Great success for the LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology: With the funding approval for the COMET project "ProMeTheus" (Production and processing of metals for high-performance, energy efficiency, environmental protection and sustainability), a comprehensive research project in the field of digitalization of metallurgical processes is now being implemented.
The challenges in metal processing are manifold and range from high energy prices coupled with highly energy-intensive processes to the availability of primary materials and a shortage of skilled workers. To counteract this, a continuous improvement in efficiency, process reliability and productivity is required. This is where ProMeTheus comes in: Under the leadership of the LKR, a broad-based consortium of research and industry partners will be researching the interlinking of metallurgy and digitalization in the coming years, which should result in high efficiency increases as well as new production possibilities. In addition to the LKR, the AIT is also represented by the Center for Vision, Automation and Control.
The aim of ProMetHeus is to achieve a holistic integration of digital tools, such as automatic image processing and hybrid modeling, to solve metallurgical challenges. The focus is on increasing the efficiency, sustainability and robustness of processes in the metal and plastics processing industry. The use cases include innovative processes for the energy-saving deep drawing of titanium alloys, the reforming of in-house and end-of-life scrap (recycling without remelting), the optimization of wire production for electromobility, recycling alloys for giga-casting processes and semi-solid casting processes.
Carina Schlögl, proxy at the LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen and responsible for ProMeTheus project management, summarizes: "Innovations for sustainable, efficient and at the same time resilient process chains are created through an optimal interplay of digitalization and material and process technology. This makes it possible to leverage enormous energy and material savings potential. With ProMeTheus, we want to make a decisive contribution to a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy - in line with the goals of the European Green Deal for 2050."
COMET: Cooperation between industry and research for the technologies of tomorrow
The COMET Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies programme promotes the establishment of competence centers, the core of which is a high-level research program jointly defined by industry and science. This is intended to provide new research impetus, lead to increased technology transfer and strengthen the innovative capacity of companies. This should lead to new product, process and service innovations. In this sense, COMET represents a significant factor in strengthening Austria as a research location and business location.
The COMET program is funded by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs (BMAW), and in the case of ProMeTheus by the provinces of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Styria and 13 business partners from Austria and Germany. COMET has been a constant success since 2008. It is managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG.