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Cost-effective Ways to minimize Risks in the Supply Chain Photo: Pixabay
28.07.2020

Fraunhofer ITWM: Cost-effective Ways to minimize Risks in the Supply Chain

  • Algorithms for optimized supply chains

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy hard. What lessons can be learned from this experience? And what’s the best way for companies to protect themselves against this kind of crisis in the future? The answer will certainly involve a combination of different approaches – but new mathematical methods developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM look likely to be a very promising piece of the puzzle. These methods aim to calculate how the risks posed by supply shortages can be reduced significantly at very little extra cost.

  • Algorithms for optimized supply chains

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the economy hard. What lessons can be learned from this experience? And what’s the best way for companies to protect themselves against this kind of crisis in the future? The answer will certainly involve a combination of different approaches – but new mathematical methods developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM look likely to be a very promising piece of the puzzle. These methods aim to calculate how the risks posed by supply shortages can be reduced significantly at very little extra cost.

 Nobody ever expected hospitals to be struggling to get hold of the face masks and other personal protective equipment they need. The supply chain had always run smoothly in the past, yet the coronavirus crisis has now caused shortages of these products on multiple occasions. Previously, these supply chains had worked well – but the necessary restrictions on the global flow of goods led them to collapse.In many cases, for example, Chinese suppliers were unable to make deliveries even while factories in Germany were still working as normal, a situation that had a knock-on effect on goods production in Germany. And viruses are not the only potential risk: international suppliers can be paralyzed by all kinds of unforeseen factors, from natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, storms and floods to strikes or other unexpected political developments. If a company chooses to rely on just one supplier for its production needs in order to reduce costs, this can have devastating consequences that may even bring production to a complete standstill. It can take a very long time indeed for other suppliers to ramp up their production and start delivering the required products.
 
Analyzing and safeguarding supply chains
This is where methods developed by Fraunhofer ITWM come into play. “The algorithms analyze how diversified the supply chains are in different areas of the company and thus how great the risk is of running into critical supply problems in an emergency, in other words in the event of regional or global disruption,” says Dr. Heiner Ackermann, deputy head in the Department of Optimization at Fraunhofer ITWM in Kaiserslautern. “The question is how you can minimize the risk of supply shortfalls without incurring significant additional costs.” The dilemma is similar to that of buying a house: Is it best to opt for the lowest possible interest rates, even though there is a risk that follow-up financing will offer much worse rates? Or is it best to play safe and pay slightly higher interest rates from the start if that means having the reassurance of reasonably priced financing for the entire term?
 
Companies also have to get the right balance between risk and costs. If a company chooses to rely solely on the cheapest supplier, they are taking a major risk. But if they procure a raw material from multiple suppliers at the same time, that risk drops significantly. “And in this case the difference in cost is much lower than the difference in risk,” says Ackermann. In other words, the risks fall dramatically even when a company increases its costs by just a few percent – so it is possible to eliminate much of the risk by accepting just a slight rise in costs. Companies can use the algorithm to discover what would work best in their particular situation. “This method lets companies optimize their supply chains based on multiple criteria, helping them to find the optimal balance between costs and risks,” says Ackermann. “The underlying algorithms work equally well whether you are dealing with supply shortages caused by an earthquake or a virus. So, unlike existing software solutions, we don’t try to make assumptions as to the likelihood of any particular scenario.” With this new method, a company starts by entering various parameters – for example areas in which they think disruption could be likely and how long that disruption might last. The algorithms then calculate various cost/risk trade-offs for this exact raw material, including the possible allocations of suppliers that would correspond to each point on the scale. They even take into account options such as storing critical products in order to cushion any temporary supply shortfalls.
 
Substituting raw materials during supply shortages      
Another option the algorithms take into account is whether a raw material could potentially be replaced by different materials in the event of a supply bottleneck. If so, this can be taken into consideration from the start. Essentially, the method calculates the costs and risks of different courses that a company can follow in regard to their suppliers. Procter & Gamble is already using a software-based variant of this methodology which has been specially tailored to its needs.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM

The Fraunhofer WKI double-rapier weaving machine with the Jacquard attachment in the upper of the photo.  © Fraunhofer WKI | Melina Ruhr. The Fraunhofer WKI double-rapier weaving machine with the Jacquard attachment in the upper of the photo.
02.06.2020

Fraunhofer WKI: Climate-friendly hybrid-fiber materials on the basis of renewable natural fibers

As a result of the new combination possibilities for bio-based hybrid-fiber materials achieved at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, the industrial application possibilities for renewable raw materials, for example in the automotive industry or for everyday objects such as helmets or skis, can be expanded.

By increasing the proportion of flax fiber in hybrid-fiber materials to up to 50 percent, the scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to significantly increase the biogenic proportion in composite materials. The special aspect of the tested methods: The fabrics can be individually composed with the help of a weaving machine. In this way, process steps in industrial production, in which materials first have to be merged together, can be omitted. This will achieve reductions in energy and CO2 throughout the entire production process.

As a result of the new combination possibilities for bio-based hybrid-fiber materials achieved at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI, the industrial application possibilities for renewable raw materials, for example in the automotive industry or for everyday objects such as helmets or skis, can be expanded.

By increasing the proportion of flax fiber in hybrid-fiber materials to up to 50 percent, the scientists have demonstrated that it is possible to significantly increase the biogenic proportion in composite materials. The special aspect of the tested methods: The fabrics can be individually composed with the help of a weaving machine. In this way, process steps in industrial production, in which materials first have to be merged together, can be omitted. This will achieve reductions in energy and CO2 throughout the entire production process.

Successfully woven: Different hybrid fabrics
In view of the increased demands being placed upon environmental and climate protection, science and industry are seeking sustainable alternatives to conventional materials in all branches of production. As a material, natural fibers offer a sustainable solution. Due to their low density and simultaneous high stability, natural fibers can be used to produce highly resilient light-weight-construction materials which are easy to recycle. In the “ProBio” project, scientists from the Fraunhofer WKI have therefore addressed the question as to how the proportion of natural fibers in bio-based hybrid-fiber materials can be increased as significantly as possible. A double-rapier weaving machine with Jacquard attachment was thereby utilized in order to produce the bio-based hybrid-fiber materials.

The researchers thereby focused specifically on bio-based hybrid-fiber composites (Bio-HFC). Bio-HFC consist of a combination of cellulose-based fibers, such as flax fibers, and synthetic high-performance fibers, such as carbon or glass fibers, for reinforcement. Bio-HFC can be utilized in, for example, vehicle construction. As an innovation in the “ProBio” project, the researchers interwove differing fiber-material combinations, reinforcing fibers and matrix fibers with the aid of the double-rapier weaving machine. This procedure differs from the process in which finished fabrics are layered on top of one another.

“We have combined the advantageous properties of the fiber materials within a composite material in such a way that we have been able to compensate for weak points in individual components, thereby achieving new properties in some cases. In addition, we have succeeded in increasing the proportion of bio-based fibers to up to 50 percent flax fibers, which we have combined with 50 percent reinforcing fibers,” says project team member Jana Winkelmann, describing the procedure. The bio-hybrid textiles, each consisting of 50 percent by weight carbon and flax fabric, are introduced into a bio-based plastic matrix. The composite material possesses a flexural strength which is more than twice as high as that of the corresponding composite material made from flax-reinforced epoxy resin. This mechanical performance capability can significantly expand the application range of renewable raw materials for technical applications.

With the weaving machine, the scientists have successfully combined innovative light-weight-construction composite materials with complex application-specific fabric structures and integrated functions. Reinforcing fibers, such as carbon and natural fibers, as well as multilayer fabrics and three-dimensional structures, can be woven together in a single work step. This offers advantages for industrial production, as production steps in which materials first have to be merged together can be omitted. “We have succeeded, for example, in utilizing conductive yarns or wires as sensors or conductor paths directly in the weaving process, thereby producing fabrics with integrated functions. The introduction of synthetic fibers as weft threads enables the production of bio-hybrid composites with isotropic mechanical properties,” explains Ms. Winkelmann.

Weaving technology makes it possible to create new products with a high proportion of bio-based components on a pilot scale. The project results provide an insight into the diverse combination possibilities of natural and reinforcing fibers and demonstrate opportunities for utilization not only in vehicle construction but also for everyday objects such as helmets or skis. The results will be presented within the framework of the 4th International Conference on Natural Fibers, ICNF, July 2019 in Porto, Portugal. The “ProBio” project, which ran from 1st July 2014 to 30th June 2019, was funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK).

