LoTus - Performance-optimized drying and cleanliness

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

Component cleaning and drying is an elementary part of the production chain in the metalworking industry to ensure the quality and function of a component or a group of components. With a large share of the total energy requirement of the production process, component cleaning and drying offers an ideal starting point for energy optimization. The design of this production step in industry has so far been mainly based on experience, as research results on this topic in the field of mechanical and plant engineering with the generation of application data have so far been insufficiently substantiated. One consequence of this are component-unspecific processes without targeted control of the production equipment, which leads to over-drying or -cleaning, thus prolonging process times and increasing energy and resource requirements. For a holistic energy optimization under utilization of all possible energy potentials, it is necessary to consider the cleaning and drying process as a connected overall system in its 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, energetically connected and component-specific cleaning and drying system. The focus here is on the drying of the component: For a holistic energy optimization of the drying process, the LoTuS project combines fundamental research including applications in the field of water evaporation with technical optimizations and experimental tests. By doing so, the innovative application of alternative drying technologies on real components in a real continuous cleaning plant under probabilistic influences of the cleaning process is investigated.