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XPOSURE LEMANS // Pioneering automation technologies for machine vision SOCIAL ENGINEERING // Gamification to prevent phishing ECAIMAN // Improved active materials for high-voltage cells

Thomas Fleckl, Head of Business Unit Sustainable ­Thermal Energy Systems

06 16



Wienerberger is the largest manufacturer of bricks in the world, operating at 202 production sites in 30 countries. It is Europe’s leading manufacturer of clay roofing tiles, the market leader in CEE for concrete Analysing the drying process.

pavers, and in Europe for piping systems.


The AIT Center for Energy is working together with ­Wienerberger AG, a leading ­international manufacturer of construction materials, to ­optimise production processes. Global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to zero by 2060 if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees. This target, set at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, can only be achieved if efforts to restructure national energy systems begin immediately. Decarbonising industry plays a crucial role here; in Austria, industry is responsible for around 26% of total energy consumption. A quarter of it is accounted for by drying processes which use fossil fuels, as in the paper, wood, food, textile and brick industries.

Photos & Coverphoto: Johannes Zinner/AIT


Roland Pointner, Automation and Process Engineering, Wienerberger, Michaela Fraubaum, Scientist at the AIT Business Unit for Thermal Energy Systems, Stefan Puskas, Project Manager Engineering, Technical Support, Wienerberger (from left )

This is the reason that Wienerberger and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, with its comprehensive expertise in heat pumps, have decided to systematically work together. “Our aim is to improve the quality of the bricks produced, while at the same time significantly reducing both production costs and energy consumption, by means of joint research projects and the regular interdisciplinary exchange of ideas,” explains Thomas Fleckl, Head of Business Unit for Sustainable Thermal Energy Systems at AIT. Key aspects of this cooperation involve optimising the energy used in the production process, developing and sharing simulation methods and research infrastructures, and initiating and supervising diploma and PhD theses in these fields. The two partners also want to combine their resources and technical expertise to actively confront the challenges brought by advancing digitalisation, commonly known as Industry 4.0.


Consistent decarbonisation necessitates radical process innovations. In brick production, one such technical innovation is to use compression heat pumps for drying within an appropriate range of temperatures. The two partners are cooperating to address unanswered questions which have hindered the use of these heat pumps in industrial drying processes to date. In a collaborative project co-financed by the EU, AIT is developing a process-integrated heat pump demonstrator for Wienerberger with a working temperature of up to 160°C. “Significantly reducing energy costs will also boost the company’s competitiveness,” believes Fleckl.

Thomas Fleckl: “The project results are relevant not only in brick manufacturing, but also for other energy-intensive branches of industry. As a result of the new findings, at least 40% of waste heat should be recovered by using heat pumps.”

DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEW LABORATORY Industrial partners not only profit from the comprehensive expertise of AIT’s heat pump specialists, but also from the new laboratory infrastructure, designed specifically for industrial applications. It offers heat pump manufacturers an accredited high-tech development environment for independent performance and functional tests, the results of which are also convincing selling points.

SHAPING THE FUTURE OF INDUSTRY IN AUSTRIA Ultimately, the project can also be seen as a means of strengthening Austria’s industrial base. Sustainable and efficient energy supply is a key location factor for the Austrian economy. That’s why AIT has identified ‘energy efficiency in industry’ as one of its key strategic topics. The primary focus lies on technologies which increase energy efficiency through heat recovery, waste heat utilisation, thermal energy storage, and optimised operation based on dynamic process models and simulations. Partners including Wienerberger benefit in great measure from these activities. “Wienerberger’s clear aim is to reduce the resources used in production. As drying is the most energy-intensive process in brick manufacturing, we have been comparing notes with AIT for years on how to optimise the process, and have already accumulated many useful findings. Using heat pumps to recover heat from the hot exhaust air is a very promising approach. In AIT we have found a competent and well connected partner to optimise our production processes,” confirms Dirk Saldsieder, Head of R&D, Wienerberger AG.

Professorship for the ­promotion of energy ­efficiency in industry Since 1 May 2015 TU Wien and AIT have combined their know-how in the form of a professorship of Industrial Energy Systems, financed by AIT. Prof. Dr René Hofmann: “One of our most important goals is to raise energy efficiency in industry and ­thermal networks by optimising design, implementation and operation. This involves process optimisation using modelling and simulation. Activities include developing methods to evaluate the cost-efficient integration of ­heat in the production process, and to optimise systems as well as demand-side management and control.”

Photo: Johannes Zinner/AIT, AIT


Performance & Success

FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE & SUCCESS Leonhard Schitter (CEO Salzburg AG), ­Nikolaus Ederer (Strabag), Mario Faschang (AIT), Wolfgang Anzengruber (President of Oesterreichs Energie and CEO Verbund AG)/ from left.

Changes in the economy and society ­demand policy-makers with foresight.


