Interdisciplinary to the future
The increase of flexibility, safety and efficiency in production, transport and handling processes is the main task of the Institute for Transportation and Automation Technology (ITA – Institut für Transport- und Automatisierungstechnik). The continuous increase in the requirements for transport and automation processes has led to a growing need for holistic approaches, ranging from decision algorithms and the creation of connections to applications in intralogistics and production.
The central and trend-setting challenge faced by the three working groups Transport Technology, Automation Technology and Optronics at the ITA is the issue of the integration of decision-making units into technical systems through networks of sensors, actuators and controllers. As a part of these tasks, machine-structural, electrical and information-technical questions have to be answered, whereby the transition between the different disciplines is fluent. The ITA thus represents an interface between these fields of study.
Optronics are today the key element for the integration of microelectronic and optical components into mechanical components. The respective working group at the ITA concerns itself considerably with the production and integration of optical communication, sensor and power supply structures.
In the area of automation technology, the main focus is on the efficiency of machines, systems and processes. Increasing product diversity means that individual system solutions are increasingly in demand. The application-oriented design, prototypical implementation and integration of sensor technologies is also a major focus of ITA, such as the development of innovative algorithms for control and measurement data analysis.
The transport technology working group deals with a wide range of areas of internal and external material transport. Particular attention is given to belt conveyor technology as well as its optimization and the aspects of increasing requirements with regard to longer transport distances and increasing flexibility.
Interdisciplinary research fields
In addition to the three working groups on transport technology, automation technology and optronics, the research on additive manufacturing at the newly founded Lower Saxony ADDITVE-Center for Additive Manufacturing is being pursued at the ITA in cooperation with the Institut für integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) and the Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH).
In addition, the ITA, in cooperation with Centre for Quantum Engineering and Space-Time Research (QUEST) of the Leibniz University Hanover, is putting a globally unique fall tower, the Einstein Elevator, into practice. Due to the high repetition rate of the drop tests, it enables up to 100 experiments per day. In addition, gravitational forces such as those prevailing on the Moon or Mars can be simulated. The aim of the research is to examine production processes under zero gravity conditions. The freefall simulator belongs to the Hanover Institute of Technology (HITec), the new center for quantum physics and geodesy.