MODERATED - Mechatronic Module Kit for intelligent Pressure Control Valves

Motivation

Operators of large industrial plants are often confronted with the challenge that even the smallest components, with a low value compared to the overall plant, can cause expensive downtimes. Avoidance of these downtimes is nowadays mainly achieved by suitable maintenance strategies or by providing suitable measurement values. However, this poses a great challenge for self-regulating valves, since they do not have an external energy supply and therefore conventional sensors cannot be used. There is a lack of specially developed sensor and communication solutions that extend the required sensor technology with suitable energy supply concepts, such as energy harvesting. In the long term, such solutions could open up new markets and sales opportunities and enable service-based business models. The disadvantage of additional sensor technology is the increasing variety of offers that valve manufacturers are confronted with. To make this manageable, especially for SMEs, and to increase competitiveness, it is necessary to develop a module kit that makes it possible to configure customer-specific solutions at low cost.

Objective

In order to achieve the long-term strategic goal of opening up new markets and sales opportunities in the course of increasing digitization, the project aims to create the necessary technical prerequisites for this. This results in the objective of transferring self-regulating, autonomous pressure control valves with newly developed sensor and communication solutions into a module kit. This should include not only the mechanical components, but also electronics and software, so that a mechatronic module kit for intelligent pressure reducing valves is created.The innovative self-regulating pressure control valves with sensors that are self-sufficient in external energy can record and pass on information about their operating status. The added value of digital information about the valve and its operating state can increase value creation and open up new markets in the future, for example by offering product-related services.

Research Method

To achieve these project goals, the valve manufacturer Berluto, the measurement technology manufacturer STAC and, as a method expert, the Institute for Product Development and Mechanical Engineering Design (PKT) are working together. The project partners support each other with their competencies and thus enable the required technology transfer from development to industrial application. The focus of the project is on the development of the mechatronic module kit. To this end, three main areas of work will be addressed:

  1. the development of the mechatronic module kit for intelligent pressure control valves
  2.  the development of modular low-energy measurement technology for industrial valves and fittings
  3. the development of methodical support for the development of mechatronic module kits suitable for SMEs.

The project scope is focused on technology and method development. The module kit will be structured in such a way that the sensor and communication solutions can be adapted as required and customers can continue to receive the valve without sensor technology. In this way, the module kit can, on the one hand, open up new technological applications for the product and service and, on the other hand, achieve the necessary economies of scale while taking classic applications into account.

Project Organisation

The project is divided into three subprojects:

Development of the mechatronic module kit
Development of modular low-energy measurement technology for industrial fittings
Development of methodical support suitable for SMEs for the development of mechatronic module kits
Project Lead (Berluto): Dipl.-Ing. Dipl. Wirt. Ing. Dennis BenderProject Lead (STAC): Dr.-Ing. Andreas Bender

Project Lead (PKT): Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dieter Krause
Project Execution: Christoph Rennpferdt, M.Sc.


Berluto Armaturen-Gesellschaft mbH (Project Coordination)


STAC Elektronische Systeme GmbH


Institute of Product Development and Mechanical Engineering Design

 

Funding

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding directive KMU-innovativ: Produktionsforschung. Förderkennzeichen: 02K20K502. The project is supervised by the Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA). The project started in May 2021 and will continue until April 2023.