Research project profiles

PILOT PROJECT FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN LOGISTICS BY MEANS OF CEP SERVICES USING THE MICRO-DEPOT CONCEPT WITHIN THE NUREMBERG METROPOLITAN REGION

High traffic volume is a main cause of pollution in cities. Above all, nitric oxides and particulate matter negatively affect health. Many German cities have therefore introduced environment zones, which are controversial due to insufficient control. The micro-depot concept will test a new possibility for reducing air pollution in the city of Nuremberg. Both in the inner city and in one of the residential areas, packages are to be delivered emission-free by delivery bicycles.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

SUSTAINABLE LOGISTICAL VALUE ADDED SERVICES FOR STATIONARY RETAIL AND PHARMACIES BY MEANS OF COOPERATIVE RESOURCE UTILIZATION IN LOGISTICS NETWORKS

In the “Pilot project for sustainable urban logistics by means of CEP services using the micro-depot concept within the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region”, the use of delivery bicycles enabled packages to be delivered and collected efficiently, sustainably, and emission-free. The success of the concept convinced the participating businesses that the micro-depot concept has completely established itself and will be continued following completion of the pilot phase. In addition, the results can be transferred to other cities. In order to exploit the concept’s sustainability potential even further, innovative and sustainable logistics processes with cooperative use of resources will be developed in the follow-up project presented here.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

NUREMBERG MICRO-DEPOT CONCEPT IN THE CEP INDUSTRY: TRANSFERABILITY TO OTHER CITIES AND INTEGRATION OF INNOVATIVE SAME-DAY DELIVERY CONCEPTS

The courier, express, and package (CEP) industry is growing in Germany considerably faster than the logistics market as a whole. A large proportion of the collection and delivery takes place in urban conurbations. The goods traffic incurred by this not only contributes to the high traffic volume in cities but also pollutes the environment. For this reason, a method has been developed to limit goods traffic in the currently ongoing project in Nuremberg. The packages are pre-sorted in micro-depots and then delivered using delivery bicycles. This economical and environmentally friendly concept is impressing more than just its project partners, which is why, in addition to fully establishing it after completion of the pilot phase and expanding it to other districts, it is planned to transfer the concept to other cities as well.
The preparatory research project therefore aims to carry out preliminary investigations which will enable extension of the concept to other cities and CEP market segments.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

DYNAMIC DEPENDENCY IN THE DC LINK CIRCUIT

The increasing spread of electric vehicles leads to increasingly large variations in the implementation of the electric drive train. These range from e-vehicles with one or more drives and various hybrid systems to vehicles powered by fuel cells. Depending on the driving situation and on the different frequencies of clocked consumers, load changes occur which lead to interdependencies between the connected components in the DC circuit. These are coupled with a high-voltage battery by a DC link circuit. The drive train, above all, must react highly dynamically to the current requirements of the respective driving situation. The fluctuating power output of the drive machines triggers strong voltage vibrations which affect all the attached components. Depending on the battery used, even small fluctuations in the voltage can result in strong power fluctuations. An economically and technologically optimized design for the electric drive train requires knowledge of the dynamic interdependencies in the drive train. However, many of the influencing variables at the interfaces have not yet been precisely specified and can also be mutually dependent on each other. The research project “Dynamic dependency in the DC link circuit” therefore aims to develop a simulation matrix which will reproduce the physical connections in the drive train of an electric vehicle and can depict different driving situations.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

INVESTIGATION OF 3D ULTRASOUND TECHNOLOGY FOR PERSON RECOGNITION DURING RAILWAY SHUNTING

From retail to industrial production – without goods traffic, many areas of everyday life would collapse. Every day, several million tonnes are conveyed by road, rail, air, and water. In rail freight transport alone, 364 million tonnes were transported in 2016, according to information provided by the German Federal Statistical Office. The freight wagons are used for shunting multiple times. As well as loading and unloading at the origin and destination stations, the individual wagons are combined into goods trains with the same destination at shunting stations. In order to make this shunting operation more efficient, a project is currently running at the Institute for Automotive Engineering at Nuremberg Tech to automate the operation at the Munich North shunting station. A completely automated shunting locomotive will be attached to goods trains and reposition the carriages according to their destination. The modular system consists of a sensor module and a central control. In the course of the project, it became apparent that the sensor system for wagon recognition would have to be expanded to include a sensor for person recognition in the danger area immediately in front of the locomotive. To this end, the project will test an innovative 3D ultrasound sensor system in the railway environment.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