Background
Sustainability through the utilization of renewable raw materials has formed the focus at the Fraunhofer WKI for more than 70 years. The institute, with locations in Braunschweig, Hanover and Wolfsburg, specializes in process engineering, natural-fiber composites, wood and emission protection, quality assurance of wood products, material and product testing, recycling procedures and the utilization of organic building materials and wood in construction. Virtually all the procedures and materials resulting from the research activities are applied industrially.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research WKI

Photo: Pixabay
28.04.2020

Meltblown Productive: Fraunhofer ITWM vs. Corona - With Mathematics Against the Crisis

  • Meltblown Productive – ITWM Software Supports Nonwoven Production for Infection Protection

Simulations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM make processes in the manufacturing of nonwovens more efficient. Within the anti-corona program of Fraunhofer the production of infection protection is optimized.
 
Nonwovens production is currently attracting more attention than ever before from the general public, because in times of the corona pandemic, nonwovens are vital for infection protection in the medical sector and also for the protection of the entire population. Disposable bed linen in hospitals, surgical gowns, mouthguards, wound protection pads and compresses are some examples of nonwoven products.

  • Meltblown Productive – ITWM Software Supports Nonwoven Production for Infection Protection

Simulations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM make processes in the manufacturing of nonwovens more efficient. Within the anti-corona program of Fraunhofer the production of infection protection is optimized.
 
Nonwovens production is currently attracting more attention than ever before from the general public, because in times of the corona pandemic, nonwovens are vital for infection protection in the medical sector and also for the protection of the entire population. Disposable bed linen in hospitals, surgical gowns, mouthguards, wound protection pads and compresses are some examples of nonwoven products.

IEspecially in intensive care and geriatric care, disposable products made of nonwovens are used due to the special hygiene requirements. At the moment there are clear bottlenecks in the production of these materials. For the meltblown nonwovens class, however, it is difficult to increase production efficiency because meltblown processes are highly sensitive to process fluctuations and material impurities.
 
Although nonwovens are not all the same, the rough principle of their production is relatively similar to all industrially manufactured nonwovens: molten polymer is pressed through many fine nozzles, stretched and cooled down in an air stream and thus deposited into the typical white webs. "Meltblown" stands for the submicron fiber process whose nonwovens are responsible for the decisive filter function in face masks.
 
With meltblown technology, nonwoven fabrics are produced directly from granules. A special spinning process in combination with high-speed hot air is used to produce fine-fibered nonwovens with different structures. The fibers are highly stretched by the turbulent air flow. During this process they swirl in the air, become entangled and fall more or less randomly onto a conveyor belt where they are further consolidated - a very complex process. Nonwovens manufacturers around the world are striving to massively increase their production capacities.
 
Digital Twin Optimizes Meltblown Process    
This is where the software of the ITWM comes into play. "Our Fiber Dynamics Simulation Tool FIDYST is used to predict the movement of the fibers, their falling and the orientation with which they are laid down on the conveyor belt. Depending on the process settings, turbulence characteristics are generated and thus nonwoven qualities are created that differ in structure, fiber density and strength," explains Dr. Walter Arne from the Fraunhofer ITWM. He has been working at the institute for years on the simulation of various processes involving fibers and filaments.

The methodology is well transferable to meltblown processes. In these processes, one of the specific features is the simulation of filament stretching in a turbulent air flow - how the stretching takes place, the dynamics of the filaments and the diameter distribution. These are all complex aspects that have to be taken into account, but also the flow field or the temperature distribution. The simulations of the scientists at the Fraunhofer ITWM then provide a qualitative and quantitative insight into the fiber formation in such meltblown processes - unique in the world in this form when it comes to simulate a turbulent spinning process (meltblown).

Nonwoven Manufacturers benefit from Simulation
What does this mean for the industry? The production of technical textiles becomes more efficient, but the nonwovens can also be developed without having intensive productions tests in a real facility. This is because the simulations help to forecast and then optimize the processes using a digital twin. In this way, production capacities can be increased while maintaining the same product quality. Simulations save experiments, allow new insights, enable systematic parameter variations and solve up-scaling problems that can lead to misinvestments during the transition from laboratory to industrial plant.

Making a Contribution to Overcome the Crisis With Many Years of Expertise
"We want to demonstrate this in the project using a typical meltblown line as an example - for this we are in contact with partner companies," says Dr. Dietmar Hietel, head of the department "Transport Processes" at the Fraunhofer ITWM. "Within the framework of Fraunhofer's anti-corona program, we want to use our developed expertise and our network to contribute to overcome the crisis", reports Hietel. His department at the Fraunhofer ITWM has been pursuing research in the field of technical textiles for around 20 years. Due to its current relevance, the project not only got off to a quick start, but the implementation and results should now also be implemented quickly: The project is scheduled to run from April 15th 2020 to August 14th 2020. The kick-off meeting took place on April 17th 2020 via video conference.
 
The project "Meltblown productive" and the results are certainly interesting for nonwoven producers. The production of many mass products has often been outsourced to Asia in the past decades; the nonwovens manufacturers remaining in Germany and Europe tend to focus more on high-quality technical textiles. In the medium and longer term, this will also be a scientific preliminary work when production capacities in Germany and Europe are expanded by new plants. One lesson to be learned from the crisis will also be to reduce the dependence on producers in Asia, especially as a precautionary measure for crisis scenarios.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics, ITWM

Protective masks for Augsburg University Hospital (c) Fraunhofer IGCV
14.04.2020

Protective equipment from 3d printers

  • Fraunhofer IGCV supplies protective equipment made via 3d printers to university hospital Augsburg

For more than a week, the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg has been supplying the University Hospital Augsburg with protective masks from 3D printers. In order to meet the enormous demand for absolutely necessary protective equipment for the the needs of hospital staff, a call for support was sent to cooperation partners - Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IGCV are stepping in.
 

  • Fraunhofer IGCV supplies protective equipment made via 3d printers to university hospital Augsburg

For more than a week, the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg has been supplying the University Hospital Augsburg with protective masks from 3D printers. In order to meet the enormous demand for absolutely necessary protective equipment for the the needs of hospital staff, a call for support was sent to cooperation partners - Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and Fraunhofer IGCV are stepping in.
 

Fast communication in the research network:
Production of 3D-printed parts accelerates in the shortest possible time
Without further ado, an internal university group searched for possibilities of manufacturing via 3D printing. Prof. Dr. Markus Sause and Prof. Dr. Kay Weidenmann of the Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg immediately agreed and pulled out all the stops to start production as quickly as possible. In order to provide as many protective masks as possible in the shortest possible time, an appeal was also made to existing cooperation partners. They found what they were looking for in their direct colleague Prof. Dr. Johannes Schilp, Professor of Production Informatics at the University of Augsburg and Head of the Processing Technology Department at the Augsburg Fraunhofer IGCV: Max Horn, research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute, and Paul Dolezal from the FabLab (production laboratory) at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences immediately promised their help. "Thanks to the excellent cooperation of our team, the first parts were produced in our laboratory for additive manufacturing just a few hours after the first telephone call," Max Horn recalls. "With the support of the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer IGCV, the production capacity of 50 masks per day could be significantly increased," Markus Sause is pleased to report.
          

Printing masks with Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was selected as the manufacturing process for the face protection. This means that the mask is created by forcing fusible plastic through a nozzle and applying it in layers in individual lanes. In addition to an extensive laboratory for metal-based additive manufacturing, the Fraunhofer IGCV operates a new laboratory unit with various FDM printers. Due to the simplicity of the process and its great flexibility, it is particularly suitable for prototypes and sample components. "However, the masks produced are by no means only illustrative objects", adds Georg Schlick, Head of the Components and Processes Department at the Fraunhofer IGCV. The team processed durable polymers for the parts, which have good resistance to the disinfectants used in the hospital. This results in high-quality components that are ideally suited for multiple use.
 