Photos: Oesterreichs Energie/Christian Fürthner, Parliamentary Administration/Christian Hikade

PHD THESIS WINS THREE AWARDS This happens only rarely: Mario Faschang from the AIT Center for Energy was awarded not one, but three prizes for his PhD thesis on new development processes for control systems in tomorrow’s smart power grids. He won the “Oesterreichs Energie Forschung & Innovation“ prize, came first in the INiTS Award 2016 in the Information and Communication Technology category, and received the Green Tech Award 2016. “The agile development process I developed in my thesis combines modern approaches used in software development with engineering methods used in electrical engineering,” Faschang explains. The control software is connected to a simulated power network at a very early stage in the design process, before being linked to the appropriate communications network and evaluated. In the laboratory the control software is then used in combination with actual hardware and evaluated in a controller hardware-in-the-loop simulation. The PhD thesis was the first to succeed in successfully linking up all these steps from end-to-end. This significantly reduces development times and the risks involved in introducing new control systems, and makes the development process more flexible.


EMBEDDED HIGH-SPEED IMAGE PROCESSING AIT presented pioneering automation technologies for image processing at VISION 2016 in Stuttgart, the world‘s leading machine vision trade fair. „xposure LeMans“ was showcased as the future of embedded high-speed image processing. It consists of the world‘s fastest line-scan sensor, a high-performance multi-line scan camera and a unique embedded vision processing platform (VisionBox LeMans). This technology package combines unmatched speeds and high optical resolution, thus opening up completely new applications for machine vision, for example in the field of in-line 3D inspection. The new image processing solution was developed jointly with the German company IMAGO Technologies.


PARLIAMENT DRAWS ON AIT EXPERTISE During the process of deciding on complex issues, members of Austria’s parliament are continuously faced with technical advances and an increasingly complex world. Consequently, the President’s Conference of the National Council decided to issue a tender for advisory services in the fields of foresight and technology assessment. The tender was based on several pilot projects which AIT has undertaken together with the Institute for Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 2014. Using methodology including interviews with parliamentarians, the teams identified areas of deficit and information gaps. The subject of Industry 4.0 was taken as an example. Finally eight cross-cutting topics were defined to be relevant for all parliamentary committees. Project head Peter Biegelbauer states: “The ever more rapid changes in the field of research, technology and innovation have a far-reaching impact on society. Foresight and technology assessment can help parliament to promptly recognise new subject areas and discuss them in an informed manner.”


Project head Marc Busch, AIT Center for Technology ­E xperience: “Digital mini-games heighten awareness of information security.”

People of all age groups and social strata were ­enthusiastically involved in the process.




CREATING A CULTURE OF AGING IN CITIES The AAL project SAIL Vienna 2035 (Smart Aging – Integrative Lifestyles in Vienna 2035), which was successfully completed in October, covered two of today’s problems: caring for people in the third and fourth stages of life, and the aging of residents in self-governing housing projects. The aim of the project was to promote a variety of promising cultures of aging in Vienna’s urban housing schemes in order to help establish quality of life and self-determination for aging people. Residents in the Matzner district, several housing schemes in Vienna, the Sargfabrik, and experts from care organisations and research joined forces to develop visions and scenarios for a more attractive culture of aging, discussing ideas for new products and services and specifying technologies which could make everyday life at home easier. Project head Doris Wilheimer states: “The stakeholders’ enthusiasm and commitment to the co-creation process were impressive. It was based on a clear understanding of the necessity of proactively tackling the issue of ensuring a better quality of life in old age, and to find solutions outside the current care infrastructure.”

Photos: Rita Skof, AIT/Mario Drobics

Modern businesses are confronted by a wide variety of cyber-attacks. So-called social engineering such as phishing is designed to obtain sensitive information from companies, and hackers are using ever more innovative ways to achieve this goal. In addition to impersonal mass mailings which mislead the recipient into revealing sensitive data by promising huge inheritances, targeted phishing attacks are directed at specific individuals. Traditional information security training is quickly forgotten and thus largely powerless against such attacks. As part of the EU’s DOGANA project, the Center for Technology Experience is taking a radical new approach to phishing prevention, developing digital mini-games which are designed to provide fun for colleagues while at the same time developing a high level of sensitivity to the dangers of phishing. The Phishing Wars game can be integrated into daily office routine, takes up just a few minutes each week, and is preferred over traditional training formats.





The Horizon 2020 project eCAIMAN is developing improved active materials for high-voltage cells and functional material combinations. These cells for lithium-ion batteries should have an increased energy density of around 20% and a similar reduction in costs in comparison with systems currently available on the market. It also aims to enable series production of the design as promptly as possible. The AIT-led consortium of 14 partners includes three vehicle OEMs and several research establishments, one university, manufacturers of active materials and a cell manufacturer. After developing the active materials for electrodes and the electrolytes in the first half of the project, comparison tests are now underway to establish the material, or material combination, with the best properties, before using it in the final cell which will be incorporated into the demonstrator module. The selected material will then be scaled up from laboratory quantities to those needed for industrial production processes, and used to manufacture cells which, once combined in modules, are subjected to various tests. Updating standards for testing high-voltage cells will also be considered.

The work of AIT scientists is helping to ­strengthen battery material development and production in Europe.

