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Innovation Award 2016

The Schaeffler FAG Foundation honors young scientists for their outstanding final theses

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Four young scientists received the Schaeffler FAG Foundation’s 2016 Innovation Award for their outstanding final theses in the field of bearing technology. L-R: M.Sc. Stephan Hahn, Dr. Josef Scheller (manager of Schaeffler’s Schweinfurt plant), Dr.-Ing. Thorben Schiemann, Klaus Widmaier (chairman of the Foundation’s governing board), Dr.-Ing. Benjámin Radnai, Dietmar Heinrich (Regional CEO for Europe at Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG), and Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Daniel Ziegler.

2017-02-23 | Schweinfurt

For over 30 years, the Schaeffler FAG Foundation has been supporting science, research, and teaching. Four young scientists received the 2016 Innovation Award for their outstanding final theses in the field of bearing technology, picking up a total of 21,000 euros in prize money between them.

The Schaeffler FAG Foundation has presented its 2016 Innovation Award to four young scientists to honor the outstanding results they achieved in their doctoral, master, and diploma theses. This award represents the Foundation’s recognition of both the scientists’ strong commitment and of their innovative work, with which they have succeeded in setting new standards. Since it was started in 1983, the Schaeffler FAG Foundation has supported science, research, and teaching at universities and colleges working in the fields of natural science and technology, and to date has awarded more than one million euros in subsidies.

Dietmar Heinrich, Regional CEO for Europe at Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Dr. Josef Scheller, manager of Schaeffler’s Schweinfurt plant, and Klaus Widmaier, Chairman of the Foundation’s governing board, presented the awards for 2016 during a ceremony in Schweinfurt: Dr.-Ing. Thorben Schiemann received the first prize of 8,000 euros for his doctoral thesis “Fold formation mechanisms during the collaring of hollow extruded parts”. The second prize of 4,000 euros in the doctoral thesis category went to Dr.-Ing. Benjámin Radnai for his dissertation on “Mechanisms of action in energized rolling bearings”.

The Schaeffler FAG Foundation also awarded two prizes for outstanding master and diploma theses, with the 6,000 euro first prize going to M.Sc. Stephan Hahn for his masters thesis “Possible applications for additive manufacturing methods in spindle bearing production”. The second prize of 3,000 euros was awarded to Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Ziegler, whose diploma thesis tackled an “Analysis of damage mechanisms in rolling bearing cages in dual mass flywheel applications”.

In his opening speech, Klaus Widmaier highlighted the objectives of the Schaeffler FAG Foundation: “The Foundation is a driver for knowledge, knowledge transfer and the development of potential. It is also an expression of the entrepreneurial and social responsibility that we will continue to exemplify in the future”, explained Widmaier. He went on to report that 2016 had again seen a large number of very high quality theses submitted, which emphasized the prestigious status of the Foundation and its awards. In addition to its scientific focus, Widmaier also spoke of the work done by the Foundation in promoting education, using cross-disciplinary projects in schools to generate enthusiasm for technology and technical professions among young people early in their lives. The award ceremony will take place on March 21, 2017 at Schaeffler’s training workshop in Schweinfurt.

During his speech at the ceremony, Dietmar Heinrich highlighted Schaeffler’s outstanding power of innovation, the main driving force of which is the work and commitment of its employees. “As part of its “Mobility for tomorrow” strategy, Schaeffler will meet the challenges of the future and play an active role in shaping them in innovative ways”, said Heinrich. He illustrated this point with examples of urban mobility concepts and projects that Schaeffler presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. At the 2017 Hannover Messe, solutions for Industry 4.0 will be the center of attention. In the future, electromechanical actuators (as employed in the Active Roll Control System, for example) and rolling bearings equipped with sensors will work as smart components and supply data for the Internet of Things.

