Combining augmented reality with the real welding process – this was the idea that Alexander Atzberger used to convince the expert jury of the German Welding Society (DVS) – and EWM AG. The EWM “Physics of Welding Award” was given to a project by the young scientist from Munich at the opening ceremony of SCHWEISSEN & SCHNEIDEN, the world’s leading trade show for welding and cutting. The company promotes the idea and its realisation with its comprehensive know-how as Germany’s largest welding technology manufacturer and a prize of €30,000.
In collaboration with the DVS, EWM called for entries to the contest for the Innovative Approaches Award in welding technology for the fifth time already. This year, Alexander Atzberger is thrilled to receive support for his pioneering project: The 27-year-old junior researcher of the Bundeswehr University Munich plans to make the knowledge transfer in welding easier through his research project. The approach is to exchange movements and process parameters in welding through an augmented reality environment between two users anywhere in the world and in real time. The technology could then be used in many cases in practice: These also include, besides occupational and advanced training, the analysis and optimisation of the welding process with the customers. “Our aim is to record welding in the most realistic way possible and represent the insights in the most precise and simple way possible – like in an assistance system,” explains Alexander Atzberger. “By winning the award and cooperating with EWM, we can benefit from the know-how of one of the most important arc welding technology manufacturers. In combination with the prize money, this makes implementing the project simpler and boosts the chances of success significantly.”
Pioneering research approach
Alexander Atzberger’s idea quickly convinced the independent expert jury because of its viability for the future. “It is important for our industry’s future that we continuously develop the efficiency of our processes further and at the same time, also consider digital change,” explains Michael Szczesny, Vice Chairman of the Board at EWM AG. “The idea of this year’s prize winner to combine the topic of augmented reality with the real welding process aims exactly at this. It is another step into the digital world of tomorrow. As a future-oriented company and technology driver in the field of Industry 4.0, we are happy to support the project with our know-how and the EWM Award.”
Dr.-Ing. Roland Boecking, Chairman of the German Welding Association (DVS), was also impressed by Alexander Atzberger’s research project: “We support the next generation of joining technology experts and their ideas in a number of ways and Industry 4.0 defines the work within our association, of course. I am, therefore, very happy when promising ideas such as this research project are drafted by young people. Mr. Atzberger picks up on a relevant topic that is particularly useful to our DVS-approved educational institutions in training and instruction. Sharing welding knowledge and information around the world – the world of joining technology lives from ideas like this one.”
Prof Dr.-Ing. Michael Rethmeier of the Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing (BAM) recognised the future-oriented approach of the young scientist during the laudation: “Alexander Atzberger’s idea combines welding technology with state-of-the-art technologies and opens up entirely new possibilities to welders around the world. For many years it has been EWM’s approach to already think today about the solutions of tomorrow and promote their development. This modern orientation makes lasting contributions to the positive future of our industry.”