Additive manufacturing for flexible production
In the meantime, some bottlenecks have been overcome: The Institute for Materials Resource Management at the University of Augsburg is switching back to production processes for the manufacture of face masks that are better suited for the production of large quantities. "The great strength of additive manufacturing lies rather in the production of very complex components with smaller quantities," explains Matthias Schmitt, group leader for additive manufacturing at the Fraunhofer IGCV. "But 3D printing also enables us to act at very short notice and to compensate for lack of capacity for almost any component as required," Schmitt continues. Thanks to the flexibility, motivation and expertise of all cooperation partners, a complete production and supply chain for the face masks was implemented within a few days. Georg Schlick therefore emphasizes the need for good networking and rapid exchange between the research institutions. "The close networking within the 3D printing community enables short communication channels and fast action. This can save lives in this case."

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV

FULLY AUTOMATED QUALITY CONTROL MAKES HIGH-VISIBILITY CLOTHING EVEN SAFER Photo: LEEROY Agency, Pixabay
10.03.2020

FULLY AUTOMATED QUALITY CONTROL MAKES HIGH-VISIBILITY CLOTHING EVEN SAFER

High-visibility or “high-vis” clothing provides many people safety in their day-to-day work. Fraunhofer IGD has paired with textile service provider MEWA to develop an automated system for inspecting the quality of this clothing faster and more reliably, and thereby guarantee safety. Both companies have filed a joint patent for the system.

High-vis and protective clothing, like the kind worn by road workers, must meet certain standards prescribed by law for the safety of the wearer. Employers are liable for meeting these legal safety standards. On behalf of MEWA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD has developed a system to automate and optimize quality testing.

High-visibility or “high-vis” clothing provides many people safety in their day-to-day work. Fraunhofer IGD has paired with textile service provider MEWA to develop an automated system for inspecting the quality of this clothing faster and more reliably, and thereby guarantee safety. Both companies have filed a joint patent for the system.

High-vis and protective clothing, like the kind worn by road workers, must meet certain standards prescribed by law for the safety of the wearer. Employers are liable for meeting these legal safety standards. On behalf of MEWA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD has developed a system to automate and optimize quality testing.

Integrated optical quality control
Fraunhofer IGD has developed its quality control system with the assistance of MEWA Textil-Service AG and it will be used daily at two sites starting in 2020.
After being washed and dried, the articles of clothing run through a special photographing box on hangers and pictures are taken of the front and back. Fraunhofer software analyzes these pictures in real time and sends to the result to control software, which sends the clothing to other stations in the quality control process. The results of the inspection are saved in the system a valuable collection of data that is made available to MEWA in order to analyze and optimize the system as well as internal processes, such as the washing process.

Faster and more precise inspection
The high-vis clothing is inspected manually for quality by qualified employees. They inspect the washed articles of clothing for a number of aspects, including brightness and colorfastness of the high-visibility color as well as the integrity of the reflective strips. The automated solution by Fraunhofer IGD can assist employees with this visual inspection while speeding up the process at the same time. “With the help of the automated analysis, we can ensure to an even greater degree and with greater precision that the high-vis clothing meets strict safety standards even after being washed,” said Uwe Schmidt, head of engineering at MEWA. At MEWA’s locations in Schönbuch near Stuttgart and Gross Kienitz near Berlin, Fraunhofer IGD’s system is now being used in trials, with implementation at more locations being planned.

Inspection system is applicable to other industries
Fraunhofer IGD’s inspection system is available for implementation as a software module. This technology could also support other industries: Automated returns classification for the mail-order trade or use in textile recycling would be conceivable, though the technology would need to be seamlessly integrated into existing systems and processes. The development team at Fraunhofer IGD is currently working on quality controls that use not only photographs but also video recordings as well as on analyzing the recordings in real time. The significantly increased number of product views will cover every aspect of the inspection with even greater precision.

About IGD
Fraunhofer IGD is the international leading research institution for applied visual computing — image- and model-based information technology that combines computer graphics and computer vision. In simple terms, it is the ability to turn information into images and to extract information from images. All technological solutions by Fraunhofer IGD and its partners are based on visual computing.

In computer graphics, people generate, edit, and process images, graphs, and multi-dimensional models in a computeraided manner. Examples are applications of virtual and simulated reality.

Computer vision is the discipline that teaches computers how to “see”. In the process, a machine sees its environment by means of a camera and processes information using software. Typical applications can be found in the field of Augmented Reality.

HEIMTEXTIL CELEBRATES ITS ANNIVERSARY (c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Jochen Günther
07.01.2020

HEIMTEXTIL CELEBRATES ITS ANNIVERSARY

THE 50TH EDITION OF THE WORLD-LEADING TRADE FAIR WITH MAJOR FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY

Half a century shaped by textile design: for the 50th time, Heimtextil will bring together the international home textiles industry. From 7-10 January 2020, 2952 companies from 65 countries will present their innovations at the world’s largest trade fair for home and contract textiles.*

‘There is hardly any other trade fair in the world that can look back on such an eventful and successful history. Ever since the first event in January 1971 with 679 exhibitors, we have invested massively over the decades in the quality of the fair as well as in the range of information and inspiration we offer the industry. We are looking forward to a very special edition of Heimtextil, which is in very good shape as it approaches its 50th anniversary’, says Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt.

THE 50TH EDITION OF THE WORLD-LEADING TRADE FAIR WITH MAJOR FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY

Half a century shaped by textile design: for the 50th time, Heimtextil will bring together the international home textiles industry. From 7-10 January 2020, 2952 companies from 65 countries will present their innovations at the world’s largest trade fair for home and contract textiles.*

‘There is hardly any other trade fair in the world that can look back on such an eventful and successful history. Ever since the first event in January 1971 with 679 exhibitors, we have invested massively over the decades in the quality of the fair as well as in the range of information and inspiration we offer the industry. We are looking forward to a very special edition of Heimtextil, which is in very good shape as it approaches its 50th anniversary’, says Detlef Braun, CEO of Messe Frankfurt.

The textile furnishing sector faces major challenges in the anniversary year of Heimtextil: the digital revolution – key word ‘Industry 4.0’ – is currently leading to fundamental changes in the manufacture and processing of home textiles. Not all companies can keep up, meaning that the past year has been dominated by business closures and insolvencies. Digitisation opens up many opportunities on the production side – on the retail side, however, it leads to a significant shift in purchasing flows, making specialist bricks-and-mortar shops dependent on new concepts in the medium term. Here, too, there has been strong consolidation and a decline in the number of specialist shops.

Sales in the retail sector continue to decline
The latest industry report by the IFH Cologne shows that spending on home and household textiles continues to slide. Although the years 2015 to 2017 were still top notch, sales have fallen by almost €1 billion within two years and are now back to the levels seen in the tough financial years of 2008/09. The reasons for this sales trend can primarily be ascribed to the sluggish economy. As a result, German industry is pinning its hopes on foreign markets and the high proportion of Heimtextil trade visitors from abroad (75 percent).

Varied measures for greater sustainability
Sustainability is the major overarching theme of the industry. At Heimtextil 2020, green aspects will be at the top of the fair’s agenda for the tenth time. With its range of measures, Heimtextil is promoting the industry's commitment to sustainability and giving green pioneers a platform. The tenth edition of the Green Directory, the exhibitor directory for sustainable producers, includes more pioneers and newcomers than ever before with 259 companies. The ‘Green Village’ is also enjoying growth. In the sustainability area in hall 12.0, which acts as a first port of call for all questions relating to green issues, recognised certifiers and seal awarders will present themselves. New to this area is the German government's ‘Grüner Knopf’ textile seal, launched in September, and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, which will present the global Sustainable Development Goals at Heimtextil. For example, Lucie Brigham, Chief of Office at the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will report on the Sustainable Development Goals and cooperation with Heimtextil at the opening press conference of Heimtextil. Two showcases will illustrate which sustainable approaches the industry is pursuing and how they are already being applied in practice: the Portuguese textile industry will present the ‘iTechStyle Green Circle’ in hall 12.0 and Pakistani manufacturers will present pioneering projects under the ‘Sustainable Pakistan’ umbrella in the foyer of hall 10.2.