The prize winners in the doctoral, master, and diploma thesis categories

Awards in the dissertation category

First prize (8,000 euros):
The first prize went to Dr.-Ing. Thorben Schiemann (University of Stuttgart, Faculty of Engineering Design, Production Design, and Automotive Engineering, Institute of Forming Technology, University Professor Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Mathias Liewald), whose doctoral thesis “Fold formation mechanisms during the collaring of hollow extruded parts” displayed a high level of new scientific knowledge and thus represents a significant advance. The focus of his thesis is the development of a superior method of failure mode prediction in the formation of folds during the extrusion of high cylindrical semi-finished products. In the production of high-performance components for mechanical engineering and vehicle manufacture, the extreme demand for lightweight construction or high power density mean that, in the field of modern forming technology, manufacturing methods that have been selected to ensure holistic efficiency in the use of resources are becoming increasingly common. The essential objective of the doctoral thesis submitted by Dr.-Ing. Thorben Schiemann was the development and evaluation of technological measures for identifying hitherto unknown or unexplored variables that influence the formation of folds during the collaring of hollow extruded parts. Dr.-Ing. Schiemann also used the high volume of experimental data acquired to develop an empirical fold criterion and to implement this in a commercial simulation program that can be used to predict category 2 fold formation with a high level of accuracy.

Second prize (4,000 euros):
The second prize was awarded to Dr.-Ing. Benjámin Radnai (Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences, Chair of Mechanical Components and Transmission Technology, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Sauer) for his doctoral thesis “Mechanisms of action in energized rolling bearings”. The objective of Dr.-Ing. Radnai’s thesis was to envisage the rolling bearing as a complex electrical component, and specifically to identify the influence exerted by factors such as bearing size, bearing load, speed, temperature, and lubricant. Dr.-Ing. Radnai solved this problem by means of both experiments and simulation-based model analyses. A special bearing current test rig was developed in order to test the mechanisms of action in energized rolling bearings. Unlike existing test rigs, this new test rig made it possible for the first time to test the effects of electrical and mechanical operating parameters independently of each other. The measurements that were made provided both the basis and validation for a new calculation model that can be used to predict bearing currents. The results of Dr. Radnai’s clear analysis of the ball bearing’s electrical conductivity based on the operating conditions, the lubricant film thickness, and the surface quality are also of high scientific interest and are a valuable new worldwide development.

Awards in the masters and diploma thesis category

First prize (6,000 euros):
The first prize was awarded to M.Sc. Stephan Hahn (Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen/Nuremberg, Chair of Engineering Design, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sandro Wartzack and Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Schweinfurt) for his masters thesis entitled “Possible applications for additive manufacturing methods in spindle bearing production”. This thesis provides a detailed analysis of the current state of the art in additive manufacturing and of its strengths and weaknesses, from which the available potential applications with regard to spindle bearing components are systematically derived. The objective was to optimize spindle bearings as an overall system in terms of both technology and cost effectiveness through the use of new manufacturing technologies. The findings made by M.Sc. Hahn in his thesis provide an important basis for the cost-effective manufacture of small quantities of spindle bearing components using additive manufacturing methods in the short to mid term. This particularly applies to sealing shields and possibly to cages and, what is more, DLR spacers manufactured using additive methods.

Second prize (3,000 euros):
The Foundation awarded a second prize to Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Ziegler (Würzburg/ Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gregor Mengelkamp and Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG, Schweinfurt) for his diploma thesis “Analysis of damage mechanisms in rolling bearing cages in dual mass flywheel applications“. The starting point of his tests was a returns analysis, from which typical occurrences of damage were inspected and assigned to potential damage mechanisms. Simulations were used to determine which operating conditions are the most damaging for rolling bearing cages, with the top spot going to the actuation of the clutch pedal, which places particular strain on the rolling bearing cages due to a high axial load on the bearing. However, engine starts and idling can also lead to damage. Ziegler compared three cage designs – the “sheet metal snap cage”, the “welded cage”, and the “plastic snap cage” – and came to the conclusion that the “welded cage” is the design best suited to DMF applications. Riveted cages are also an option, since they allow precise centering.

Publisher: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
Country: Germany

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