MULTI-CORE SAFE AND SOFTWARE-INTENSIVE SYSTEMS IMPROVEMENT COMMUNITY

Embedded systems are among the driving technologies of Germany as a business location. 90% of innovations in industry – for example, in the automotive or avionics sector – come from the field of embedded systems. In the automotive industry alone, the software development for these systems now accounts for over 50% of the total development costs. Increasing demands for ever more sophisticated functions, for example automated or autonomous driving, have led to a paradigm shift in the processors used. Virtually all leading semiconductor manufacturers now direct their strategy towards so-called multi-core and many-core processors. These systems offer considerable advantages in terms of computing power due to their parallel mode of operation. However, the development of new technologies always entails challenges that must be overcome. Experts estimate that development will cost four times as much, project runtime will be 25% longer, and three times as many engineers will be needed due to the transition from single-core to multi-core architecture. Against this backdrop, the research project “FORMUS³IC” aims to develop a comprehensive concept to overcome the resulting challenges for automotive and avionic applications. All the software and hardware for the automotive and avionic industries will be considered together on different levels of abstraction, in order to optimize planning, energy efficiency, and safety in automotive and avionic applications.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

INTEGRATED STATOR CAGE MACHINE (iKSM)

Energy-efficient electrical motors and propulsion systems form an important component of the energy transition. Electrical motors of that type include individual coils with multiple windings as conductors. These are configured as a string and are distributed across the dimensions of the motor. This fixed winding system plays a decisive part in defining the range of performance characteristics of the motor.
Nevertheless, this does not cause the number of pole pairs in the air-gap field (stator field) to change and cannot therefore be used in order to adapt to different applications. Due to the electronic setting of the number of pole pairs in the stator field, the performance characteristics can however be expanded. The iKSM preparatory research project therefore intends to look into an electric motor that allows the pole pair number of the air-gap field to be set and to be changed while in operation.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

DEVELOPMENT OF AN INNOVATIVE, FREELY PROGRAMMABLE LED VARIABLE MESSAGE TRAFFIC SIGN WITH A SINGLE-PART LENS SYSTEM AND CLUSTER-BASED LED AND DRIVER MONITORING, BASED ON INNOVATIVE CONTROL AND LENS SYSTEMS

In order to guarantee a safe flow of traffic, even in the event of construction work, accidents and other events, it is necessary to update the traffic rules rapidly and in accordance with the relevant rules. One possible way of doing this involves the use of LED variable message traffic signs. Thanks to their variability and especially due to their good optical properties, they provide sufficient certainty, even when the weather is poor. Nevertheless, variable message traffic signs are limited due to the way in which the characters are formed. The main reason for this lies in the large amount of time it takes to insert light-emitting diodes individually. The effects of sunlight and the resulting heat through protruding LEDs also reduces their service-life. In addition, moisture sometimes gets in through the joints, causing parts of the lens to become detached. This is the reason why the FAMA project being carried out in collaboration with Bremicker aims to develop the world’s first freely programmable LED variable message traffic sign that can be produced completely automatically.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

LOW RPM OBSERVER MIT SINGLE-SHUNT STROM-MESSUNG

In the case of cost-driven propulsion applications in particular, such as ventilators in the automotive industry, efforts are being made to reduce component costs and to replace their function with smart software algorithms. An established process in the case of permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs) is to forgo the use of a rotor position encoder and to use an algorithm to determine the rotor position from the three phase currents measured. Due to the principles involved, these algorithms do not operate if the motor is idle and the minimum rotation speed will depend on the signal quality of the currents measured. The aim of the project is no longer to measure the currents required for the encoder directly, but to reconstruct all of the required currents by combining a single measuring point with smart algorithms. However, the process gives rise to a deterioration in signal quality. One of the key challenges is therefore to guarantee that the motors will operate in a reliable and controlled manner, even at very low speeds. The project, which is being carried out in collaboration with the company eonas IT-Beratung und Entwicklung GmbH, intends to create an observation process for determining the rotor position that is able to work without a rotor position sensor and reconstructs the phase currents from a single current measuring point.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

AN INNOVATIVE CONFIGURATION AND PRODUCTION PROCESS FOR RETROREFLECTORS IN VEHICLE LIGHTING SYSTEMS

No car is allowed to drive on Germany’s public roads without being fitted with a retroreflector. Each of these retroreflectors therefore consists of a number of prismatic reflectors, arranged so that they utilize the total reflectivity of the mirrors in such a way that any light landing on the reflector is thrown back in the direction from which it came. Due to the stringent requirements with regard to the surface and the angular tolerance, retroreflectors can only be produced using retroreflector tool inserts with sharpened pin packages. The process, which is based upon galvanic replication, puts together three pins that then form the surface of a prismatic reflector. Only then can the actual retroreflector be produced using the injection moulding process. The process to produce the tool inserts has a number of serious disadvantages, however. As a result of the just-in-time concept used by vehicle manufacturers, delays in supply can tie up the entire manufacturing process. For that reason, retroreflectors are mostly manufactured in vastly excess quantities, so that any delay in delivery will not risk jeopardizing production deadlines. The combined project “Innovative configuration and production process for retroreflectors in vehicle lighting systems” intends to develop innovative methods for the configuration and production of retroreflectors, which represent an improvement on the methods currently employed.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

