In the winter semester 2018/2019, students of the Master program “Environmental and Process Engineering” of Augsburg University of Applied Sciences developed solution concepts for a specific task of SGL Carbon’s Meitingen site. The aim of the simulation game, in which a practical situation is simulated as realistically as possible, was to optimize the high-temperature processes in the graphitization furnaces in the "Fiber Materials" business area. A total of 15 students took part in the competition. Last week, the awarding event took place in the Forum of SGL Carbon in Meitingen. In total, cash prizes worth 4,000 euros were distributed: two times 1,500 euros and once 1,000 euros.
The students competed in three groups to work out the best concept proposal. In the end, there were three very good results, which differed in some details, such as the costs of implementation or security issues.
Thomas Putz, production manager and responsible for the simulation game at SGL Carbon: "To be honest, at the beginning of the simulation game I was a bit skeptical as to whether a short-term approach and the complexity of the topic would make it possible to come up with a viable concept. In the end, I was very positively surprised by the presented solution concepts. The results of all three groups will certainly help us in our work, and I can well imagine that we will be hosting more simulation games with the university in the future."
Graphitization is an important element in the production of specialty graphite solutions. In Meitingen, carbon fiber reinforced carbon (CFRC) or graphite rigid felts are manufactured in this way. The ovens are electrically heated and can reach temperatures of up to 2,200 degrees Celsius. Due to these extremely high temperatures, the systems are heavily stressed and must be maintained with great effort to ensure the availability and safety of man and machine.