The Brazilian-German Collaborative Research Initiative on Smart Connected Manufacturing (BRAGECRIM) associates more than 30 Brazilian and German universities, research institutes and industrial partners around a research network on the strategic topic of manufacturing technology. The main goal of the cooperation is the sustainable strengthening of the industrial sector in both countries through basic and applied research and exchange of knowledge and researchers.
The fast growing competition originated from countries with low-cost work forces is pushing enterprises worldwide under a considerable innovation pressure. This fact is also compelling industries to improve the efficiency of their production processes, e.g. by increasing the automation level or by a better management of quality, innovation and information. A global way of thinking is required for the product development and the production planning, taking into account the complete production chain: from energy provision to raw material exploration, product development, machining, distribution, until to final use, repair and recycling. Therefore, manufacturing technology is playing even more an essential role for a sustainable development of many countries.
Brazil and Germany have collected an extended list of successful cooperations in business, science, technology and education. Many German companies have production plants in Brazil and many Brazilian products are part of the daily life in Germany. The German influence is perceived positively in the Brazilian industry and universities, as many engineers, researchers and professors have accomplished their studies in Germany. Through these traditional and in part personal relationships, several partnerships have been created in the last years between Brazilian and German universities, especially in the area of manufacturing technology.
However, there are some deficits which obstruct an efficient cooperation between both countries in the view of research and education. Up to the creation of the BRAGECRIM network, many of the cooperations were impelled only by isolated initiatives. Middle and long term objectives of such cooperations, which could make a better usage of each country's potentials and also overcome the current technological deficits, were still not precisely defined. A more efficient and equivalent bilateral cooperation could be achieved due to the establishment of adequate research framework programs.
Considering the strategic interests from Brazil and Germany in manufacturing technologies, the long term goal within this collaborative research program was defined to be:
To enforce the competitiveness of both countries in the global market:
To promote this sustainable development, collaborative research projects have to be created bringing together most of the technologies involved within the product life cycle. These research projects are coordinated by an excellent research group in both countries, which connect to other research groups in each country. Thus, knowledge, technology and cooperation experience will be spread out into both countries, helping the development of emerging universities and industrial regions. In order to synchronize the research networks and to integrate the different technologies in a holistic concept, the research group coordinators of each project take part in a global network to analyse the whole production chain and product life cycle.
Project ideas that are proposed to BRAGECRIM have to develop knowledge and technological solutions to provide innovation, which improves the efficiency and competitiveness in different areas of the whole product life cycle (from the customer to the customer).
The proposed collaborative research initiative combines strategic technological research activities with an international educational program and a direct support to the industry. These projects focus on very innovative strategic research topics, which deal with the demands and deficits in both countries. In middle terms, the developed technologies will be transferred to industry. Such a collaborative research network promotes the knowledge exchange between both countries in a research field (e.g. quality management, precision manufacturing etc.), involving some specific research projects with high importance for both countries. These projects are executed including international doctoral, master and bachelor studies (student exchange). A central coordination manages the whole network and an open knowledge forum, stimulating the technology and knowledge transfer to the society. By organising open international (once a year) and national (twice a year) workshops as well as by student and scientist exchange, this program provides a multiplication effect to spread out the developed high-end technologies and knowledge.
Partnership overview BRA-GER
Universities and research institutes of both countries, which are international recognized leaders in the field of manufacturing technology and also have a large cooperation experience, have contributed to prepare this new cooperation framework. These institutions are widely distributed over Germany and Brazil.
Up to now, the following partners participate in the initiative (the Initiative is open for the participation of new partners):
This international research program will provide both countries with high-tech manufacturing technologies and knowledge, covering different strategic demands and reinforcing existent competencies. The benefits of such cooperation concerning the scientific, technological and educational improvements for both countries are clearly shown in the current 16 approved project ideas. These advanced production technologies will impulse the progress of innovation and competition of local industries. Therefore, it implies in a sustainable development, not only for the industry of both countries, but in general for the whole society with economical, social, cultural and environmental impacts. Some of the expected results are pointed out:
In order to stimulate and support a more efficient cooperation between German and Brazilian research groups in the area of manufacturing technology, a cooperative framework in strategic research between the both countries was prepared. The RWTH Aachen University, represented by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tilo Pfeifer and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS, represented by its Prof. Dr. Carlos Eduardo Pereira, are coordinating this cooperation program together with the funding agencies DFG (Germany) and CAPES (Brazil).
The initiative has been started by the presidents of DFG and FINEP, which have shown the common interest to improve the Brazilian-German cooperation in the field of manufacturing technology at the end of 2005. Since then, important milestones have been met in this important international cooperation network:
The number of projects has increased in the 3rd phase of BRAGECRIM, as depicted in the graph below.
