How can SDG 17 “Partnerships for the goals” be implemented? IUVSTA recently took an initiative.
At the 21st International Vacuum Congress in Malmö, IUVSTA members decided, on a proposal of their new president Anouk Galtayries, to establish a new special committee – Science meets industry..
The goal of this committee is to bring science, which is publicly financed, closer to industries. Whereas big and international acting companies are able to pay for projects, there is often a gap in cooperation, technology transfer or students exchange between R&D of universities and institutes on the one hand and smaller and midsize companies on the other hand. Often, there is a lack of understanding why the other side is dealing with certain topics, what they are doing or which knowledge or infrastructure could be used in a beneficial cooperation.
IUVSTA sees a huge potential in the case of closer cooperation and mutual understanding for innovation and benefits also in earlier stages of application and more comfortable usability.
At least yearly, we will organize one virtual international meeting dedicated to a topic of societal importance in order to bring minds exchange and beneficial discussions forward.
The topic of 2020/2021 meeting is environment protection by improved resource management and recycling economy. What contribution can be provided by vacuum technologies and vacuum based or supported technologies?
German Vacuum Society DVG held such a conference at KIT in Kaiserslautern in February 2020. We had very inspiring discussions between academic researchers and representatives from industry.
It is a matter of fact, that all resources on our globe are limited we have to accept that growth does not mean only quantity. Usability and quality are equally important. Vacuum engineering and science are basic keys elements deciding on reproducibility and reliability of high-tech processes worldwide. Hence, thinking in on the basis of circular economy is especially important.
We find circular processes in our nature, that take up to millions of years. Because of human acting, an accelerating of cycle time is required, which fits our needs. Let´s have a look into companies and institutes and their basic resources:
- Raw material
- Human resources
Unlimited ressources from the Sun
All of them are limited and invaluable. The only apparently unlimited available source is the sun with its energy. Its extensive use – except of natural processes – is possible by photovoltaic technology, which is produced with the aid of vacuum.
We can win fresh and clean air – besides of filter systems – by plants, which bring CO2 into the cycle, indoor and outdoor.
First time right processes
By the way, first time right processes in industry contribute an important amount to environmental protection. We save raw material, energy, time and human resources. Industry 4.0 is a great tool pushing first time right, because clear processes and their understanding are necessary to transfer them into software.
Vacuum based technologies like modern PVD/CVD coating or reactive HIPIMS extend tool life in chipping processes. This is a great challenge especially in treatment of extreme hard material such as nickel-based alloys, Inconel- Signum or CFKdiamond.
Compact and miniaturized valve combinations save material and make devices more efficient.
Solar powered water cleaning systems with diamond filters, which are made with HFBEN (Hot Filament Bias Enhanced Nucleation) technology, are used in cruises and water poor regions like South Africa or Mozambique.
Especially inspiring was the contribution due to Tribology by IFOS Institute. Controlling water and particle inclusion in their surfaces generates huge potential for minimization of losses of moving parts.
Awards for environmental protection technologies
A few applications are mentioned only. There are much more in common use. We are sure that new innovative ideas can be created on the basis of vacuum assisted technologies. That´s why the IUVSTA honors environmental protection technologies by the EBARA Award once in every triennium and the DVG by the yearly VACOM Award.
Ute Bergner, VACOM, chair of the “Science meets industry” committee
This post has first been published in the IUVSTA News Bulletin Issue 184.