension of the collaboration with Schaeffler is also an important step for the profile of FAU in terms of digitalization: “The innovation processes are changing very rapidly in today’s world. Companies are increasingly using the innovative potential of universities and research institutions to strengthen their own research & development”, explained Hornegger. “With a major partner like Schaeffler and SHARE at FAU, we will be able to create a highly attractive research environment in Franconia for engineers, economists, humanities scholars, social scientists and system-oriented scientists, from which both partners and the entire region will benefit. I am delighted that our joint plans are gaining momentum.”

SHARE at FAU will be structured in a similar way to SHARE at KIT (The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). This collaboration project, which was established at the end of 2012, has, among other things, the objective of developing joint solutions for future mobility. In terms of content, the topics should complement the development at the KIT. The focus of the research undertaken by SHARE at FAU is on the digitalization and processes in production, the product, services and business model.

Research work will start during the course of this year. Both partners want to process around ten joint projects during the startup phase. “The two partners will benefit due to the close cooperation between people from industry and science. I am convinced that SHARE at FAU will become a talent factory for innovation in the digital environment, explained Prof. Dr. Tim Hosenfeldt, Director of Corporate Innovation at Schaeffler.

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