Research Group ETA
Research project

LoTuS | Performance-optimized drying and cleanliness

Coordinator: Ghada Elserafi M. Sc. M. Sc.
Duration: 12/2019 – 12/2022
Funded by: Federal Ministery of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)

Increasing the efficiency of parts drying by investigating alternative drying technologies and optimizing drying parameters to design an individual and part-optimized drying process.

Parts cleaning and drying are elementary parts of the production chain in the metalworking industry, which are needed to ensure the quality and function of parts and their assemblies. Since these processes consume a large share of the total energy requirement of the production process, parts cleaning and drying offer an ideal starting point for energy optimization. The design of this process step in industrial settings is mainly based on experience. This is because research in this area of mechanical and industrial engineering using applied data has so far been insufficiently substantiated. One consequence of this are drying processes and system components without a control strategy. Untargeted processes often lead to over-drying or -cleaning, thus prolonging process times and increasing energy and resource requirements. For a holistic energy optimization utilizing all possible energy potentials, it is necessary to consider the cleaning and drying process as an interconnected system within the production environment.

In order to increase the energy efficiency of industrial production in the age of digitalization, the LoTuS research project aims to design and implement an energy-efficient, thermally linked and part-specific cleaning and drying system. The focus here lies on drying the individual part. For a holistic energy optimization of the drying process, the LoTuS project combines fundamental research, including the field of water evaporation, with technical optimization and experimental tests. By doing so, the innovative application of alternative drying technologies on real parts in a real continuous cleaning plant under probabilistic influences of the cleaning process is investigated.

Continuous cleaning plant with modular drying system

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