Press Releases

A sensor system learns to "hear": Reliable detection of failures in machines and systems

Saarbrücken, December 5, 2018:

The sensor system inspects the rotating cutting unit of a combine harvester for defective vibrations or noises by means of structure-borne sound sensors (detailed view of the sensor see right image) and microphones.
© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

The sensor system inspects the rotating cutting unit of a combine harvester for defective vibrations or noises by means of structure-borne sound sensors (detailed view of the sensor see right image) and microphones.

Researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken have developed a sensor system that can detect failures or imperfections in systems and machines quickly and reliably by means of an acoustic noise assessment similar to human hearing. The "hearing" sensor system AcoustiX has already been successfully deployed by John Deere, the American global market leader in the fields of agricultural engineering, to inspect the cutting units of combine harvesters.. Please read more ...

Robot-assisted sensor system for quality assurance of press-hardened components

Saarbrücken, October 17, 2018:

Realizing robot-assisted inspection of steel sheets for mechanical properties (residual stresses, etc.) by micromagnetic procedures (3MA).
© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

Realizing robot-assisted inspection of steel sheets for mechanical properties (residual stresses, etc.) by micromagnetic procedures (3MA).

In many industrial sectors, material defects in the final product can lead to premature failure and impair their safe use. Intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role in quality assurance: without damaging the material itself or changing the surface, components or parts can be inspected quickly and cost-effectively during the production process. From 23 to 26 October 2018, experts from Fraunhofer IZFP will present a robot-assisted sensor system providing quality monitoring as integral element of production processes at EuroBLECH in Hanover (hall 11, booth A25). Please read more ...

Permanent condition monitoring at the push of a button

Saarbrücken, August 27, 2018:

© Katharina Wieland Müller, pixelio

Notably car drivers are affected: Long traffic jams or reroutings due to protracted restoration works on bridges – frequently even being on too late as some of the bridges yet are in danger of collapse and thus being – in the worst case – subject of demolition. But why not intervening and sanifying at an early state? That’s what engineers of Fraunhofer IZFP have thought about and, as a result, developed an intelligent, modular monitoring platform as a fast and cost-effective corrective to-be. Please read more ...

Researchers want to make the inspection of threaded connections safer by using standardized ultrasound methods

Saarbrücken, July 23, 2018:

© Fotolia / pichitstocker

A test engineer is inspecting safety-critical threaded connections on a drilling platform. Scientists are to make threaded connections installed in the field safer by means of a stadardized method.

Safety-critical threaded connections in the energy generation sector, e.g., for wind turbines, on drilling platforms, or in industrial plants pose the highest requirements for reliable and precise status monitoring. Scientists from the Fraunhofer IZFP and the Institut für Werkstoffkunde (IfW) are currently developing a standardized, cross-industry method whose use is expected to significantly improve the inspection of screws installed in the field.  Please read more ...

Holistic materials characterization of plastics and fiber composites: three Fraunhofer institutes are bundling their competences

Saarbrücken, March 2, 2018:

© Fraunhofer IWM

Long fiber-reinforced battery box

Collaborating and networking - this is the contemporary response to the technological and scientific challenges of our times, which are becoming ever more complex. This is the reason why the Fraunhofer Institutes for Nondestructive Testing IZFP, for Mechanics of Materials IWM, and for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF are now bundling their competences. It will allow them to provide a comprehensive portfolio for holistic material characterization of plastics and fiber composites for component design. The collaboration comprises both the scientific approach and the industrial application of the solutions found. The advantage of such networking: clients will be provided with a combined, validated concept for their design and measuring methods instead of getting individual components. In their new collaboration, the three institutes will welcome cooperation with partners with whom they can work on challenging scientific issues in joint projects. Please read more ...

Archive Press Releases

Launch of ADVISE - a EURATOM research project aiming at advancing the ultrasonic inspection of complex structured materials

Saarbrücken, December, 2017:

In recent years, there has been increasing concern for safe long-term operation of existing European nuclear power plants. The ultrasonic inspection of corrosion resistant alloys used in these plants – in particular claddings, austenitic welds and cast austenitic steels – is a long standing issue in the field of nuclear non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT and NDE). For these materials, a complex microstructure is responsible for both structural noise and attenuation, thus degrading the performance of ultrasonic nondestructive testing. Please read more ...

