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Batteries or accumulators have become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives. Electric cars, smartphones and laptops all have one thing in common: A lithium-ion battery
Up to now, the bulk of battery cells have been imported into Germany, and the largest manufacturers have been based in Asia. But Germany is catching up – and in style. CATL, a global leader for innovative technologies in the field of new energy sources, has been one of the largest manufacturers of battery cells in China for years now. The market research company SNE Research determined in 2021 that CATL was the largest manufacturer of batteries for electric cars in the world for the fifth year in a row. With its German subsidiary CATT (Contemporary Amperex Technology Thuringia GmbH), the company has established its first European location for manufacturing EV batteries in Thuringia.
Up to 2030, the demand for semiconductor products will grow by six to eight percent year on year across all sectors (source: McKinsey & Company, semiconductor market analysis 2022). While the consumer electronics industry has been directly affected by rising inflation and therefore reduced readiness to buy among consumers, other markets are proving to be more resilient. The increasing demand for electric cars worldwide, the growth in artificial intelligence and industrial automation technology including the IoT and the resulting sustained investment in cloud infrastructure for data centres have ensured long-lasting stability.
Germany and Europe are aiming to become greenhouse-gas-neutral by the middle of this century, according to the political goals of the German Federal Government and the European Union. This will require an almost 100% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors by the year 2050. To achieve this goal, there will not only need tobe fundamental changes in how energy is supplied in the industrial, transport and construction sectors, but the overall structure of the economy will also require transformation. Experts from the fields of science, business and polilics have come to view hydrogen as the key to achieving long-term climate goals. The element is therefore setto become an important pillar in the transition towards new energy sources.
Dominik Berger is a Product and Application Manager at GEMÜ who is overseeing the latest generation of motorized actuators. In this interview, he talks about his motivalions regarding the project, the added value that motorized valves provide and the trend towards electrification in plant engineering.
In the context of lndustry 4.0 and loT (lnternet of Things), digitalization and autonomization in combination with the future-oriented topic of artificial intelligence are key challenges for innovations. The application of state-of-the-art technologies combined with the ingenuity of innovative companies form the basis for continual success.
The amendment to the German Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control, or „TA Luft“, has given rise to heated discussion among experts. More than 50,000 plants are awaiting approval, but now that the revised regulation has been passed, the legal and planning certainty this brings means that things can move forward. GEMÜ details which valves from its range meet the new measurement, testing and qualification standards.
Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) is an established method for separating and purifying gases. This technology is incredibly versatile and is used across a wide range of technical applications. While PSA systems are commonly used in the chemical industry for producing industrial gases, they have been in high demand worldwide for the production of medical oxygen during peaks in the coronavirus pandemic. They also play an important role in the production of green hydrogen for decarbonization in the energy sector. After being produced by electrolysis or steam reforming, this sought-after gas is often purified using PSA systems.
We have an idea of how GEMÜ will go down this path. We are already working an a few trailblazing projects in order to shape a path to local autonomous systems and oller our customers additional added value.
In the luture, the competitive ability ol countries and companies will depend, to an increasing degree, on how digital translormation is promoted.
The Internet, cloud-based software and data storage solutions for modern, highly efficient mobile networks, social networks and the Internet of Things (loT) are all technologies which require sophisticated microelectronics and can only be efficient thanks to these.
Over the past few years, GEMÜ has worked consistently on the implementation of an electric valve platform and positioned itself as a pioneer of electrification in process systems.
What is the purpose of electric valves?
The reasons for using electric valves are just as different as they are numerous. Reduction ol energy costs and noise pollution, mobile systems or small systems without compressed air supply, high control performance, digitalization, flexible lunctions, parametrization options, diagnosis options - these are only some ol the reasons for using electric valves.
The Business Unit Semiconductor has made it their central objective to offer customers comprehensive solutions for all areas of semiconductor manufacturing. Depending on the medium used,
different materials are used.
For most process media, valves made of ultra pure plastics are used, as there is a risk with other materials that particles will be flushed out that could then contaminate the process. Solvents have a special feature. They are used for removing special photoresists, for dissolving substrates or for cleaning. At the same time, however, they are slightly flammable and highly corrosive with some plastics. In addition to the purity of the components and the connections, care must therefore also be taken regarding explosion protection when handling the solvents. As valves made of ultra pure plastic do not comply with these requirements for explosion protection, stainless steel valves are used for solvent handling in most cases.
