Bosch Rexroth relies on TUT's expertise in digital hydraulics
Bosch Rexroth AG granted the 2009 Rexroth Innovation Award
for innovation in the area of digital hydraulics. The award is
usually granted to development teams within the company,
but now the recipients also included TUT's Professors
Matti Vilenius and Adjunct Professor Matti Linjama.
"From our perspective this is huge, because digital hydraulics
originated at TUT", rejoices Vilenius.
TUT and the German company Bosch Rexroth collaborate in developing digital hydraulics, which saves money and the environment, and educating postgraduate students who specialize in the subject.
In 2009, the Department of Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation (IHA) from TUT and Bosch Rexroth AG signed an agreement to engage in extensive research collaboration in the field of digital hydraulics. The agreement covers further development of products and applications that utilize digital hydraulics.
Professor Matti Vilenius, Head of the Department of Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation at TUT, believes that this university-industry agreement is unique even on a global scale.
"Bosch Rexroth AG is a leading international company that has rarely relied on innovations resulting from academic research as extensively as now. Recently our cooperation extended to Doctoral education."
In Germany, the company invests in human resources development by admitting trainees and students working on their Master's thesis to its postgraduate programme. Those admitted specialize in hydraulics, and especially in digital hydraulics, in Tampere.
The red-hot topic of mobile hydraulics
The Department of Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation at TUT has conducted groundbreaking research into digital hydraulics and related applications. The department's research interests have revolved around digital valve systems and their control mechanisms. Mobile hydraulics, i.e. hydraulic mobile machines, has since then become one of the hottest research topics at the department.
Research into mobile hydraulics is a natural step for IHA. The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Generic Intelligent Machines Research (GIM) that develops autonomous mobile machines operates under the department.
"Instead of developing the properties of mobile machines, we've focused on exploring how the machines could reach the emission targets set by the EU. Now we are making inroads into the R&D of digital pumps", explains Professor Kalevi Huhtala.
Commercial diesel vehicles will be required to substantially reduce their emissions as soon as the EU's Euro 6 standard enters into force in September 2014. After that, the member states must refuse the approval, registration, sale and introduction of vehicles that do not comply with the emission limits.
The adoption of digital hydraulics and pumps and intelligent computerized control systems can maximize the operating efficiency of work machines and decrease energy loss by as much as 90 percent. The technology will also bring down vehicle emissions and fuel consumption. To conduct research into mobile machine power, the Department of Intelligent Hydraulics and Automation has built a so-called IHA machine in collaboration with AGCO Sisu Power, Vilakone and Bosch Rexroth.