8-12/1/2017 // TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD The event offers more than 5,000 presentations and 800 workshops on the topics of traffic and transport. Venue: Washington AIT contact: Manfred Haider Info: // 23-27/1/2017 // RISIS WEEK The RISIS annual conference (Research infrastructure for research and innovation policy studies) takes place in Vienna. The EU project aims at establishing a distributed infrastructure to support science and innovation studies. Venue: Tech Gate Vienna AIT contact: Thomas Scherngell Info: // 26-27/1/2017 // RESEARCH ­COLLOQUIUM ON CONCRETE ROAD CONSTRUCTION The event focuses on technological ­developments in road construction. Venue: Munich AIT contact: Manfred Haider Info: // 30/1–1/2/2017 // FIT INFO DAYS FIT is a course guidance programme for female pupils aged 15 years and over from the Austrian provinces of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. AIT will this year present energy topics, including a workshop in the photovoltaics laboratory. Venue: AIT Giefinggasse, Vienna AIT contacts: Elvira Welzig, Michaela Jungbauer Info: // 15-17/2/2017 // IEWT TU WIEN The topics of the 10th International Energy Economics Conference include climate issues and related topics such as developments on the energy mar-

kets or increasing participation of end customers. Venue: TU Wien AIT contact: Wolfgang Hribernik, ­Michaela Jungbauer Info: // 16/2/2017 // INTERNATIONAL ­MULTISTAKEHOLDER AND BUSINESS CONFERENCES These conferences focus on cyber­ space, energy & development. Venue: Vienna AIT contact: Michael Mürling Info: // 17/2/2017 // INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS HIGH LEVEL The event deals with issues of digital ­security and measures for the protection of companies and organisations. Venue: Vienna AIT contact: Michael Mürling Info: // 20-21/2/2017 // ERA-LEARN The course is held as part of the ERA-LEARN 2020 support action and focuses on the application of foresight processes in transnational strategic R&I agendas. Venue: Tech Gate Vienna AIT contact: Klaus Kubeczko Info: // 7/3/2017 // SEEING AND UNDERSTANDING This well-established event deals with mega topics such as Industry 4.0, cyber security, blockchain, Internet of Things, smart city or crisis and disaster management. Venue: Tech Gate Vienna AIT contact: Michael Mürling Info: //

AIT Top Journal Papers




Are competitiveness and sustainable production a contradiction in terms? The present paper prepared in cooperation with the University of Southern Denmark investigates the quantitative relations between investments in energy efficiency and product and process innovations, i.e. the development of new products and manufacturing processes to increase productivity. Product and process innovations are generally held to be key requirements for the growth and competitiveness of companies. The analysis is based on data from the European Manufacturing Survey (EMS) on modernisation strategies in industry. The analysis shows that companies that introduce product and process innovations are also the ones that more often invest in energy efficient production technologies. In other words: there are synergies between energy efficiency and competitiveness through innovation; innovation and technology policy can play an important role in achieving environmental goals by promoting innovation when the resulting increase in the companies‘ technological expertise also stimulates investments in energy efficiency.

How fast must cellular networks be to satisfy smartphone users? And how can I derive the satisfaction of users from technical network performance measurements? The present article answers these questions using methods of Quality of Experience (QoE) research, which determines and measures the quality of networks and applications from the perspective of (paying) users. Our QoE laboratory and field studies investigate the effects of bandwidth and latency on the quality of experience of five popular mobile application scenarios: YouTube, Facebook, Web browsing through Chrome, Google Maps and WhatsApp. We evaluate the influence of both constant and dynamically changing network access conditions, which is typical in cellular networks. We use the data obtained to quantify the relationship between technical and perceived network quality for smartphone use and analyse the potential of passive quality measurements on the end-device. The unique results presented in this paper provide a key for better understanding the actual requirements of popular mobile apps and for implementing user-centred quality monitoring of the underlying provisioning network.

This paper presents the results obtained in the research project ‚SmartCityGrid: CoOpt‘, which focuses on energy efficient and grid-friendly control of office buildings. The key topic of this paper is a hierarchical control architecture which maximises the capacity to integrate renewable energy sources at grid level, while simultaneously optimising energy efficiency and consumption at building level with a focus on user comfort. Model-predictive controllers are used at both levels, which exchange a minimum set of predictions and setpoint values. The approach was subsequently validated in practical experiments at the EnergyBase building. Widespread participation of buildings in grid control is however prevented at present by a lack of financial incentives. M. Brandstetter, A. Schirrer, M. Miletic, S. Henein, M. Kozek, F. Kupzog: „Hierarchical Predictive Load Control in Smart Grids“; IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Volume: PP (2015), Issue: 99; S. 1 - 10.

Gerstlberger, W., Knudsen, M.P., Dachs, B. and Schröter, M. (2016) Closing the ener-

Casas, P., Seufert, M., Wamser, F., Gard-

gy-efficiency technology gap in European

lo, B., Sackl, A. and Schatz, R. (2016) Next

firms? Innovation and adoption of energy

to You: Monitoring Quality of Experience in

efficiency technologies. Journal of Enginee-

Cellular Networks From the End-Devices.

ring and Technology Management, 2016, 40,

IEEE Transactions on Network and Service


Management, 13, 2, 181-196

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