Net within the Net
Simulation and testing with regard to new materials, processes and products play an increasingly important role in the field of aerospace, but also in other sectors such as automotive, rail transport technology and energy production. Berlin-Brandenburg as the third-largest aerospace location in Germany has positioned itself well: many large, but predominantly mid-tier testing institutes and facilities settled in the region, and two years ago they had the idea to organise “InnoTesting”, a specialist conference and future platform for the local and supra-regional “testing scene”.
The initiative aims not only at exchanging expertise but also at developing business synergies. Two main protagonists of “InnoTesting” are Prof. Thomas Biermann of the Wildau Institute of Technology (WIT) and Michael Born, CEO of the Mechanical Test Operations Centre (MTOC) of the engine producer Rolls-Royce.
Biermann and Born are happy about the large success of the conference “InnoTesting 2014”. Since 2012, when the event took place in Wildau for the first time, the number of participants has grown to 130. “But I find it especially exciting that more and more people from outside of the region or even the states are interested in the event; there are even persons coming from such countries as the USA, England, Spain, Macedonia and China,” ponders Biermann.
“From the very beginning we approached not just representatives of the aviation industry, but also those of other “adjacent” sectors, such as automotive and rail engineering. Fortunately, our approach reflected itself in the variety among the conference participants in 2013 and 2014,“ added Born.
Testing requires a special kind of thinking
The simulation and testing market is a niche “but its growth is very much mainstream,” says Biermann, who is also a professor of business economics at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau. More and more stringent requirements have to be met due to the legal provisions that have to be fulfilled in the fields of product liability and consumer protection. On the other hand, test engineers are the odd ones in every production company as they operate “in a realm of probabilities”.
Rolls-Royce’s MTOC headed by Born is – with regard to the oddity factor – probably rather the exception to the rule. The business employs 70 engineers and technicians who are tasked with carrying out material testing and component tests for the various business segments of Rolls-Royce. By doing so, they make a vital contribution to the development of aircraft engines, gas turbines and ship propulsion units. Altogether, as many as 2,200 employees from 50 different nations already work in Dahlewitz.
It does not matter if it is a global player such as Rolls-Royce or a mid-tier engineering firm, all the players within the immensely important specialised field of testing are coming to the understanding that they have to operate in a more “industrial” and flexible way. And the best way to do so is by joining forces.
InnoTesting – focal point of the testing sector
In the course of only three years, the annual conference “InnoTesting” established itself as a top-level specialist event and forum of the testing sector. The conference is an excellent tool the participating businesses of the region can use to establish customer ties, present their expertise and acquire new customers.
Michael Born, Chairman of the event, and Prof. Thomas Biermann, member of the Governing Board, are pretty confident that “InnoTesting” will sooner or later attract businesses to Berlin-Brandenburg. Anyhow, the concrete planning for the conference “InnoTesting 2015” is already underway.