Trend Space focuses on sustainable concept
Sustainable aspects were also at the forefront of the concept for this year’s ‘Trend Spaces’. ‘Together with our designers, we have set ourselves the goal of creating a sustainable show and have adopted a material manifesto for this purpose. The aim was to minimise the environmental impact by selecting materials in an intelligent way. This means: wherever possible, alternative, sustainable materials were used’, explains Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies of Messe Frankfurt. ‘Heimtextil thus invites you to a design show that not only talks about sustainability but also embraces it in practical terms and, thanks to this approach and its reputation, is unrivalled worldwide. With the motto WHERE I BELONG, visitors interested in design will experience around 1000 exhibits by international exhibitors in the “Trend Space” in hall 3.0 – integrated into a spectacular design concept by Stijlinstituut Amsterdam under the direction of Anne Marie Commandeur. The approach of the new Future Materials Library, part of the Trend Space, is also progressive and sustainable. Here, visitors can explore the nature and production method of innovative materials. The focus is on recycled fabrics and cultivated – so-called living – textiles, among other things.

Hotels etc.: contract furnishing in the spotlight
As another top theme, Heimtextil is focusing on the furnishing of hotels and public buildings under the title ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality’. The new highlight here is the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Library’, a textile materials library with 64 selected, high-quality products categorised according to functional properties especially for contract furnishing. With this library, Heimtextil clearly demonstrates the many and varied uses of functional textiles, in particular providing interior designers with a first-rate work tool. Every product on display is labelled with the name of the manufacturer, booth number and its functional properties. All information on this can also be accessed online throughout the year at www.textile-library.com. Furthermore, the fair offers interior designers, architects and hospitality experts an extremely attractive programme in hall 4.2 – with superb product presentations in the ‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Expo’, a four-day lecture programme, guided tours and a special exhibitor directory, the
‘Interior.Architecture.Hospitality Directory’.

For better sleep: professional tips and product innovations
The topic of ‘sleep’ is of huge power and importance for both personal well-being and for the home textiles industry. Heimtextil will be dedicating itself to this much-discussed lifestyle theme for the second time. in “Sleep! The Future Forum' in the foyer of hall 11.0, a four-day programme of talks with a wider range of topics and numerous experienced sleep experts awaits interested listeners. These sleep experts include professional athletes such as Olympic luge champion Susi Erdmann and scientists from Berlin’s Charité, the Fraunhofer Institute and the German Sleep Research Society. Heimtextil has also been able to attract speakers from Ikea, Hästens and Auping to talk about progressive sleep topics. Numerous products aimed at greater sleep comfort will celebrate their première in the context of the ‘Sleep’ programme at the world's leading trade fair.

50th Heimtextil: design classics from the past five decades
To mark the 50th edition of Heimtextil, the trade fair will be presenting design classics from the past 50 trade fair editions in a showcase area in hall 9.0. Under the motto ‘Heimtextil Journey through Time – Celebrating 50 Years of Interior Design’, the fair invites visitors to take a tour through five decades of Heimtextil history. Four specially designed rooms incorporate colours, shapes, furniture and design objects from past decades. The showcase is complemented by a café that will be realised in cooperation with Schöner Wohnen, Europe's largest living magazine.

_____________________
*For comparison: In 2019, 3,012 exhibitors from 65 countries took part (FKM figures, Gesellschaft zur Freiwilligen Kontrolle von Messe- und Ausstellungszahlen, Berlin)

The new AddiTex compound comes out of the extruder as a filament for 3D printing. © Fraunhofer UMSICHT
12.11.2019

FRAUNHOFER UMSICHT: COMPOUNDS FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, GEOTEXTILES AND WEARABLES

Whether biodegradable geotextiles, wearables from thermoplastic elastomers or functional textiles from 3D printers - the scope of plastics developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT is wide.

Insights into these projects were provided from October 16th - 23rd  in Düsseldorf: At the K, scientists presented their work on thermally and electrically conductive, biodegradable, bio-based compounds as well as compounds suitable for additive production.
 
Textile composites from the 3D printer
In the "AddiTex" project, plastics were developed that are applied to textiles in layers using 3D printing and give them functional properties. A special challenge in the development was the permanent adhesion: The printed plastic had to be both a strong bond with the textile and sufficiently flexible to be able to participate in movements and twists.

Whether biodegradable geotextiles, wearables from thermoplastic elastomers or functional textiles from 3D printers - the scope of plastics developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT is wide.

Insights into these projects were provided from October 16th - 23rd  in Düsseldorf: At the K, scientists presented their work on thermally and electrically conductive, biodegradable, bio-based compounds as well as compounds suitable for additive production.
 
Textile composites from the 3D printer
In the "AddiTex" project, plastics were developed that are applied to textiles in layers using 3D printing and give them functional properties. A special challenge in the development was the permanent adhesion: The printed plastic had to be both a strong bond with the textile and sufficiently flexible to be able to participate in movements and twists.

A flexible and flame-retardant compound was developed, which is particularly suitable for use in the field of textile sun and sound insulation, as well as a rigid compound, which is used, among other things, for reinforcing the shape of protective and functional clothing.

Geotextile filter for technical-biological bank protection
Geotextile filters for technical-biological bank protection are the focus of the "Bioshoreline" project. It stands for gradually biodegradable nonwovens, which allow a near-natural bank design of inland waterways with plants. They consist of renewable raw materials and are intended to stabilize the soil in the shore area until the plant roots have grown sufficiently and take over both filter and retention functions. The ageing and biodegradation of the fleeces begin immediately after installation, until the fleeces are gradually completely degraded.

Prototypes of the geotextile filters are currently being tested. Female scientists evaluate the plant mass formed above and below ground with and without geotextile filters as well as the influence of the soil type on plant growth and the biological degradation of the filter.

Wearables made of thermoplastic elastomers
In addition, Fraunhofer UMSICHT is developing novel, electrically conductive and flexible compounds that can be processed into thermoplastic-based bipolar plates. These plastics are highly electrically conductive, flexible, mechanically stable, gas-tight and chemically resistant and - depending on the degree of filling of electrically conductive additives - can be used in many different ways. For example, in electrochemical storage tanks (batteries), in energy converters (fuel cells), in chemical-resistant heat exchangers or as resistance heating elements.

Another possible field of application for these plastics: Wearables. These portable materials can be produced easily and cheaply with the new compounds. It is conceivable, for example, to form garments such as a vest by means of resistance heating elements. The idea behind this is called Power-to-Heat and enables the direct conversion of energy into heat.

FUNDING NOTES

"AddiTex" is funded with a grant from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia using funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2020 "Investments in growth and employment". Project Management Agency: LeitmarktAgentur.NRW – Projektmanagement Jülich.

The "Bioshoreline" project (funding reference: 22000815) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

More information:
Fraunhofer-Institute UMSICHT K 2019
Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology UMSICHT

Heimtextil 2020 (c) Mese Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH, Petro Sutera
05.11.2019

Heimtextil 2020

For the 50th edition of Heimtextil (7-10 January 2020), the international trade fair for home and contract textiles will once again sparkle with the world’s largest product range for textile interiors and its unique presentation of the hottest trends. Around 3000 international exhibitors will present their innovations in Frankfurt.

For the 50th edition of Heimtextil (7-10 January 2020), the international trade fair for home and contract textiles will once again sparkle with the world’s largest product range for textile interiors and its unique presentation of the hottest trends. Around 3000 international exhibitors will present their innovations in Frankfurt.

More than 250 companies will be presenting sustainably produced textiles at Heimtextil. The Green Directory, a separate exhibitor index focusing on the theme of sustainability that will be published by Heimtextil for the tenth time in 2020, lists these companies and their product innovations. The number of companies included in the directory has increased considerably and is higher than ever before. Progressive, sustainably produced materials can also be seen in the new Future Materials Library, part of the Trend Space. Here, visitors can explore the nature and production method of innovative materials. The focus is on recycled fabrics and cultivated – so-called living – textiles, among other things. The Green Village in hall 12.0 also functions as a hub for all questions relating to green issues. Seal providers and certifiers are among those introducing themselves here and offering companies their support in acting more sustainably. The United Nations will also present its Sustainable Development Goals here for the first time.

Trend Space: the furnishing trends of the future
The programme highlight for those interested in design is the Trend Space in hall 3.0. In this trend and inspiration area, visitors and exhibitors alike can look forward to a wealth of material innovations, colour trends and new designs. Sustainability is a top priority here too: thanks to targeted selection of materials, material requirements can be reduced and the environmental footprint kept to a minimum. On an area of around 2000 square metres, designers thus create a forum comprising primarily of textiles and materials that can be reused after the event. The overarching theme is “Where I belong”, which invites visitors to take an inspiring journey of discovery thanks to its numerous interactive elements. An accompanying programme of talks and guided tours give far-reaching insights into new design projects. The Trend Space has been designed by Stijlinstituut Amsterdam.

