In Berlin Adlershof, the paths between research and industry are often very short
InSystems Automation GmbH is growing in line with the demand for autonavigating transport robots, and today over sixty experts are working for this specialised machine builder. In December 2017, the company relocated to a new office building in Adlershof commissioned by ZeSys e.V., a centre promoting the use of embedded systems and operating as an interface between research and development.
The neighbours are helping along what had been planned anyway: InSystems and ZeSys are embarking on a close technology partnership. “The ZeSys alignment and targets are the perfect complement to our strategy,” explained InSystems Managing Director Torsten Gast, and Project Manager Jan Stefan Zernickel added: “Together we are currently developing a number of research projects for optimising assembly and MMI processes. We’re delighted that we can access the core expertise of ZeSys in software development and data analysis.” Transport robots made by InSystems Automation are deployed in warehouses, for the transport of tools between machines, and in shipping preparations. “We were busy on intelligent automation solutions long before Industry 4.0 became a modern watchword,” explained Zernickel. In Adlershof, the paths between science and industrial practice are short. Khalid Kallow, R&D Project Manager at ZeSys, is full of praise for the possibilities being created at this location. “We are convinced that both parties will soon benefit from additional incentives for joint research assignments and fast transfer to the field.”
These onsite synergies also benefit LTB Lasertechnik Berlin GmbH, a highly innovative family enterprise that develops and manufactures short-pulse nitrogen lasers and echelle spectrometers for quantitative material analyses. LTB measuring systems are contactless quantifiers of elemental chemical constituents. “In November 2016, LTB asked us to develop software for real-time quality analysis in the industrial production of semifinished metal products,” recalled Silvia Schwochow of GFaI e. V., a promoter of applied computer sciences. This nonprofit research institute is only a couple of streets away from LTB. The innovations of industrial partners are being supported by the applications-oriented research of 110 employees. In cooperation with LTB, GFaI has developed a database-assisted control station software package that processes the spectroscopic data supplied by a LIBS system and analyses these according to customers’ specifications. LIBS, or laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, is a versatile, contactless, and virtually nondestructive real-time spectroscopic method for measuring solid, liquid, and gaseous samples.
The data are then visualised on a graphical interface permitting immediate conclusions on the sample’s elemental constituents. “An important client’s assignment for a quality assurance solution in a large scale assembly of wrought metallic material made it necessary to very quickly develop a software for an industrial operation“, explained David Mory, Head of Research and Development at LTB. “The expertise and resources needed for this I sought and found at GFaI. And of course, its proximity also played a key role.”
By Mirko Heinemann for Adlershof Special