Current projects


Microelectronic modular system for sensor-integrating machine elements

Initial situation

The integration of sensor technology turns conventional machine elements into cyber-physical systems, the sensor-integrating machine elements (SiME). In Priority Program 2305, the focus is on the direct integration of sensor systems into the existing mechanical structure of conventional machine elements such as screws, gears and keys. The systematic development of SiME, in particular taking into account a severely limited installation space, efficient data management and a self-sufficient energy budget, represents a major challenge here. The necessary interdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of mechanics, (micro-) electronics and software requires an early, coordinated approach to bring together the respective development domains. No methods for the interdisciplinary development of SiME exist in the literature, resulting in the research gap to be closed in the project. Consequently, the aim of the project is to provide methodological support for the interdisciplinary, systematic development of SiME and to explore it using the example of fastening and movement screws. The competences required for the development are provided by the project partners PKT (TU Hamburg) -methodical product development-, MST (TU Hamburg) microelectronics- and pmd (TU Darmstadt) -machine elements-.

Figure 1: Concept for integrating modular sensor systems into conventional machine elements

Project goals

The overall objective of the project is to design a microelectronic modular system for sensor systems in SiME. Using the example of sensor-integrated fastening and motion screws, the model-based module kit will be tested and the functional verification of the configured sensor systems will be provided. In addition, the development of the necessary methods for the configuration and predesign of SiME will be carried out. With the integration of sensor systems into standardized machine elements, a wide variety of process-relevant measurement tasks can be fulfilled by acquiring and evaluating data in situ and transmitting it to the higher-level system. Using the screw as an exemplary machine element, this project will generate suitable sensor systems on the basis of different strategies with the aid of the modular system to be developed, as well as prototypically realizing, integrating and finally experimentally investigating them.


First, as shown in Figure 2, requirements for the sensor systems in SiME are determined on the basis of movement and fastening screws. Based on the requirements determined, the necessary product properties and the relevant measurement variables are then defined. For the relevant measured variables, suitable substitute variables are then derived – if necessary – in order to capture the existing operating state. Subsequently, the required sensor modules are determined for the respective sub-functions, their compatibility with each other is analyzed and interaction with the machine element is examined. The focus is on the interaction between the integrated modules and the primary function of the machine element, since the latter should not be negatively influenced by the sensor integration. Finally, the module construction kit is tested on the basis of fastening and movement screws. For this purpose, demonstrators and a suitable physical test environment will be developed for their experimental investigation. The focus is on static and harmonic-dynamic tests as well as the recording of the relevant mechanical variables. The functional verification of the developed SiME and the modular system is carried out by comparing the measured data with the predicted data.

Figure 2: Sequence of project stages in the MiMoSe project