Expanded area for printers and processing machines
At its upcoming edition, Heimtextil will present an extended range of machines for the textile industry and expand the product segment “Textile Technologies”. The background to this is that the digital revolution is currently leading to fundamental changes in the manufacture and processing of home textiles. Heimtextil will present the opportunities offered by technological change in the industry and, under the new name “Textile Technologies”, will present the latest product developments in hall 3.0, from digital printing machines, software and corresponding accessories to machines for textile processing. The trade fair will also offer its own lecture programme with experts from industry and research for the first time.

Further growth in furniture and decorative fabrics
In the “Decorative & Furniture Fabrics” segment in particular, Heimtextil is experiencing unstoppable growth. At the upcoming fair, 40 new exhibitors will be joining and adding new perspectives to the already very large selection of furniture and decorative fabrics as well as leather and imitation leather. Over 400 international producers will present their new collections in halls 4 and 6. European top producers in particular are strongly represented. Another new aspect is that for the first time Heimtextil will be identifying around 250 weavers of furniture and decorative fabrics, curtains and bed linen fabrics with their own logo at stands and in the catalogue – for the better orientation of visitors. This innovation applies to both hall 4 and hall 8.0.

Design Dialog highlights trends for the furnishing industry
Representatives from the furniture industry will find hall 4 an attractive place thanks the expanded product range and information offered by the Design Dialog. Heimtextil will be providing information on the latest design trends for the furniture industry in the Lecture Area of hall 4.2 on the Wednesday of the trade fair between midday and 1.30 pm. Those present will include Christiane Müller from Studio Müller Van Tol, Anne Marie Commandeur from Stijlinstituut Amsterdam, representing the Heimtextil Trend Council, and product and furniture designer Werner Aisslinger. Susanne Tamborini-Liebenberg, editor-in-chief of md- Magazin, will chair the event.

Interior.Architecture.Hospitality by Heimtextil
Heimtextil offers new business segments and sales opportunities for contract furnishers. Around 370 exhibitors will provide solutions for the contract sector aimed specifically at interior designers, architects and hospitality experts. Selected suppliers will present their wares at the Interior.Architecture.Hospitality EXPO. The product offer will be supported by a new materials library, the Interior.Architecture.Hospitality LIBRARY. It will present a selection of exhibitor products with functional characteristics such as flame-retardant, sound-insulating, abrasionresistant and water-repellent. Numerous information offers, such as expert presentations and guided tours of the trade fair, complete the programme.

Hall 8.0: Hotspot for the latest interior collections
Curtains, decorative and furniture fabrics, drapery and curtain hardware, sun protection systems, carpets and tools for textile processing will be presented in Hall 8.0 under the title "Window & Interior Decoration". In addition, Heimtextil bundles all participating textiles editeurs and optimally integrates them into the product range for interior decorators and retailers. Around 50 international editeurs present their collections for the coming season.

Showcase: design classics from the past 50 years
Suppliers of pillows, blankets and plaids as well as table and kitchen linen will be exhibiting in Hall 9.0 under the title "Beautiful Living" – together with lifestyle-oriented accessories. Heimtextil thus creates a starting point full of brands for high-quality retailers. On the occasion of the 50th Heimtextil edition, the fair stages design classics from the past 50 years. On this showcase area the fair invites to a journey through five decades of Heimtextil history. Four designed tell about the colors, shapes, furniture and design objects of the past decades. The showcase will be complemented by a café, which will be realized in cooperation with Schöner Wohnen, Europe's largest interior design magazine.

Sleep: new findings and product solutions
Heimtextil puts the sleep theme prominently on the agenda: with the product segment Smart Bedding, the trade fair offers new insights into healthy sleep in hall 11.0 and presents concrete product solutions. Mattresses, bedding, sleep systems and associated technology can be viewed here, as well as duvets and pillows. 140 major players in the industry will bring the theme of sleep to life. There will also be some exciting start-ups that will cause a sensation with smart market innovations. More in depth-information is offered in presentation area “Sleep! The Future Forum”. Here, in the foyer of hall 11.0, visitors can look forward to discussions with sleep experts. These include professional athletes such as Olympic luge champion Susi Erdmann, sleep coach Nick Littlehales and scientists from Berlin’s Charité, the Fraunhofer Institute and the German Sleep Research Society. Speakers from Ikea, Hästens and Auping will talk about progressive sleep topics. The lecture programme covers the top themes of digital, sport, hospitality, sustainability and interior design. In this way, Heimtextil presents the latest findings from sleep research and showcases the latest developments in industry and trade.

Wireless Power Transmission for Technical Textiles Bild von Gerd Altmann auf Pixabay
27.08.2019

WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION FOR TECHNICAL TEXTILES

The trend towards the "Internet of Everything" is ongoing. Whether in industrial, medical or everyday applications, more and more electrical devices are connected to each other, record sensing values, exchange data and react to them. Due to smaller structures, new processing possibilities and new flexible materials, such systems are also being used more and more frequently in the textile sector. For example, medical measurements can be recorded directly on a garment, actuators such as EMS electrodes can be integrated directly into the textile or functions such as MP3 players, GPS receivers, fall detectors, heating structures and much more can be embedded simply and intuitively in textiles. Communication and data exchange usually take place wirelessly via WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID or, in the future, via the 5G network.

The trend towards the "Internet of Everything" is ongoing. Whether in industrial, medical or everyday applications, more and more electrical devices are connected to each other, record sensing values, exchange data and react to them. Due to smaller structures, new processing possibilities and new flexible materials, such systems are also being used more and more frequently in the textile sector. For example, medical measurements can be recorded directly on a garment, actuators such as EMS electrodes can be integrated directly into the textile or functions such as MP3 players, GPS receivers, fall detectors, heating structures and much more can be embedded simply and intuitively in textiles. Communication and data exchange usually take place wirelessly via WLAN, Bluetooth, RFID or, in the future, via the 5G network.

Electrical energy is required for such applications and functions. Despite the efforts to further minimize the energy demand of electronic circuits, it is not always possible to operate these systems completely energy autonomously. Therefore, energy storage devices such as batteries or rechargeable accumulators are necessary for operation. The big advantage of recharging is that smaller, more compact energy storage devices can be used to achieve the same or an increased service life running time. There are two basic concepts for recharging a battery with electrical energy. On the one hand wired and with connections like a micro-USB cable. On the other hand wireless via wireless power transmission. With wired solutions, contacts can wear out or be added by fuzz, especially in the textile sector. In addition, the connecting process is less flexible and uncomfortable.

Wireless concepts offer several advantages and are therefore better suited. For example, the electronics including energy storage can be completely encapsulated, since no galvanic contacts are required. Among other things, this makes the textile directly machine-washable, because the electronics are protected from water, detergents and sweat. This means that no components need to be removed from the textile when washing. A further purely practical advantage is the simplicity of charging. With the suitable concept, the textile can be hung on hangers, placed in laundry baskets or, ideally, simply placed in the washing machine and charged without any further action of the user. The result is an uncomplicated, charming way of operating smart textiles.

There are several concepts and possibilities for wirelessly supplying a textile with energy. The most popular and at the same time most efficient method is the inductive power transmission [1]. Two coils are inductively coupled to each other and thus transmit energy wirelessly (Figure 2). Air, wood, plastic, but also liquids such as water or human tissue can be penetrated a few centimeters almost loss-free.  There are also various concepts for integrating electronics into textiles. From the production of the entire circuit on thin printed circuit boards to complete textile integration, a wide variety of mixtures are possible. The easiest concepts to develop are those in which all circuit parts are manufactured on printed circuit boards. Thin printed circuit boards can have substrate thicknesses of a few tenths of a millimeter (Figure 1). But flexible possibilities such as manufacturing on silicones are also conceivable. Among other things, the sensors and microcontrollers as well as the coil for inductive energy transfer to the substrate are manufactured. This complete printed circuit board then only has to be connected to the textile, whether by gluing, sewing or insertion.

Concepts in which the receiver coil is integrated into the textile go one step further. For example, ultra-fine wires or strands are woven or embroidered and the textile material thus becomes the substrate itself as a functionalized textile. The rest of the circuit, which is still integrated on a conventional substrate, is then connected to the coil and the textile. Since some of the spools can have diameters of a few centimeters, one can gain in flexibility because the textile spool can move almost freely. With a complete textile integration, the components are finally attached to the textile and the conductor paths are embroidered or woven in.