The 2nd and 3rd phase of BRAGECRIM (2011-2017) have continued to produce many positive and successful results, which are compiled below in the graph.
The BRAGECRIM network is organised in Brazil and in Germany by a coordination comittee:
The committee is represented by Prof. Tilo Pfeifer at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL at the RWTH Aachen University in Aachen (Germany) and Prof. Carlos Eduardo Pereira, Professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul (Brasil).
RWTH Aachen University
Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL
Short Curriculum Vitae:
Tilo Pfeifer, born 1939, received his Dipl.-Ing. degree 1965 his Dr.-Ing. degree 1968 and his postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) 1972 from the RWTH Aachen University, Germany. 1972 - 2004 he has been Professor and Director of WZL department of “Metrology and Quality Management”, RWTH Aachen University and from 1980 - 2004 Director at the Fraunhofer-Institute of Production Technology IPT, Aachen. He is now Professor Emeritus at RWTH Aachen University. Still he teaches graduate courses in “Metrology for Microsystems” at several universities (e.g. RWTH Aachen University; Tsinghua University, Beijing; State University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil). His research topics are Optical-/Laser-Metrology and Quality Management.
Prof. Pfeifer received several awards e.g. Distinguished Service Award of IMEKO 1985, degree of Honory Doctor form Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil 1989 and from University of Zaragoza, Spain 2003, Degree of Honory Professor from Tsinghua University, Beijing 1995 and from Jilian University, Hangzhou, China 2006, Herward-Opitz Gold Medal of Honour from the VDI association, Germany 2004. Since 1973 Prof. Pfeifer is member of the General Council of IMEKO. He is Academician of the International Academy of Quality (IAQ) and Academician of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP), member of the executive board of Federation for Quality (FQS), Germany and Chairman of the Scientific Council of the German Association for Quality (DGQ).
Prof. Pfeifer has published over 500 scientific papers, generally on laser-/optical measurement, coordinate measuring technology and quality management, numerous conference proceedings, several books and patents.
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
Departamento de Engenharia Elétrica
Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia Elétrica
Short Curriculum Vitae:
Carlos Eduardo Pereira is a Full Professor at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, where he chairs the Control, Automatic, and Robotics Group, a research group that includes 7 faculty members and more than 40 graduate students. He received the Dr.-Ing. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany in 1995 and has a M.Sc. in Computer Science and a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering both from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil.
From 2000 to 2001 he was a visiting researcher at the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) in Hartford/CT USA, where he was involved in the development of applied research projects for UT companies such Otis, Carrier, Pratt and Whitney, Sikorsky and UT Fuel Cells. From 2005 to 2009 he acted as Technical Director for CETA - an Applied Research Center created by the Federation of Industries in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil, whose goal was to develop collaborative research between academia and industry, focusing on the areas of industrial automation, information and communication technologies, and optimization of production processes, following the Fraunhofer model.
Prof. Carlos Eduardo has supervised more than 50 Ph.D. and Master thesis and several of his former students are currently holding important positions both in academia as well as in innovative companies (Petrobras, Embraer, FIAT, Daimler-Benz Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Siemens, etc.). Additionally, some of spin-off companies from his group are the companies PONFAC, FALKER, Fueltech, Gyrum etc.
His research focuses on methodologies and tool support for the development of distributed real-time embedded systems, with special emphasis on automation applications and the use of distributed objects over industrial communication protocols. He has also worked on several research projects in collaboration with industry, mostly dealing with the development of real-time computer-based systems and applying the concepts developed on his scientific research.
Carlos E. Pereira is a researcher level 1 of the Brazilian Research Agency CNPq and is a member of the Steering Committee for the International Affairs Directorate at CAPES. He has more than 400 technical publications on conferences and journals and has acted as a member of International Program Committees for several conferences in the field of industrial automation, manufacturing, industrial protocols, and real-time distributed object computing. He is Associate Editor of the Journal "Control Engineering Practice" and "Annual Reviews in Control" from Elsevier and was Associate Editor of the AtP International - Oldenbourg, Germany.
He has recently received several important awards related to his research: in 2012 he received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, in 2010 he won the "Premio Santander Universidades", being the first place in the area "Tecnologias da Informação, da Comunicacão e da Educação". Research projects under his supervision was awarded on contests such as Whirlpool Innovation Context - Brazil, 2010 and Brazilian Engineering Award sponsored by Petrobras.
Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h. c. Prof. h. c. Tilo Pfeifer (RWTH Aachen)
Prof. Dr. Carlos Eduardo Pereira (UFRGS)
Clarissa Soares (Capes)