ATK & CWD 2019: Highlights

  • Heading towards the agile and model-based product development process of the future
  • Key technologies – power density of gears and novel main bearing technologies
  Plenary session Copyright: © MSE, CWD Prof. Georg Jacobs (MSE) kickstarts the ATK & CWD 2019

Last week, the Institute for Machine Elements and Systems Engineering (MSE) together with the Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD) welcomed 450 international experts to the Drive Train Technology Conference alongside the Conference for Wind Power Drives 2019. This year’s conferences focused on the key topics bearing technology, tribology, mobile machinery as well as drive train and generator technologies of wind turbines (WEA), Wind 4.0 as well as the agile product development process (PDP) of the future. The joint introductory plenary session on agile PDP demonstrated that significant changes regarding the traditional PDP can be expected due to digitalization and increasing performance of computer-based development tools (CAx). Moreover, the Internet of things (IoT) together with applications rooted in Industry 4.0 already today cause a data flood, which seems impossible to organize and utilize without being closely linked to well-structured digital product models. The MSE research department of Systems Engineering (SE) and the CWD pursue the vision of shaping the change from document-based and geometry-oriented product development towards digital, physical model-based processes. Research at the institutes not merely aims at designing the development of increasingly complex Smart Products and Smart Services to be controllable across all disciplines, but also at decreasing conventional development by 60% while reducing development costs down to 30%. “Systems Engineering supports decisions within agile development processes and makes individually coordinated operating strategies of digitalized products possible", Professor Georg Jacobs, host of this year’s ATK and CWD 2019, described the CSE’s motivation.

  Copyright: © C. Apdarmani/MSE, CWD

Another future-oriented topic which was analyzed through case studies at the CWD 2019, focused on the power density of gear boxes for wind turbines and the development of main plain bearings: rising costs have been significantly affecting the daily operations of wind turbine manufacturers and their components. The current discussion around the need for significant increase in gearbox power density was present at this year’s CWD, too. In this context, manufacturers more and more utilize the advantages provided by plain bearing technology not only for gear boxes but also for rotor bearings. Due to its shape, the patented conical plain bearing - developed at the Center for Wind Power Drives and introduced at the CWD 2019 - allows for an immensely compact and short drive train.
As the individual bearings pads are connected in a twofold elastic manner, they can adapt to various load conditions and thus avoid edge wear. In addition, the bearing pads can be replaced on the tower, which offers significant cost advantages regarding maintenance.


Companies interested in future-relevant subjects are invited to actively shape the Center for Systems Engineering’s strategy: the upcoming CSE workshop in June will provide such an opportunity focusing on "Practical Implementation of MBSE" and "Change Management". Feel free to contact the CSE-team for questions and your registration at

We are looking forward to welcoming our guests in 2021 and meanwhile to joint projects whose results will shape the future conferences.