Consistently implemented and used, wireless power transmission as a simple and convenient charging method of textiles can thus contribute to sustainably strengthen the market for smart textiles improving handling and user experience.

Source:

Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS
Authors: Dominik Schröder, Dr. Christian Hedayat

Imagine a truck tarp that can harvest the energy of sunlight! Picture by Peter H. on Pixabay
20.08.2019

TEXTILE BASED SOLAR CELLS

Imagine a truck tarp that can harvest the energy of sunlight!

Imagine a truck tarp that can harvest the energy of sunlight!
With the help of new textile-based solar cells developed by Fraunhofer researchers, semitrailers could soon be producing the electricity needed to power cooling systems or other onboard equipment. In short, textile-based solar cells could soon be adding a whole new dimension to photovoltaics, complementing the use of conventional silicon-based solar cells. Solar panels on building roofs are a common enough sight today – as are large-scale solar parks. In the future, we may well see other surfaces being exploited for photovoltaic generation. Truck tarps, for example, could be used to produce the electricity consumed by the driver when underway or parked up for the night, or to power electronic systems used to locate trailers in shipping terminals. Similarly, conventional building facades could be covered with photovoltaic textiles in place of concrete render. Or the blinds used to provide shade in buildings with glass facades could be used to create hundreds of square meters of additional surface for producing power.

Glass-fiber fabric as a solar-cell substrate
At the heart of such visions are pliable, textile-based solar cells developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS, Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V and industrial partners erfal GmbH & Co. KG, PONGS Technical Textiles GmbH, Paul Rauschert GmbH & Co. KG and GILLES PLANEN GmbH. “There are a number of processes that enable solar cells to be incorporated in coatings applied to textiles,” explains Dr. Lars Rebenklau, group manager for system integration and electronic packaging at Fraunhofer IKTS. In other words, the substrate for the solar cells is a woven fabric rather than the glass or silicon conventionally used. “That might sound easy, but the machines in the textile industry are designed to handle huge rolls of fabric – five or six meters wide and up to 1000 meters in length,” explains Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, group manager for thin-film technology at Fraunhofer IKTS. “And during the coating process, the textiles have to withstand temperatures of around 200 °Celsius. Other factors play a key role too: the fabric must meet fire regulations, have a high tensile strength and be cheap to produce. “The consortium therefore opted for a glass-fiber fabric, which fulfills all of these specifications,” Rebenklau says.

An emphasis on standard processes
Researchers also faced the challenge of how to apply the wafer-thin layers that make up a solar cell – the bottom electrode, the photovoltaic layer and the top electrode – to the fabric. These layers are between one and ten microns in thickness. By comparison, the surface of the fabric is like a mountain range. The solution was first to apply a layer that levels out the peaks and troughs on the surface of the fabric. For this purpose, researchers opted for a standard process from the textile industry: transfer printing, which is also used to rubberize fabrics. All the other processes have been adapted in such a way that they can be easily incorporated in standard production methods used in the textile industry. For example, the two electrodes – which are made of electrically conductive polyester – and the photovoltaic layer are applied by means of the common roll-to-roll method. The solar cells are also laminated with an additional protective layer in order to make them more robust.

Fabric-based solar cells ready for market launch in around five years
The research team has already produced an initial prototype. “This has demonstrated the basic functionality of our textile-based solar cells,” Rebenklau says. “Right now, they have an efficiency of between 0.1 and 0.3 percent.” In a follow-up project, he and the team are seeking to push this over the five percent mark, at which point the textile-based solar cells would prove commercially viable. Silicon-based solar cells are significantly more efficient, at between ten and 20 percent. However, this new form of solar cell is not intended to replace the conventional type, merely offer an alternative for specific applications. In the coming months, the team will be investigating ways of enhancing the service life of the fabric-based solar cells. If all goes according to plan, the first textile-based solar cells could be ready for commercialization in around five years. This would fulfill the original goal of the PhotoTex project: to provide new stimulus for Germany’s textile industry and improve its competitiveness.

Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen (c) Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen
08.01.2019

SLEEP! THE FUTURE FORUM

  • HEIMTEXTIL IS ALREADY SHOWING TODAY HOW WE CAN SLEEP BETTER TOMORROW

According to doctors specialising in sleep, we already know almost everything there is to know about sleep. However, studies show that the quality of this regeneration process is deteriorating all the time. How can we prevent this from happening? The upcoming Heimtextil (8-11 January, Frankfurt am Main) will supply solutions to this with the new ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’. Here, international experts will present the latest findings and textile innovations for a restful night. The world’s leading trade fair for home and contract textiles brings together around 800 producers of textiles in the bed segment. Of these, 140 international industry leaders will be represented in the ‘Smart Bedding’ segment alone in hall 11.0, which will be presenting the latest sleep systems, mattresses, bedding and smart sleep technology. In addition, the new ‘Sleep!

  • HEIMTEXTIL IS ALREADY SHOWING TODAY HOW WE CAN SLEEP BETTER TOMORROW

According to doctors specialising in sleep, we already know almost everything there is to know about sleep. However, studies show that the quality of this regeneration process is deteriorating all the time. How can we prevent this from happening? The upcoming Heimtextil (8-11 January, Frankfurt am Main) will supply solutions to this with the new ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’. Here, international experts will present the latest findings and textile innovations for a restful night. The world’s leading trade fair for home and contract textiles brings together around 800 producers of textiles in the bed segment. Of these, 140 international industry leaders will be represented in the ‘Smart Bedding’ segment alone in hall 11.0, which will be presenting the latest sleep systems, mattresses, bedding and smart sleep technology. In addition, the new ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’ in the foyer of hall 11.0 will provide a platform for knowledge transfer, exchange of experiences and networking relating to a good night’s sleep. International experts will provide an overview of the current state of research and the latest findings on the ‘Future of sleep’ in the four subject areas of digital, sport, hotels and sustainability.

‘We sleep too little’
It is not without reason that many experts are declaring sleep to be the latest lifestyle trend after nutrition and fitness: numerous current studies prove that we are sleeping ever more badly despite increasing knowledge. ‘You don’t always notice sleep deprivation straightaway but you do become less attentive’, says Prof. Ingo Fietze, Head of the Interdisciplinary Sleep Medicine Centre at the Berliner Charité and chair of the German Sleep Foundation. At ‘Sleep! The Future Forum’, Fietze will talk about ‘The power engine of sleep’. ‘From a scientific point of view, we already know a great deal about our night’s sleep. The big problem is that we don’t sleep enough and don’t give sleep the importance it deserves’, says Fietze.

In order to improve our night’s sleep, there are now a number of smart gadgets available: intelligent pillows, noise-reducing high-tech earplugs and sleep trackers – these are all designed to help banish bad sleeping habits and consolidate healthy ones. Given that consumers can quickly get lost in this maze, the Schlafonauten, who call themselves Germany's biggest YouTube channel on the topic of sleep, are ready to help. ‘We test products that promise a calmer night to see how effective they are’, says Schlafonaut Fabian Dittrich. He will present the latest test results in the knowledge forum as part of an interview (‘Smart innovations – the practical test’).

Sleep like a (sports) professional
Another speaker knows the sleeping habits of professional athletes very well: Nick Littlehales, sleep coach of five-time World Cup footballerCristiano Ronaldo and four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, will present his findings from his 22 years as a sleep coach for top athletes (‘Redefining Sleep in Elite Sport’). ‘Athletes and professionals in world sports are facing the growing demands of a globalised 24-hour society’, says Littlehales. This is also increasingly true for non-athletes, says Littlehales, who is certain that his sleep tips for professionals will also be useful for normal mortals.

The night's rest as an experience
Sleeperoo founder Karen Löhnert will show that you can sleep comfortably in the most unusual places during her lecture ‘Sleeperoo - The Night, The Place and You’ at the ‘Sleep!’ forum. She will be introducing the world’s first ‘Design Sleep Cube’. The sleeping capsule known from the start-up TV show ‘Höhle des Löwen’ is currently nominated for the German Innovation Award 2019. It allows the user to spend the night in exotic places such as a museum, a bunker or a pier in the Baltic Sea. ‘I'm a big fan of adventure nights, from tree houses to tepees; but unfortunately I've only been able to find a few local accommodation offers of this type and they don't come with quality guarantees’, says Löhnert. With her sleep cube, she wants to make sleep experiences with a high standard of amenities possible for the first time. In the Sleep Cube, the user lies on a comfortable 1.60 metre wide and 2 metre long mattress, while three large panoramic windows and the roof provide a view of the surroundings and the sky.

