01/03/2017
Author: Eberhard Scholz
News no.: 2017001

Uni Bremen StartUp Makes Machines Talk

The Sensosurf start-up team (from left): Jette Winkelmann, M. Awais Khan, Martin Messmann and Cord Winkelmann

Sensosurf is a spin-out from the University of Bremen’s research area of Electrical Engineering. The company digitalizes machine components by means of razor-thin sensory surfaces. This makes it possible for the components to feel, think, and talk. This forms the basis for a business idea that has impressed the juries of several competitions. The start-up team has already won several start-up awards and prizes, including the competition CAMPUSideen 2013.

A new sensory generation

Up to now, external sensors embedded in industrial equipment provide information on a machine‘s condition. The founders of the business start-up Sensosurf have taken this a step further. They developed highly robust sensory coatings that are actually integrated in the materials the components are made of and can thus provide even more precise information from inside a machine. In this way, components like ball bearings or screws can measure stresses were they actually occur. With the aid of self-developed software specifically designed for the purpose, a component’s data is evaluated in real time and processed into information. Potential problems are thus identified early on and can subsequently be rectified.

The start-up is currently working on development of an intelligent linear track. “This will be capable, for instance, of monitoring the quality of products manufactured in a milling machine”, explains managing director Dr. Cord Winkelmann, who founded the company. The intelligent components also convinced the jury of WECONOMY. Thanks to this award, Sensosurf will now be able to work intensively for a whole year on further implementing the idea and expanding its already large network of important industrial supporters. At a weekend networking meeting held at the end of October, the founders met some top managers of German industry, including Franz Fehrenbach (Bosch), Margret Suckale (BASF) and Wilfried Porth (Daimler). The young entrepreneurs have good reason to be optimistic: “These contacts bring us a big step forward in pursuit of our goal to equip all industrial components in critical and demanding fields of application with the necessary intelligence to make them fit for Industry 4.0.”

About the company

Dr.-Ing. Cord Winkelmann and his wife Dipl. Kffr. Jette Winkelmann founded Sensosurf as a spin-out from a research project conducted at the University of Bremen’s Institute for Microsensors, -Actuators and -Systems. This is the first time that integrated microsensors have been developed for the intelligent monitoring of machine components that via self-learning software are capable of providing information on the state of individual components in real time. Now, these intelligent components are being tested and further developed in cooperation with several important names in German industry. The start-up has already won several awards, including the Schaeffler Innovation Award 2014 and most recently the WECONOMY Award 2016. It is supported by the Federal Ministry for the Economy and Energy in the frame of the EXIST research transfer program.

If you would like to have more information on this topic, feel free to contact:

University of Bremen
Institute for Microsensors, -Actuators and -Systems
Sensosurf GmbH
Jette Winkelmann
Phone: + 49 421 218-62588
email: j.winkelmannnoSpam@sensosurf.de