RESEARCH ACCOMPANYING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A REGISTRATION-EXEMPT LEV (LIGHT ELECTRIC VEHICLE) FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN LOGISTICS, ESPECIALLY FOR THE MICRO-DEPOT CONCEPT IN THE CEP SECTOR

In the “Pilot project for sustainable urban logistics by means of CEP services using the micro-depot concept within the Nuremberg Metropolitan Region”, the use of Pedelec delivery bicycles is intended to enable the CEP companies DPD and GLS to deliver packages efficiently, sustainably, and emission-free. In the first phases of the project, however, it turned out that no suitable cargo bikes were available on the market. For that reason, the follow-on project presented here, which is being carried out in collaboration with the project partner b&p engineering mobility GmbH, intends to develop a heavy-duty cargo bike that fulfils the requirements of the CEP sector, amongst others.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

A SMART ROUTE FOR SELF-DRIVING MODEL VEHICLES

The amount of research currently being carried out into the Car-2-X applications and self-driving vehicles illustrates the immense efforts to ensure that self-driving vehicles are integrated into the existing road transport situation in the near future. Smart driver assist and self-driving systems consist of complex hardware and software systems that must fulfil high specifications. The “OHM Runner” project carried out at Nuremberg Tech aims to research this in the form of feasibility studies. As part of the project, a self-driving model vehicle will steer its way through a specially developed environmental route. What makes the OHM Runner project stand out is the hardware and software components used, which correspond to the industrial framework conditions that apply in practice. It is this that distinguishes the project from other applications (such as the Freescale Cup) and from other research prototypes (such as the Google Self-Driving Car Project), as these do not immediately provide a basis that enables the outcomes to be translated into the actual conditions that exist within the automotive industry.

Recording the condition of the road surfacing by means of vibration monitoring

In order to guarantee the value-creation chain in our globalized world, individual, goods and public transport need to be able to rely on an infrastructure that works. When it comes to operating land-based means of transport, roads form an important component of that system, so maintaining them and recording their condition are of fundamental importance. In Germany, the condition of roads is recorded using measurement systems and visual methods. Longitudinal and lateral evenness are recorded using laser scanning, by visually assessing surface damage and by measuring friction to determine the grip qualities of the surface. As any assessment of road condition is merely a snapshot, determining its condition is subject to certain influences, such as the weather, the time of day, the utilization of the road, and the personal abilities of the person recording the details. For these reasons, a continual, objective overview of changes to the condition of the road surface cannot be obtained in this way. An incorrect estimation of the remaining service life until the next essential maintenance can have major consequences for the longevity of the road. As part of the “Recording the condition of the road surface using vibration monitoring” project, the intention is therefore to develop and test a method which, with the help of data captured on a continuous basis, will enable changes in the properties of the road to be predicted with greater accuracy.

Project profile.pdf (in German)

 

 

MODELLING, SIMULATING, AND VALIDATING THE OPERATION OF ENERGY-EFFICIENT PROPULSION SYSTEMS FOR HYBRID-POWERED SHUNTING LOCOMOTIVES

Demand for energy-efficient and low-emission propulsion long ago formed the driving force behind a rethink with regard to the development of railway rolling stock. The introduction of more stringent environmental standards is putting pressure on the operators of diesel locomotives to reduce emissions such as harmful substances and noise. New fuel-saving strategies will be required, particularly when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions. This will be a necessity, as diesel-powered shunting locomotives will continue to play an important role in our railway transport system, thanks to their versatility. Their scope of operation extends from shunting work at passenger and goods railway stations to runs on medium-density routes that are unsuitable for electrification. The importance of shunting locomotives within the freight transportation sector, for the transfer of rolling stock, and for delivery and workshop traffic is confirmed by the current numbers of heavy shunting engines in use, which has remained constant over the past few years. Shunting traffic carried out by these types of locomotive does however account for a significant proportion of the overall energy consumed by diesel-powered rail traffic. Not only is 12% of the total CO2 emissions of Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways) generated by shunting activities, but that figure does not include activities on works railways, a higher proportion of which consist of shunting activities. Saving fuel costs will make a significant contribution towards the overall reduction in CO2 emissions, as well as reducing the quantity of harmful emissions that occur.

Project profile.pdf (in German)