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Otto von Guericke-Preis 2017 geht an Wissenschaftler des PZH (Presseinfo 7. Dezember 2017)

Otto von Guericke Prize 2017 awarded to PZH scientists

The Association of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) awards Professor Bernd-Arno Behrens, Sven Hübner and Masood Jalanesh from the Institute of Forming Technology and Machines (IFUM) the Otto von Guericke Prize at the "FORSCHER Mittelstand" event.

The prize is awarded once a year for outstanding achievements in the field of joint industrial research (IGF) and is endowed with 10,000 euros. The pre-competitive IGF is organised in the innovation network of the AiF and its 100 research associations and is publicly funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).
The IFUM team has been involved in the manufacture of sheet metal components. For these components, from beverage cans to car body parts, deep drawing is the most widespread manufacturing process. In this process, metal sheets are formed in large plants with the aid of tension and pressure. Up to now, additional steps in the manufacturing process have always been necessary after deep drawing. For example, silencers in the exhaust gas area of internal combustion engines for the automotive industry required a total of five individual steps until the desired assembly was welded and ready for use. Within the scope of an IGF project, three scientists from IFUM have now optimized this multi-stage, complex process so that the various process steps can be combined in a single step.

Based on the results of the award-winning IGF project carried out by the AiF member European Research Association for Sheet Metal Processing e. V. (EFB), various everyday objects as well as components for the automotive industry, which are mostly manufactured by small and medium-sized companies, can now be produced faster and at lower cost.

The new tooling system can be used in any conventional press and also provides an extremely fast result: deep drawing, joining and calibrating assemblies takes only three seconds, while reducing costs by 50 percent at the same time. In addition, the process is highly precise and can be used, for example, for the manufacture of subassemblies in the field of electromobility.

Before the new process could succeed, the engineers had to overcome a difficult obstacle: Welding processes are not completely spatter-free and thus hitherto prevented integration into the forming tool. "We have now succeeded in further developing projection welding without splashing and integrating it directly into the drawing stage," explains Hübner. "Finally, we can combine all process operations in a single tool to produce high-precision tool groups."
"Right from the start, our company was involved in the IGF project committee with a lot of enthusiasm. For me as a medium-sized entrepreneur, this optimized process means a real competitive advantage. Not only the savings potential, but also the extremely wide range of applications inspires me," emphasizes Ralf Bothfeld, Managing Director of Harms & Wende GmbH & Co. KG in Hamburg. Norbert Wellmann adds: "The new findings can be applied to further production process steps in many industries. The 17 companies involved in the project are highly satisfied with the network's work and the results of this IGF project."

A three-minute film about the project can be found on the AiF homepage at

Further Infomation:
Contact Professor Bernd-Arno Behrens, Institut für Umformtechnik und Umformmaschinen der Leibniz Universität Hannover, by phone +49 511 762 2164 or by e-mail at for further information. Contact person at AiF is: Evelyn Bargs-Stahl,, phone: +49 221 37680 114

Source: Press information of the AiF