The future of the region lies in networking

Over 300 participants in the Technology Day premiere in Tuttlingen

On 14 November 2019 the first Technology Day organised by the Tuttlingen Campus of Furtwangen University (HFU) took place in the town hall. More than 300 visitors and 32 exhibitors took part in the event, which dealt with future trends in the area of materials technology, production engineering and process engineering. The programme included 11 specialist talks rounded off with a panel discussion.

The Tuttlingen Technology Day is a platform and meeting place for knowledge and technology transfer between academia and industry. In opening the event, University President, Professor Dr. Rolf Schofer, reminded the audience that this year is the 10-year anniversary of the Tuttlingen Campus as a study and research location. "The Tuttlingen Technology Day is the highlight of our anniversary year." The organiser of the event, Professor Dr. Hadi Mozaffari Jovein hoped the visitors would have, "interesting talks and discussions, as well as ample opportunity for exchange and networking."

One of the speakers was production engineering expert, Professor Dr.-Ing. Fritz Klocke, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Automation (IPA) in Stuttgart. In his speech on "Integrated Models for the Prediction of Component Functionality", he talked about the capabilities and limits of data models in the production process. "Models simulate reality, but they are not reality. They help to represent generally the most important relationships, to evaluate options and to control systems." Structure can even be recognised amongst chaos."  "It is recognised that around 80% of all processes are structured." This makes it possible to analyse production processes using artificial intelligence, to visualise them in data models and eventually to set up pilot applications in companies which can later be applied in the real world.

German engineering and the necessity to network
Five experts took part in a panel discussion on the topic, "Where are we heading?", moderated by Angela Imdahl from the Imdahl Institute for Strategy and Storytelling. The focus of the discussion was the positioning of businesses in the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg Region with regard to the changing economy. The panel members were Professor Dr. med. Thomas Carus (Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Thuine), Guntmar Eisen (EIT Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH), Professor Dr. Fritz Klocke (Fraunhofer IPA), Dr. Michael Lüttgen (EIT Health Germany GmbH) and Professor Dr. Hans Jürgen Seifert (Karlsruher Institut für Technologie). The participants agreed that in the future all parties in the region will have to network more. The technical know-how and the ability to deal with the Asian competition is available. It's a case of linking the various competences. "We know what we are doing when it comes to production and we go to the universities and develop innovations," said Eisen. This is a great opportunity for the region. Businesses must network with their neighbours. He stressed, "The competition is not here in the region, but rather in Asia!" Seifert added, " Asian manufacturers are only ahead of us in quantity. Engineering skills in Germany are still better.“ Carus agreed, "The whole world buys medical products from this region." Modern, high quality, and above all, sustainable and innovative products are our chance. " We can hold our own with German quality."  But we have to come up with new ideas, not just with regard to products, but also strategically. For Klocke this includes, "flexible working arrangements" and "modern infrastructures".

Event organisation in Kooperation
The event was co-organised by the University Campus Tuttlingen and the AWT (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Wärmebehandlung und Werkstofftechnik e. V.). They were supported by the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the TechnologyMountains and MedicalMountains cluster organisations.