The Future of Gearbox Production
The 7th FVA GETPRO International Conference on Gearbox Production takes a look into the future and opens its doors to an international audience for the first time
- More than 180 participants from 8 countries
- The effects of mobility transformation and Industry 4.0 on gearbox production
- The GETPRO conference addresses the topics of the future
Frankfurt am Main/Würzburg, Germany, 21.03.2019: More than 180 experts from research and industry attended the seventh GETPRO gearbox production conference, hosted by Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e. V. (FVA, the Research Association for Drive Technology). The central focus of the event on 19-20 March was the future of drivetrain production. The position of the German drive technology industry as a world market leader is based on innovation, which is reflected not only in its products but especially in its production processes. The effects of industrial changes such as digitalization, networking, electro-mobility, etc. are having an increasing impact on the manufacture of gearboxes. The GETPRO conference addresses these topics, taking a unique look at all facets of the future of efficient gearbox production, thus contributing to the advancement of the entire branch. GETPRO opened its doors to an international audience for the first time in 2019 and also dedicated a separate session to the production of electric drives.
Industry 4.0 is Changing Drivetrain Production
The conference kicked off with presentations that offered a look at the future of drivetrain production. Johann Soder from SEW-Eurodrive began with his keynote presentation, "Shaping the World of Tomorrow Requires Courage and a Willingness to Change!," which provided a visionary outlook on the future of gearbox production in the context of Industry 4.0. Soder expects that companies will have to change radically in order to remain successful in the future. Companies must be creative, innovative, and agile to thrive in the age of digitalization. Digital value creation will have to be completely rethought. One key requirement he sees for the next quantum leap in gearbox production is that man and machine must work together intelligently, and he outlined his vision of smart gearbox production of the future as follows: “Industry 4.0 already offers the potential to create more efficient production processes through the intelligent use of automation. Modular factory structures with standardized processes allow changes to be made more effectively. This new smart production system makes it possible to manage the increasing variation of products and production volumes. The key players in adaptable gearbox production are mobile assistance systems that intelligently connect manufacturing, assembly, and logistics processes and relieve employees from performing repetitive and ergonomically stressful tasks,” stated Johann Soder, SEW-Eurodrive GmbH & Co. KG, on the sidelines of the GETPRO conference.
Plastics are Gaining Importance
In his keynote speech, "Plastic Gears - A Different World?!," Dr.-Ing. Andreas Langheinrich of Horst Scholz in Kronach focused on a material with great potential for the future of drive technology. Due to the material properties of plastics, plastic gears already offer several benefits for special applications today, such as low weight, low material costs, faster production and mass production, etc. Langheinrich expects that the importance of plastic gears will only increase in the future: “In the coming years, plastic gears will likely compete with metal gears in smaller, oil-lubricated power transmissions. The reasons for this include, among others, intensified research activities related to plastics as well as increasing precision in manufacturing,” stated Dr.-Ing. Andreas Langheinrich, Horst Scholz GmbH + Co. KG at the conference. The FVA is also taking this development into account in its research strategy, and has therefore in recent years increased its research activities related to plastics and formed a dedicated working group, among other things.
A total of seven main topics with 43 presentations offered participants a broad spectrum of contributions from industry and science, including numerous current research topics from the FVA network. The main topics were the production of electric machines, heat treatment, measurement technology, oils, lubricants and components, materials for gearbox components, tools, hard-fine machining, forming and soft-machining of gearbox components.
Joint Research Accelerates Progress
Topics related to production in drive technology have played an important role since the very beginnings of the FVA. Since it was founded in 1967, the FVA has performed over 400 such projects. More than 100 additional projects are currently being supervised in FVA working groups. With the GETPRO conference, the powerful FVA network offers a platform for discussing issues related to drivetrain production and gaining new insights for practical applications. “The changes and challenges of the future, such as new technologies, new materials, Industry 4.0, and electro-mobility require new solutions. With its network from research and industry, the FVA offers excellent opportunities through joint industrial research. In the future, GETPRO will be the leading conference for Industry 4.0 in drive technology," said Christian Kunze, deputy managing director of the FVA.
About the FVA
The FVA (Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e. V., or Research Association for Drive Technology) is the world's largest and most successful research and innovation network in the field of drive technology. The FVA currently oversees about 220 ongoing research projects, bringing thousands of industry experts along the entire value creation chain together with the best research institutes and scientific facilities in drive technology. This form of joint industrial research provides the basis for product innovations in the more than 200 FVA member companies, creating a globally unique network of experts with added value for all participants. The FVA has carried out more than 2000 projects with a financial volume of more than 250 million Euro in the last 50 years. www.fva-net.de
Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e. V. (FVA)
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