According to surveys, the importance of research and development in the industry has remained at a high level even during the Corona pandemic. With regard to digitalization, the speed of development in research has increased even more significantly. The two megatrends of decarbonization and digitization are having an impact on the research landscape. This is also shown by the projects of many research institutes and the Forschungsgemeinschaft Industrieofenbau e.V. (Research Association for Industrial Furnace Construction).
"For Germany with its powerful economy, efficient research is essential; only with continuous innovation will we be able to hold our own in global competition," warns Hansjochen Oertel, Chairman of the Forschungsgemeinschaft Industrieofenbau e.V. (FOGI) within VDMA Metallurgy. The FOGI is made up of leading industrial furnace manufacturers who work together on new research projects.
For Harald Berger of the Aichelin Group, a manufacturer of heat treatment equipment with around 1,100 employees worldwide, research and development is also crucial to the Group's global performance:
"Research and development based on customer requirements and market trends has always been important for the Aichelin Group in order to help shape current challenges, such as decarbonization, electromobility and resource conservation, in a leading position," emphasizes Berger, who is responsible for market communications and has been with the company based in Mödling, Austria, for decades.
Additive manufacturing offers new possibilities
In Germany alone, there are around two million gas-fired industrial burners. With these burners, steel mills, paint shops, large bakeries, machine builders and other companies emit around one-sixth of annual carbon dioxide emissions. They also emit large quantities of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. The Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control (TA Luft) set exhaust gas limits for industry.