From Research to Practical Application

Latest Solutions Suited for Industry

Karlsruhe is a center of high technologies. Here, conditions are excellent for the development of innovative solutions on a scientific basis. From the very beginning, ci-tec relied on direct exchange with researchers working at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, who are highly interested in translating their scientific findings into industrially applicable solutions.

Many innovations optimizing processes controlled on the basis of infrared and video images are the result of ci-tec’s close cooperation with industrial users. Practical experience gained in industry is incorporated in further developments of e.g. the inspect pro control software and fed back directly to the researchers. At the interfaces of thermal process technology, infrared camera and sensor technologies, and automatic control technology, successful collaborations with strong industry partners accelerate the development of solutions suited for industry.

Event-based observation and assessment of the condition of bridge infrastructure based on radar data combined with intelligent algorithms - subproject: sensor interfaces and development of the demonstrator

Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Duration: 2018 to 2021

Project consortium: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Büro für Strukturmechanik, ci-tec GmbH

The objective of the joint research project ZEBBRA is the development of a non invasive, mobile and innovative measurement and method approach to detect and analyze the condition of bridges during operation combined with a evaluation of the bridges' condition.

The ZEBBRA project is funded within the scope "Forschung für die zivile Sicherheit 2012 bis 2017" in the specific topic civil security and infrastructure. The website www.sifo.de provides an overview of the research program with respect to this topic.

The project consortium consists of two small and medium-sized companies, ci-tec and the Büro für Strukturmechanik as well as the Institut of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the Institute of Automation and Applied Informatics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

The ci-tec part within the ZEBBRA project is focused on the technical coupling of the applied sensor systems to the ZEBBRA demonstrator and the development of this demonstrator.

Optimization of energy efficiency in zinc recycling and cement clinker cooling based on innovative measuring methods and control concepts

Funding: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi)

Duration: 2017 to 2020

Project consortium: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), ci-tec GmbH, OPTERRA Wössingen, Befesa Zinc Freiberg

Work under the OPTIMER joint project is aimed at reducing energy consumption in the zinc and cement processing sectors by the use of innovative measurement methods. These methods based on new camera technologies (infrared range 10.6 ± 0.1 µm) are used to calculate characteristics of the zinc recycling and cement clinker cooling processes. Then, new theoretical models are derived. In addition, an innovative control concept is developed to enhance energy efficiency. As will be demonstrated in practice, sustainable reduction of energy consumption will be achieved.

In the zinc processing sector, natural gas, the reducing agent (charcoal), and electric power are consumed. Potential reduction of natural gas consumption by about 10% corresponds to about 550 MWh/a per furnace. Potential charcoal reduction by about 5% corresponds to about 700 t/a per furnace or about 5600 MWh/a per furnace. Electricity consumption can be reduced directly by decreasing startup and shutdown processes. An exact figure, however, is difficult to estimate.

In the cement processing sector, homogeneous and permanent increase in the temperature of secondary and tertiary air will reduce energy consumption. Temperature increase amounts to about 50 K. In combination with an annual production of 600,000 t clinker, fuel energy consumption can be reduced by about 60,000 GJ (16.67 GWh) annually. Germany-wide, cumulated reduction would thus amount to 567 GWh of fuel energy (approximately 94,000 t/a lignite). Further reduction potentials result from avoiding critical process states, such as snowman and red river.

Camera-based Optimazation of Multi-Fuel Burners

Funding: KIC InnoEnergy

Duration: 2014 to 2017

Project consortium: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), ci-tec GmbH, OPTERRA Wössingen, Unitherm Cemcon (Austria)

The project is aimed at developing the essential fundamentals of an optical measurement system for the optimized control of multi-substance burners. In this way, efficiency of energy utilization is enhanced and pollutant formation is reduced. New camera systems, together with high-performance image evaluation methods, allow for the derivation of new flame combustion characteristics. The prototype is based on inspect pro control C. The resulting system will be used to backfit and optimize old facilities and as standard equipment in new facilities.

Intelligent Bridge Monitoring by Neural Sensor Networks – For Bridges of the Present and Future

Funding: BMBF/DLR

Duration: 2013 to 2016

Project Consortium: Pötzl ingenieuere GmbH (project coordinator), Hochschule Coburg, Karsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), ci-tec GmbH

Partial Project of ci-tec: Development of the software components to acquire sensor data

The project is aimed at developing hardware and software for an intelligent bridge monitoring prototype system. The novel approach used for this purpose is the so-called multi-sensor data fusion. Spatially and temporarily integrated sensor evaluation is based on a neural network. By wireless and wired communication, the results are made available in real time and pooled in a database on a central server for archiving.

The prototype developed under the i.Bridge project provides the bridge operator with detailed information on the current status of the bridge in real time. The basic software used for this purpose is inspect developed by ci-tec. The prototype will be based on inspect insense B, a special bridge monitoring software based on inspect.

See also Innovative Sensor Systems