Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018

After completing her mechanical engineering studies at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Katharina Kreitz was virtually flooded with job offers from renowned companies. But instead of accepting one she decided to found her own company for developing precise and individual flow probes, which are used among other things in Formula 1 racing.

Katharina Kreitz came up with the idea of founding her own company as the result of dissatisfaction: During her studies, which focused on aeronautics and space technologies, she frequently worked with flow measurements.


Katharina Keitz and Florian Wehner are developing small, stable and individually adaptable flow sensors. (Image: Jooß / TUM)

"I was constantly irritated by the technology of the conventional flow sensors available in the market," she recalls, adding that it "simply wasn't good enough". Kreitz decided to solve this problem: She wanted to develop small, stable and individually adaptable flow sensors and to market them with her own company.

Demand for these products is high. For example, automobile manufacturers install the probes and investigate the aerodynamics of their prototypes in the wind tunnel. Measuring flows is also necessary when making air conditioners, exhaust hoods and drones. And it's not always air that's flowing in all the applications – gas, water and oil flows can be measured as well.

However, if the sensors are too large, they develop their own resistance properties and distort the measurement results. And in the past there were no sensors that could withstand extreme temperature conditions. Kreitz saw the solution in 3D print: This technology can be used to individually adapt sensors to meet the specific needs of each customer.

Supplementary Business Economics studies in Paris

The young entrepreneur founded Vectoflow GmbH in April 2015, together with Dr. Christian Haigermoser, also a TUM graduate. She turned down plenty of job opportunities at various leading companies in the market and rigorously pursued her own objective.

Kreitz and Haigermoser applied for an EXIST start-up grant from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – and were successful. However, the decision-makers on the EXIST program side wanted to see a business economist on board the team. Kreitz then quickly completed a one-year supplementary curriculum at the Collège des Ingénieurs in Paris. This is where the third partner joined the team: Florian Wehner.

Probes are used in Formula 1 racing

Prof. Christian Breitsamter of the TUM Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics took on the role of mentor in the context of the EXIST start-up grant, and the Chair of Turbomachinery and Flight Propulsion provided the start-up founders with an office.

The team also received assistance from the UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation: The "XPRENEURS" program prepared them for market entry, and "Techfounders" put them into contact with potential investors and customers. They also received 25,000 Euros in seed funding and were able to use the high-tech workshop "MakerSpace".

In the meantime Vectoflow has seven permanent employees and customers located around the world – including in China, India, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Among other things the start-up immediately supplied its probes to several racing series, including Formula 1. Kreitz: "We already turned a profit last year, after only two years in business."

Successful support at TUM
According to the current "German Startup Monitor" TUM generates more start-up founders than any other German university. Every year about 70 companies are spun off at TUM. The outstanding support is recognized by the "start-up radar" of the German business community's innovation agency Stifterverband for German Science, which rates TUM in 1st place among major universities.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/detail/article/34631/

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

Further reports about: 3D 3D printer EXIST TUM air conditioners flow sensors wind tunnel

More articles from Machine Engineering:

nachricht "We're hoping for up to 600 kilometers per hour"
15.06.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Evaluating risk of hydrogen embrittlement: new simulation of cold cracks in high-strength steels
03.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoffmechanik IWM

All articles from Machine Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>