Project Greenhouse

The Greenhouse project is a mini greenhouse for at home to enable people in living situations without a garden or balcony to grow their own food. The greenhouse was developed as part of the sustainability project by Jennifer Pechler, currently a student in her 4th semester, Bachelor of Technical Design. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Bernhard Rothbucher and Prof. Eric Schneider.


Holistic Planning of an Assembly Line for Door Side Panels

The project work "Holistic Planning of an Assembly Line for Door Side Panels" in cooperation with SMP Deutschland GmbH was unfortunately under the sign of the Corona pandemic with virtual presence, but very practical and close to the process. The students all gave feedback that they felt up close and live in the company.

Objectives of the project work: Analysis of the existing assembly layout (ACTUAL analysis); conception and development of a new assembly layout (target state); increase in productivity; space savings; ensuring proper process and material flow; integration of KPI systems and digital solutions in the assembly line; optimization of technical and logistical infrastructure; concepts for compressed air savings and extraction protection; design of lighting and illumination equipment.

During the implementation phase, there were a series of virtual meetings. The results can be summarized as follows:

  • Development of an innovative and effective assembly layout for door side panels;
  • Clocking out of individual workers to a consistent level with the option of flexible work systems;
  • Development of a key performance indicator system with links to process-relevant information;
  • Development of concepts for compressed air supply, extraction protection and lighting systems.

The supervision on the part of the THI was taken over by Prof. Dr. Robert Götz. The representative of SMP Deutschland GmbH was Mr. Sebastian Schierlinger, Lean Manager Lean Manufacturing. The philosophy of the project was to integrate many practical contents and workshops into the project work. Due to Corona, the practical, hands-on involvement in the process was omitted. Instead, however, there were many learning walls on all project-related topics (e.g. MTM, factory planning, process and material flow, layout planning procedures, lean manufacturing, digitization solutions).

SmartDamageDetect: Optical Identification of Constructive Component and Surface Defects via Intelligent Lighting

Inspired by a new research approach by Mühenad Bilal and Christian Mayer, the project group has developed a concept for the optical identification of constructive component and surface defects of highly complex optically critical tools via intelligent lighting. The solution approaches have enabled the project group members to achieve better images with significantly less noise and image distortion of drills and milling cutters, so that damages can now be detected and characterized more precisely. With the images we can even measure cutting angles with an accuracy of 1%.


Development of a Means of Transport for Handicapped Persons

The aim of the project was to design means of transport for people with disabilities, among other things for faster evacuation in emergency situations. These can be used in situations for which wheelchairs are unsuitable. In addition to the medically correct positioning of the person in the means of transport, it was particularly important that the "transporter" can be easily manufactured, repaired and used in many different ways. For this purpose, it must be able to move in a controlled manner even on difficult surfaces and be able to be folded up to save space, e.g. so that the person can be taken along by a shared cab. Among other things, the students designed concepts for means of transport in which the person hangs stably in a fabric full-body belt that can be securely fastened to a transportable frame with spring-loaded carabiners. The advantage: impacts that can easily occur during transport are not transmitted to the body of the person, who typically reacts very sensitively to stress. Another concept allows the person to be pulled, which is a great advantage especially in rough terrain. The Shonaquip Charity Foundation, which is now examining the concepts for possible implementation, has already offered the students internships in South Africa where they can realize their concepts.


The New Mobility as a Job Engine for Medium-Sized Companies, Suppliers, NACs, NEVs...

In times of shorter innovation cycles and massively changing global conditions, small and medium-sized companies will lose touch with global market requirements without continuous development of new products and processes. Large companies position themselves globally and follow the markets - small companies usually cannot take this step and are bound to their location in Germany. Why not turn this supposed disadvantage into an advantage? The question is: How can small and medium-sized companies, especially in the New Mobility sector (NACs, NEVs etc.) bundle their strengths and position themselves successfully? The goal of the project was to design an innovation, product and marketing platform, to identify what is technically feasible and commercially reasonable, to develop a business model for the platform and to create an initial implementation plan and prototypes. Focus and "showcase" was the application area of "Smart Urban Logistic" with its vehicles and systems. Project partner from the industry was the company vRbikes from Switzerland. The goal was to develop a solution for a "White Label Urban Delivery".



Development of an Electric Miniature Vehicle for Short Inner-City Trips

Small, flexible and electric: That was the premise for developing a miniature electric vehicle for short-distance inner-city travel. In the summer semester of 2020, eleven students from the faculties of Industrial Engineering and Management and Mechanical Engineering worked on this task across all courses of study. Since the number of users of small electric vehicles for short-distance traffic, such as e-scooters and e-bikes, is currently growing rapidly, the project group is faced with the question of which product is suitable for the so-called last mile and how its market acceptance is. Therefore the students conducted a market analysis and identified three different target groups. This resulted in the final objective of the project: construction of a low-cost e-longboard and preparation of an associated business plan. Each of the students - supervised by the lecturers Dr. Martin Bornschlegl and Dr. Dennis Böhmländer - worked on their own topic area in order to achieve the project goal: The development mainly included the construction, simulation and rendering of the miniature vehicle as well as the dimensioning and networking of the powertrain. These work packages were processed simultaneously and agilely in small work teams. In addition to the classic development activities, the students learned project management tasks such as time and resource management as well as the creation of a business plan adapted to the E-Longboard.

Special challenge: Due to COVID-19 the project took place completely virtual for the first time. For this reason the originally planned subproject "building a prototype" could not be realized and was replaced by simulation and rendering. Thanks to the support of the THI and the willingness of the students to use the new situation in the best possible way, the project could be finished successfully.

Concept and Redesign of the Workplace Packaging of Cinema Projection Lamps

Competitive production in Germany demands a high level of ergonomics and productivity, especially in manual work steps. In addition, compliance with a large number of laws must be ensured.  The aim of the project was to develop an economically and technically feasible concept for the redesign of the lamp packaging. In consideration of the main objectives (reduction of personnel deployment, technical and economic implementation, application of lean and ergonomic principles), the project group under the leadership of Mr. Andreas Böhm developed a new concept for a future-oriented logistics system within production. In a first step, different layout alternatives were worked out and the corresponding investment and personnel costs were estimated. Afterwards the favored variant with layout, required inventory and corresponding orderable offers were elaborated in detail. The final report was then made available to the company.

Development of Running Machines

In the summer semester 2020 eleven students of different faculties under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Bernhard Rothbucher took up the challenge to design a "walking machine" from the idea to analysis, design, manufacturing (including 3D printing), testing, optimization and final production. The goal was to surpass the running machines of his fellow students in a race for speed and robustness. However, because of COVID-19 situation, the final race was then successfully completed in a zoom session. Besides the actual task, the students trained their skills in the areas of creative methods, bionics, lightweight construction, optimization, sketching techniques and teamwork - a rich experience for all involved. The picture shows the Walking Robot 100 by Daniel Köhler, Stefan Socher and Serkan Ustabas. A project that, in addition to efficient functionality, also takes up the aesthetics of the machine age, which the group cited as a goal at the beginning, and thus "fights not only with sharp weapons, but also with flashing ones" (cf. quote from Quintillian, a Roman rhetorician). All in all, the team used several iteration loops with trial and error restart to arrive at this impressive result.