Even classic hotel stays have now become a focus of research. Vanessa Borkmann from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO will talk about the importance of sleep in hotels in Frankfurt am Main in January (‘The importance of sleep during a hotel stay – a special experience thanks to innovation’). ‘Healthy sleep is particularly important in hotels’, says Borkmann, who wants to show how the effect of rest in the hotel bed can be improved, for example through the design of the sleeping environment, the behaviour of the guest themselves or technical innovations.

Sustainable sleep
More and more people are using natural materials and sustainably produced textiles in their bedrooms. The lecture block ‘Sleep & Sustainability’ is therefore dedicated to the material properties of textiles and the quality of their processing as well as the auditability of sustainable procurement and production standards. This is how Hendrik Albers, buyer of home and household textiles, bedding & mattresses at OTTO, and Dr Juliane Hedderich, managing director of the Down and Feather Associations in Mainz, describe the growing importance of nature conservation, environmental protection and animal welfare in the bedroom (‘Sustainable good advice - Convincing with the right arguments when it comes to animal welfare and quality’). ‘In the past, criteria such as weight, moisture wicking and filling power has played an almost exclusive role in the choice of bedding, but now the ethical component is increasingly coming into play’, says Hedderich. Consumers are placing ever greater importance on certificates and seals which prove that the processed down and feathers did not originate from live plucking or foie gras production. Hedderich and OTTO buyer Albers present the quality seal ‘DOWNPASS 2017’, which guarantees controlled animal husbandry and adherence to animal protection criteria.

Orgatec © Photo: Koelnmesse
25.10.2016

ORGATEC 2016 ADDRESSES THE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN TOMORROW'S WORLDS OF WORK

From 25 to 29 October, at ORGATEC in Cologne, 665 companies from 40 countries will be presenting the current trends in the world of work of the future. Long gone are the days when just desks, filing systems etc. were presented at the leading international trade fair for the modern world of work. Nowadays, it is much more to do with work culture, work processes and work environments. With its wide spectrum of products and concepts from international exhibitors, plus an excellent programme of events, ORGATEC 2016 is once again set to act as a think tank for the international office furniture industry. Topics to be addressed at the fair, which is expected to attract around 50,000 trade visitors from all over the world, will be new ideas on the current trends of team working, digitalisation, holistic interiors and the attractiveness of the workplace. The following is an overview of what is on offer in the supporting programme.

From 25 to 29 October, at ORGATEC in Cologne, 665 companies from 40 countries will be presenting the current trends in the world of work of the future. Long gone are the days when just desks, filing systems etc. were presented at the leading international trade fair for the modern world of work. Nowadays, it is much more to do with work culture, work processes and work environments. With its wide spectrum of products and concepts from international exhibitors, plus an excellent programme of events, ORGATEC 2016 is once again set to act as a think tank for the international office furniture industry. Topics to be addressed at the fair, which is expected to attract around 50,000 trade visitors from all over the world, will be new ideas on the current trends of team working, digitalisation, holistic interiors and the attractiveness of the workplace. The following is an overview of what is on offer in the supporting programme.
In high-calibre congresses and forums, trade visitors from all over the world can find out about current trends and discuss pressing issues of theory and practice.

ZEIT Work & Style conference
The Work & Style conference, a premium congress format hosted by the renowned German weekly newspaper "DIE ZEIT" will launch this year's ORGATEC and address both sociopolitical and aesthetic questions, in particular the following issues: what role does work play in the identity of the upcoming generation? How will work, life and lifestyle interact? What is it that makes an employer attractive? Which approaches to work will be successful in the future?
26 October 2016, from 10:00 a.m., Congress Centre

ORGATEC  Trend Forum
At the Trend Forum hosted by Hajo Schumacher, creativity and design will be the focus of discussion: with numerous exciting talks on the various different aspects of office design and work culture by distinguished speakers from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the Fraunhofer Institute, among others. On the very first day of the trade fair, it's already all about "Working differently and better!" This is where Bernd Fels, co-founder of if5, will be presenting trends, facts, ideas and examples for the journey into the world of work 4.0. The talk by AECOM, entitled "See further, go further - transformational change" will provide an in-depth exploration of the new challenges facing the world of work in the future and what new approaches global companies are adopting. And trend consultant Brigitte Gebhard will delve into the subject of creative learning environments under the banner of the "New Work Order".
25.-28. Oktober 2016, Halle 6, Stand B 029    

workplace congress
The trade journals "Der Facility Manager" and "industrieBAU" are hosting the second workplace congress at ORGATEC in Cologne. The congress, like its first edition, will focus on all aspects of the challenges posed by the office, in particular how to provide functioning, motivating workplaces. Practical concepts and solutions for office workplaces will be presented. Acclaimed speakers from research, teaching and practice will explore topics such as space and room planning, lighting, acoustics, air conditioning and ergonomics, and discuss current trends and their experiences, gathered over the course of many years in the field. The event is recognised by the Chamber of Construction Engineers of North Rhine-Westphalia as an advanced training course with six time units of 45 minutes each.
27 October 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Offenbachsaal 

SEO Day
Presented for the first time at ORGATEC 2016: the SEO Day is an annual industry meeting of the search machine optimisation scene. Around 800 experts are expected to attend, with more than 40 German-speaking industry experts on hand, holding numerous talks and sharing the latest tips and tricks in the area of search engine optimisation, Google and co.
27 October 2016, Konrad-Adenauer-Saal, Congress Centre North

Speakers' Corner
Following a successful premiere in 2014, exhibitors at ORGATEC will this year once again have the opportunity to present themselves as well as new products and services to a broad trade audience and answer questions directly on site. In half-hour-long presentations, speakers will introduce trends, innovations and methods from their particular field of expertise (daily between 11.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m).
25 through 28 October 2016,11:00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., Hall 11.2, Stand J 002

Alongside the congresses and the forum, ORGATEC 2016 also offers numerous special events that offer trade visitors real added value. The offering ranges from the presentation of innovative materials, through Scandinavian design for indoors and outside, to the current trend of co-working spaces.

"RE/WORK - Moments of Inspiration by Ippolito Fleitz Group"
The competence centre "RE/WORK - Moments of Inspiration by Ippolito Fleitz Group" is an inspiring staging that traces valuable moments of inspiration, combines analogue and digital experiences, enabling a fresh view on the world of work from new perspectives. It shows, in a creative and humorous way, what the office of the future might have to look like in order to address changing requirements. The workplace is no longer bound to a particular space, but rather to moments: moments of networking through the perfect integration of technology, moments of well-being, of inspiration, of lifelong, playful experimentation. The competence centre takes ten examples of these moments and brings them to life in three dimensions. The Competence Centre takes ten examples of these moments and brings them to life in three dimensions.
Daily, Hall 11.2, Stand E 031/ F 030

The influence of design on co-working spaces can be seen by visitors to ORGATEC at the special event "The smart working space", in which the "smart co-working lobby" model showcases a module that will be at the core of the modern office block and that enables the co-working philosophy to be adopted in existing buildings. Using this approach, the trend towards co-working can be embraced relatively quickly and economically. The model will be presented in the form of a fully functioning prototype at ORGATEC. The curator of this specially designed area is Michael O. Schmutzer who, as Managing Director of Design Offices, has turned the idea of "New Work" into a remarkable success story. "The Smart Co-working Lobby" was developed in cooperation with the prestigious interior design office, brandherm + krumrey interior architecture (b-k-i), based in Cologne and Hamburg.
Daily, Hall 9, Stand B 010

Innovation of Interior
In Hall 8, the experts from Haute Innovation will be demonstrating the potential offered for modern working environments by the latest innovations in materials. They will be presenting about new sources of raw materials for manufacturers and planners, sketching out scenarios for the deployment of intelligent materials in the context of the smart office or smart home and outlining the opportunities for additive manufacturing in the furniture industry.
Daily, Hall 8, Stand B 010

Design meets movement
Creative design will be lined up for the visitors in the Passage between Halls 10 and 11. In the special exhibition Design meets Movement, leading European designers will present smart solutions from Scandinavia that go beyond working indoors and act instead as an interface to the outside world - a multifunctional installation for outdoor working.
Daily, Passage 10/11

ORGATEC Boulevard - Creativity Works
Exceptional design will also be on display on the Boulevard. This is where Koelnmesse, in cooperation with the German association for the office and working environment (IBA / Industrieverband Büro und Arbeitswelt e.V.) will be presenting various projects on the topic of "Creativity Works". For instance, the magazine FRAME will be staging a captivating exhibition of forward-looking workplace design in collaboration with young creative professionals. The magazine "100 working SPACES" will be presenting 100 current and innovative workplaces and office concepts from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as the best and most amazing projects from the rest of the world. And, presenting the results of their research project, students of design at the University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf (HSD / Hochschule Düsseldorf) will be showing an ingenious fusion of fashion, workspace, performance and identity.
Daily, Boulevard

ORGATEC, with its 50,000 trade visitors from all over the world, has also traditionally been the appropriate place for the awarding of important honours. This is also the case in 2016.