Today we are searching for the secret of the long-term tightness of the GEMÜ code SM diaphragm. What is the reason why the GEMÜ diaphragm Code SM practically never need to be re tightened?
To accomplish this, we will consider below in the following the individual features of the GEMÜ 5M diaphragm and will discover, which parameters are responsible for its particular properties.
A growing trend towards electrification is also noticeable in the processing industry. There is an ever-increasing demand for more energy-efficient alternatives to compressed air systems. Yet every actuator type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the general question is not which actuator type is the „best“, but rather a question of which actuator system is the most suitable for which application. Consequently, for each application, not only a suitable valve type must be selected, but also an optimum actuator type – as per the slogan „the right actuator for every application“. As an expert partner with many years of experience in the field of electrical, pneumatic and manual actuators, GEMÜ is ready to assist its users in selecting a suitable actuator. The main factors for consideration when selecting the ideal actuator type tend to be cost, risk, performance and availability.
Digitalization, Industry 4.0, IoT and autonomous driving are just a few examples of current trends that are driving demand for microchips and are raising the bar when it comes to the requirements for the performance capability
of modern microchips. To further improve performance capability, however, will also require an improvement in manufacturing technologies
Valve designs in filling processes
IIn sterile and aseptic filling processes, the crucial criterion for the selection of the suitable valve designs is that the actuator unit and the working medium are hermetically separated from each other. Furthermore, the valve designs must withstand the existing operation, cleaning (CIP) and sterilization conditions (SIP). In addition to the various acid and alkaline cleaning agents, temperatures can reach 140 °C during sterilization.
To meet these requirements, diaphragm, globe or bellows valves are most commonly used today, featuring advantages and disadvantages depending on the place of use. The new and innovative PD valve design (plug diaphragm) combines the advantages of the previously used diaphragm and globe valve designs in a single valve.
One of the most demanding markets when it comes to valve manufacture is the pharmaceutical sector. Valves that are suitable for the most demanding applications are required for the complex construction of pharmaceutical systems in order to guarantee sterile processes. Valves made from stainless chromium nickel steel are particularly important here; among other things, they should exhibit optimum cleaning behaviour as well as maximum corrosion resistance. To satisfy these requirements, the focus is not only on the Hygienic Design of these valves but primarily on the functional surface of media-wetted areas. The manufacture of these surfaces in the valve body is therefore closely tied in with a demanding and valid process that brings together all areas of production, from machining through to wet chemical finishing. Innovative manufacturing processes, compliance with qualitative specifications and in-depth manufacturer expertise in all areas also play an essential role here.
Manufacturing pharmaceuticals is complex and demanding. In addition to product development, the manufacturing process in particular plays a central role. To avoid costintensive loss of production and ensure optimal product quality, the production plants used must satisfy the strictest quality requirements. Aseptic valve designs play a key role in the product manufacturing process. They allow media flows to be distributed, brought together and regulated under sterile process conditions. The safe operation of the diaphragm valves used for this is dependent on the seal materials used, i.e. the diaphragms, in particular. Due to sometimes extreme conditions in the production plants during product manufacture, cleaning and sterilization processes, contradictory requirements for the properties of the seals used sometimes emerge. This is why the development of material mixtures, manufacturing processes and qualification and approval processes, taking into account international regulations and standards, is highly complex and requires specialized expertise, in addition to in-depth knowledge of materials and physicochemical processes.
In the manufacture of complex, high-quality pharmaceuticals, there is a particular focus on product quality and consumer safety. That is why pharmaceutical production processes are subject to standards and guidelines, compliance with which aims to ensure quality.
To avoid cross contamination, the collection of dust or dirt and other effects that would adversely affect the quality of the product, the production equipment must be designed accordingl
Media is regulated in the production plant under aseptic conditions during manufacture or cleaning and sterilization using appropriate valve designs. According to good manufacturing practice (GMP), you must be able to clean these easily and thoroughly, and they must not constitute a danger to or adversely affect the products with which they come into contact during production. Diaphragm valve technology, in particular, fulfils these criteria.