Fraunhofer researchers develop measuring system for ZF factory in Saarbrücken

Saarbrücken, November 21, 2017:

At left: Partially automated system for measuring the weld seam geometry of output shafts for the automatic 8-speed passenger car transmission from ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Saarbrücken factory; Below: Analysis/results image for an output shaft

Modern and forward-looking manufacturing processes are essential building blocks for a company's economic success and efficiency. Production processes must be optimized continuously and intelligently under the aspects of resource savings, quality, and cost. A new measuring system developed by experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP is expected to increase productivity, significantly reduce material and test scrap, as well as provide support for optimizing production processes in transmission production at ZF Friedrichshafen AG's factory in Saarbrücken / Saarland. Please read more ...

Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable

Saarbrücken, August 28, 2017:

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

John Deere 8000 Series forage harvester Weld seam testing on blade holder using “LinScanDuo 2.0“

Harvesting machinery must function without failures during the entire harvest season, for any interruption in operation will result in considerable economic losses for farmers and contractors. To increase reliability and thus, the concomitant maximum efficiency and productivity, engineers and scientists from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken have developed a quality assurance system for forage harvesters: The semi-automatic “LinScanDuo 2.0“ ultrasound testing system is already successfully operating at the John Deere factory in Zweibrücken. Please read more ...

Fraunhofer IZFP acquires lucrative EU project for increasing nuclear power plant safety

Saarbrücken, Juni 21, 2017:

© Thorsten Schier - Fotolia

Grohnde/Lower Saxony nuclear power plant

In the European Union, about 200 nuclear power plants that feed electricity into the grids are currently in operation. Extending their period of operation will require reliable technology systems for calculating the residual life of the reactor components; the safety of existing nuclear power plants thus continues to remain a relevant research topic. An EU project that will make a significant contribution to ensuring long-term safety of nuclear power plant operation has recently been acquired by researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken. Please read more ...

Enhanced safety by nondestructive testing of cable insulation in European nuclear power plants

Saarbrücken, April 3, 2017:

© eyetronic - Fotolia

Nuclear Power Plant

Despite the German phase-out from nuclear power, this technology still plays a major role in Europe. Due to this fact, it is all the more important for Germany to be able to assess the condition of international nuclear power plants. In a nuclear power plant (NPP) an average of 25,000 cables with a total length of 1,500 km are installed. These cables are partially exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as increased temperature or radiation: Under these circumstances, the cable insulation deteriorates with the risk of cracks occurring as a result of embrittlement. How can nondestructive procedures detect possible fatigue processes of the cables at an early stage? And how can these procedures be brought in line with practical aspects? A team of engineers and scientists at Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrucken is working on these questions. Please read more ...

Website TeaM Cables

Fraunhofer IZFP celebrates 45 years in Saarland

Saarbrücken, March 6, 2017:

© Fraunhofer IZFP/Tom Gundelwein

Fraunhofer IZFP leadership team

The creation of Saarland's first public research institute will be celebrated for the 45th time in March 2017. Although established long ago, Fraunhofer IZFP has remained young and modern, which can be seen in a new strategic alignment that is shifting the institute's focus from traditional nondestructive testing services to leading-edge self-learning sensor and monitoring systems modeled on the concepts of Big Data and Industry 4.0 currently being promoted by the German government. Please read more ...

Looking inside materials the smart way

Saarbrücken, February 9, 2017:

© Fraunhofer IZFP/Tom Gundelwein

3D SmartInspect

Aircraft, trains and power plants have to be inspected regularly. Detecting damage too late could pose safety risks and often results in expensive downtimes. Now, researchers are using the 3D SmartInspect sensor and inspection system to transfer established testing routines into tomorrow’s digital world.

  • Detecting material defects in structures susceptible to wear such as in technical installations or in aircraft components is a difficult process: inspectors completely rely on their own experience.
  • The 3D SmartInspect system offers help for the future.
  • Fraunhofer researchers will be presenting the new technology at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 9 and at the Hannover Messe, April 24–28, 2017 (Hall 2, Booth C22). Please read more ...

Flyer 3D SmartInspect


Permanent Condition Monitoring at the Push of a Button

Saarbrücken, December 15, 2016:

© Christophe Marcheux, GNU/Wikimedia Commons

Viaduc de Millau, France

Notably car drivers are affected: Long traffic jams or reroutings due to protracted restoration works on bridges – frequently even being on too late as some of the bridges yet are in danger of collapse and thus being – in the worst case – subject of demolition. But why not intervening and sanifying at an early state? That’s what engineers of Fraunhofer IZFP have thought about and, as a result, developed an intelligent, modular monitoring platform as a fast and cost-effective corrective to-be. From January 16 to 21, 2017, Fraunhofer IZFP will present its new development at the Munich construction trade show BAU (hall C2.538). Please read more ...

