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Lead application: Process-oriented sensor and actuator technology and self-adapting components

A major trend in production technology is the development of hybrid processes and self-optimizing systems. Status information should be obtained as close as possible to the process, interventions should also be carried out as close as possible to the point of action. Thanks to their ability to integrate structures, smart materials are particularly suitable for use in this area. Their material properties also predestine them for self-adapting machine components that react autonomously to changing conditions.


Lead application: Alternative actuators for automation components

Conventional actuators such as electromagnets are increasingly reaching their limits in terms of miniaturization, energy efficiency and dynamics. Smart materials offer the possibility to dissolve this limit and to establish substitute or integrative products.


Lead application: Flexible production systems

Increasing individualization and decreasing batch sizes are forcing manufacturers to make production systems more flexible. Actuator-sensor components made of smart materials can replace or supplement classic components. Due to maximum miniaturization and simultaneously growing functional range, they can be placed directly at the interface between workpiece and tool, thus enabling direct intervention options in interface design.


Smart Production

Components for production systems and processes


Tool-integrated chipping process monitoring

Growing complexity in production processes requires growing accuracy of process parameters. Even minor deviation may cause instable processes which leads to a decline in productivity and quality. Moreover, the effort for reaching stable fabrication increases significantly.

Using the example of chipping, SensoTool develops an active regulation of process parameters. Thus, process variations can be corrected instantly. Process parameters as feed or cutting rate can be updated in real-time. Thus, the process always is within the optimal range, productivity and quality can be improved, waste can be avoided. Main parameters for evaluating the processes are cutting force and tool temperature. These will be measured directly at the tool and transferred to the machine control, which realises the process intervention.


  • Development and characterization of suitable piezoelectric film systems (PZT, AIN)
  • Concept development for integrating sensor technology and electronics into the tool
  • Development of an RFID based transfer of measured data and supply energy
  • Testing of single components
  • System integration and installation of several demonstrators
  • Testing of the system in production processes
  • Consideration of cost effectiveness and value chains