SUCCESS STORIES - Cooperation between researchers and companies | Project and Innovation Support

Many connections between companies and researchers from Slovenia and other countries were formed in previous years. Nowadays companies are regularly challenged with different technical questions (1) how to improve manufacturing and other processes or (2) how to how to adapt their core business to requirements of legislation, sustainability and other relevant factors.

At the Jožef Stefan Institute researchers on a daily basis work on solutions of the mentioned challenges companies are facing or can with their expert knowledge find solutions.

Due to the impact of the established coopeations and to present how science can help business community, several partnerships are more thoroughly desribed in the following success stories. While more stories will be added in the future, we already invite you to write the next one with us!

The design of an electric motor for the automotive industry using an innovative simulation-optimization procedure

The company MAHLE Electric Drives Slovenija d.o.o. is an internationally established manufacturer of components for the automotive industry. In cooperation with the Intelligent Systems Department and the Computer System Department of the Jožef Stefan Institute they designed a new electric motor for power steering systems in vehicles. The result of the collaboration is a technically enhanced and cost-effective engine that substantially improves the company’s competitiveness in the market. For this achievement the company and the Institute received the TARAS award for successful cooperation between industry and research institutions at the Industrial Forum IRT 2023. The collaboration between the researchers and the company was established based on the identified technological challenge by the Office for Substantive Project Support, Technology Transfer and Innovation and the Office for Industrial Liaison at the Jožef Stefan Institute. They also provided additional support regarding the intellectual property rights and the cooperation agreement.

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What do aluminium processing and aerospace industry have in common?

Slovenian family-owned company FerroČrtalič d. o. o. is a developer and manufacturer of machines for surface processing. The latter is of great importance for the aerospace industry, also in terms of providing safety. Similarly like other companies around the world, they were trying to solve a challenge how to find safer methods for surface processing. In cooperation with the researchers and with the multidisciplinary approach, a new solution without using any chemicals and with no side-products has been developed, while its health and environment effects are considerably lower. The developed technology allows increased durability of aluminium and increased safety in the aerospace industry, while it can be used in other industries as well.

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Machine learning in planning tool manufacturing for plastic products

Company Plamtex Int d. o. o. is a renowned Slovenian company for thermoplastic injection moulding for complex products, used in automotive and other demanding industries. With the aim to lower the costs of materials and energy consumption, while also decreasing the time of delivering the products, they developed with the researchers the predictive models for process optimization in tool manufacturing. These tools are later used in the production of plastic products. In international research group participated from Slovenia researchers from the Computer Systems Department and the Department of Intelligent Systems at the Jožef Stefan Institute.

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Wastewater treatment with moving bed biofilm reactor technology

Croatian company Bor-plastika d. o. o. is a producer of a wide array of thermoplastic products and lately they also focused on the production of wastewater treatment devices. In some situations – like in hotels, apartments and weekend resorts – the water load on the wastewater treatment device can vary substantially. With the aim to incrase the efficiency of these devices and to attain savings, they implemented Moving bed biofilm reactor technology. In the research project to design and implement the device on the basis of this technology, relevant contribution was made by Slovenian researchers from the Department of Systems and Control at the Jožef Stefan Institute.

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New solution for old problems with the corrosion

Chemcolor Sevnica d. o. o. is a company for development and manufacturing of coatings for different uses. Due to many positive characteristics the polyurethane-based technologies are becoming lately more and more prevalent in the industry. With the help of researchers from Slovenia – the Department of Physical and Organic Chemistry at the Jožef Stefan Institute – and from Hungary, the company today uses a new environment-friendly and cost-effective technology, that also provides better user experience.

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Application of protective coatings on the equipment below the sea surface

ChemiTek is Portuguese company focused on development and commercialization of products for industrial maintenance. In their selling programme we can find also coatings for application on the surface of equipment used in the sea. Since this equipment is especially exposed to fouling and corrosion due to salt water, the company developed a new solution in cooperation with researchers from Slovenia and Portugal. The new coating has several desired characteristics like excellent adhesion, anti-fouling and corrosion stability. In the international research project participated researchers from the Department of Physical and Organic Chemistry at the Jožef Stefan Institute.

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Identifying the tree location with the Smart Nail

Slovenian company Simtrona d. o. o. has developed Smart Nail as a solution with RFID technology to efficiently monitor timber flow, control the wood economy and prevent inappropriate use. In cooperation with researchers the production process was changed in a way, that instead of using hazardous chemicals for treatment of polymeric components environment-friendly and cost-effective procedure can be used. In this research project were included researchers from the Department of Surface Engineering at the Jožef Stefan Institute.

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Presented success stories are part of a mosaic of a many collaborations between the Jožef Stefan Institute and companies. New stories are being written every day on many fields. We kindly invite you to inform us about your technological challenges via electronic address and together we will write the next chapter in the story of your company.