Fraunhofer IZFP receives an order worth half a million euros in the Persian Gulf

Saarbrücken, October 6, 2016:

© Fraunhofer IZFP/Uwe Bellhäuser

In cooperation with an Australian business partner and system integrator, the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken acquired a major order worth half a million euros last week. The final customer is "Metro Doha", a planned public transport system project in the capital of Qatar. In detail, the contract comprises two AUROPA systems for the automatic detection of damage such as crack-like defects in the wheel tread area of railway wheels. Delivery shall be completed within 12 months.

Process-integrated inspection for ultrasound-assisted friction stir welding (FSW) of metal/hybrid compound materials

Saarbrücken, September 26, 2016:

X-Ray Image of a FSW-Seam
© Fraunhofer IZFP

Ever faster, ever lighter, ever increasing energy efficiency: Lightweight construction is one of the key technologies of today’s industrial production. By now, saving of weight, material, and energy applies across industries while taking account of the entire product life cycle. In doing so, the realization of innovative lightweight construction structures as well as the combination of divergent materials play an essential and mandatory role to meet the various requirements components are expected to fulfill. Hence, joint technologies are of crucial importance for any kind of goal-driven lightweight construction. Fraunhofer IZFP researchers aim for process-integrated inspection of the error-prone seam zones of friction stir welded components. In doing so, they have a serious share in the reduction of costs and wastage at concurrent saving of time. Please read more ...

Tracking down covered motor-doping in cycling

Saarbrücken, July 12, 2016:

© By Wladyslaw Sojka via Wikimedia Commons

By now, it is well known that e-doping, also common as motor-doping, is a real and urgent threat in cycling. The issue occupies a considerable part in the discussions around the 103rd Tour de France. The struggle of the Union Cycliste Internationale UCI against minimally invasive technical doping systems is to be intensified further and brought to a sustainable basis: High forfeits, long-term bans and the search for effective uncovering methods. For this struggle Fraunhofer IZFP provides adequate tools to detect hidden auxiliary motors. Please read more ...

Fraunhofer IZFP inspects the deck slab of the Fechingen Viaduct

Saarbrücken, June 14, 2016:

© Kondephy, wikipedia

In recent months, many Saarlander have suffered from the full closure of the Fechingen Viaduct that has plunged the traffic in the capital region into chaos. Due to expert assessments forecasting the risk of sudden failure of the bridge piers, the bridge had to be closed. In order to re-integrate this important infrastructure construction into the traffic network, at least in a restricted extent, it was necessary to reduce the load of the supporting structure. Please read more ...

Outer space mission Lisa Pathfinder: Fraunhofer IZFP puts two gold/platinum cubes to the acid test

Saarbrücken, March 1, 2016:

© ESA–C. Carreau

LISA Pathfinder

Until a few days ago – when the long-awaited epochal breakthrough of direct proof of gravitational waves was proclaimed at a press conference – in spite of intensive research scientists and researchers failed to verify the existence of gravitational waves as predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. Just on this account, the European Space Agency has sent a satellite into space which is to perform the preparatory work for the direct detection of gravitational waves predicted by Einstein. The central experiment of the mission involves two virtually identical high-precision cubes made of a gold-platinum alloy. These cubes were tested by engineers at Fraunhofer IZFP for their suitability and accuracy, both prerequisites for their smooth operation in space. Please read more ...

Production-integrated inspection of large-scale CFRP components

Saarbrücken, February 23, 2016:

© Fraunhofer IZFP

In the frame of nondestructive inspection, computed tomography (CT) is a reliable and effective method for three-dimensional examination of the internal structure of objects. However, the inspection of flat components by means of CT has its limits and is turning out to be difficult due to restrictions by impossible but indispensable irradiation directions. In these cases computed laminography (CL) is a time-saving and cost-effective alternative. At this year's JEC WORLD Composites Show & Conferences, held from 8 to 10 march in Paris, France, Fraunhofer IZFP will present CLARA®, a fully featured CL machine for "nondestructive inspection of CFRP components using computed laminography" which was developed by engineers and researchers of this Saarland Institute. The results of the measurements and a complete volume reconstruction of the object are available within minutes. Please read more ...

CT-Automat: Fully automatic serial testing of materials and components

Saarbrücken, February 15, 2016:

© Fraunhofer IZFP

For many years, Fraunhofer IZFP’s CT-Automat, a system for computed tomography (CT), has proven to be a fully automated laboratory system for industrial quality control. Several leading European seed companies are using it as an effective tool for control and quality assessment in seed production for fast obtainment of objective quality statements concerning single seeds. This nondestructive inspection procedure evaluates the quality of the seed without damaging the seed itself and without altering the surface. Please read more ...