Prize ceremony for the "Büro & Umwelt" ("Office & Environment") competition 
Sustainable behaviours in everyday office life and attention to environmental requirements in the procurement of office equipment are extremely important for our environment. The German Association for Environmental Management, B.A.U.M e.V. (Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis für Umweltbewusstes Management) aims to draw attention to this with the "Büro & Umwelt" competition. At the heart of the competition is the sustainable handling of resources in everyday office life, as well as the awareness of environmental concerns when procuring office equipment.
25 October 2016, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Trend Forum stage, Hall 6, Stand B 029

"Architektur + Office" Innovation Prize
The 9th Architecture + Office Innovation Prize will be awarded by AIT and xia during ORGATEC 2016. Designers and manufacturers will submit their products to the critical judgment of renowned architects. The aim of the award is to underline the importance of quality in architecture in the office interiors sector. Products on the market that are particularly effective in addressing the concerns of the target group will be awarded a prize. All of the submitted products will be displayed in a special exhibition at ORGATEC 2016 in Cologne.
25. October 2016, Hall 10.1, Stand E 011

Time is money. The same is true for the trade visitors to ORGATEC 2016. In order to get a comprehensive overview of the important new developments and trends on show, guided tours around the trade fair are available.

Guided tours around the fair by the Mensch&Büro-Akademie (People&Office Academy)
The Mensch&Büro-Akademie (MBA) and PRIMA VIER Publishing Frank Nehring (P4) will be offering two guided tours around ORGATEC 2016, based on the topics of "Health & Ergonomics" and "Design & Innovation", both taking place twice daily on 26, 27 and 28 October 2016.
Meeting point: Hall 7, Stand B 073

Guided tours for architects organised by Bauverlag
Actively promote dialogue between architects, interior designers, lighting planners and exhibitors - with this aim in mind, Bauverlag publishers is offering guided tours on four trade fair days to selected trade fair highlights at ORGATEC. The "Bauverlag architects' tours" around the trade fair will be conducted by editors from the magazines "Bauwelt" (Building World) and "DBZ" (Deutsche Bauzeitschrift/German Building Magazine). In the approx. 2 ½ hour tour around 10 important exhibitors will be visited. You will be met by competent representatives at the stands, who will demonstrate their new products and systems specifically from the viewpoint of the architect.
25 through 28 October 2016, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., setting off from: Passage 3/11, Stand P 001  
 
SIX-TO-NINE Party
What could be better than bringing the exhibition day to a relaxed close? On the first day of the fair, nothing could be easier - the ORGATEC Boulevard is the perfect setting for the legendary ORGATEC SIX-TO-NINE party. On the evening of the first day of the fair, all exhibitors, visitors and journalists are invited to this industry meeting to engage in lively conversations and exchange ideas in a relaxed atmosphere.
25 October 2016, 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m., ORGATEC Boulevard

 

Wind energy plant © Timo Klostermeier / pixelio.de
11.10.2016

WIND POWER INDUSTRY AT COMPOSITES EUROPE 2016

Offshore expansion and onshore repowering ensure growth

  • Wind theme day with guided tour November 29th
  • Lectures about material trends

With an investment volume of EUR 14 billion in the offshore sector alone, the European wind power industry has set a new record high in the first half of 2016. This figure and the view on the still open approval procedures in this segment as well as the onshore upcoming generational change from existing to modern facilities (repowering) show that the potential for growth is far from being exploited. Also in America as well as in Asia and the Pacific area a new emerging wind energy sector is also driving demand for fiber composites. The COMPOSITES EUROPE exhibition will be showing in Dusseldorf from November 29th to December 1st 2016 the latest trends and developments.

Theme Day: Wind meets Composites

Offshore expansion and onshore repowering ensure growth

  • Wind theme day with guided tour November 29th
  • Lectures about material trends

With an investment volume of EUR 14 billion in the offshore sector alone, the European wind power industry has set a new record high in the first half of 2016. This figure and the view on the still open approval procedures in this segment as well as the onshore upcoming generational change from existing to modern facilities (repowering) show that the potential for growth is far from being exploited. Also in America as well as in Asia and the Pacific area a new emerging wind energy sector is also driving demand for fiber composites. The COMPOSITES EUROPE exhibition will be showing in Dusseldorf from November 29th to December 1st 2016 the latest trends and developments.

Theme Day: Wind meets Composites

Sector specialists such as Gaugler & Lutz, DD Compound, 3D Core, LAP and Power & Composite Technology will be showing current technologies at the COMPOSITES EUROPE, latest machine tools and manufacturing processes for the wind power industry. A highlight for all wind experts: On November 29th will be the theme day „Wind meets Composites" at the fair. This day will be sponsored by GUNNAR International, Weissenberger, Hexion and SAERTEX. Engineers of aerodynamics, materials science, lightweight construction and production technology will be able to exchange ideas with purchasers, exhibitors and wind energy specialists in the composite sector. The focus will be, among other things, on topics such as the influence of material selection, on design, weight, stability, processing or production processes as well as on certification, standardization and automation in rotor blade construction.
 
Guided theme walks

An optimal overview of exhibitors' offer on the topic wind is given to visitors by the opportunity of taking part at guided tours. Here they will specifically directed to various exhibitors from the wind segment, where they can get within 10 minutes information about their products and innovations. There will be two guided tours on November 29th: tour 1 will take place between 12:00 AM and 01.00 PM and tour 2 in the afternoon between 02:00 and 03:00 PM. Participating exhibitors include Airtech, GUNNAR International, Agilent Technologies, RH Cutting Technology, Granta Design, DD Compound and Armacell Benelux. The lecture is in English. Participation is free, but the number of participants is limited. Between the two round trips the participants have the opportunity to strengthen themselves at the "Wind Lunch" at the booth of Hexion (Hall 8a / booth G31).
Click here to register for the guided tours: www.composites-europe.com/guided-tours

 
Lectures at COMPOSITES Forum

On the afternoon of the wind theme day the COMPOSITES Forum provides an overview of the latest challenges in research, design, quality management, transportation and production of rotor blades. Starting at 3:00 PM Sinoi will discuss "Challenges and approaches in the construction of large onshore blades". Euros will hold a lecture on "Potentials and limits of composites in rotor blade construction" and the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology will be presenting "Composite trends for wind turbine blades". Pontis Engineering also has a slot in the lecture program. From 04.00 PM it will be about "Challenges in design and manufacturing of large wind turbine blades". Access to the lecture area is free of charge for visitors. The COMPOSITES Forum is located in Hall 8, Booth B45.

Click here for a complete overview on the topic wind:
https://www.composites-europe.com/windenergie_527.html

About COMPOSITES EUROPE:
350 exhibitors from 30 countries will attend the COMPOSITES EUROPE, European Trade Fair and Forum for Composite Materials, Technology and Applications from November 29th to December 1st in Dusseldorf. The exhibition shows the entire range of fiber-reinforced plastics, from raw materials to manufacturing processes, to lightweight construction innovations in automotive engineering, aviation, boat building, wind power industry and construction. COMPOSITES EUROPE is organized by Reed Exhibitions in cooperation with the European sector association EuCIA and the economic association Composites Germany, a consortium of branch associations and clusters AVK, CCeV, CFK-Valley Stade and VDMA AG Hybrid Light Construction Technologies.