Sensor and Measuring Technology Exceed Turnover Expectations
AMA Association publishes figures for first quarter of 2011
Berlin, 4 July 2011 ― The polls held by the AMA Association for Sensor Technology among its member enterprises for the first quarter show that turnover is increasing at a greater rate than anticipated.
The AMA Association polled its 460 members on the economic development in the first quarter of 2011. This resulted in a turnover growth of 19 percent – six percent more than predicted in the January polls. “We are pleasantly surprised by the very positive current turnover development in the sensor industry,” says Dr. Thomas Simmons, AMA’s Managing Director. “The general good mood among our members was also shown at our recent trade fair, the SENSOR+TEST.”
A comparison of the sensor industry with the forecasts for the economy as a whole by the DIHK (German Chamber of Industry and Commerce) shows that sensor and measuring technology’s growth rate is stronger than any other sector of industry in Germany. This in turn is no surprise to Simmons: “We are the innovation driver for practically all branches of industry – automotives, automation and medical technology or wind farms, they all want to produce more effectively, safely, and with greater precision. An economic upturn has a positive effect on the sales and turnover figures of our members.”
A positive side effect of the increasing demand is that investments are being made and employees are being hired. According to the statistics, the AMA member enterprises, mostly small and medium-sized business, were able to hold most of their employees during the crisis with short-time work. Now, during the boom, this gives them a head start in production. As per the AMA quarterly polls, short-time work is currently at about two percent. In the meantime, professionals, qualified technicians, and especially engineers are being sought urgently. “Many of our members are looking for new talent”, says Simmons. “Young engineers now have a very good chance of getting an open-end employment contract in the sensor and measuring industry. The advantages of small and medium-sized enterprises are the opportunity to play an important role even as a career starter and not to be laid off at the first signs of a crisis thanks to the more personal relationships.”
Sensor and Measuring Technology at a Glance
AMA Association for Sensor Technology publishes new Services Directory
Berlin, May 2011 – The AMA Association for Sensor Technology has published its new Industry Directory for Sensor and Measuring Technology 2011/2012. The 85-page publication provides information on the broad range of offerings in the sensor and measuring industry. The directory can be obtained free of charge from the AMA Association. All that is need is a self-addressed, post-paid return envelope.
The AMA Association has been representing the interests of the sensor and measuring industry for 30 years now. It regards itself as a communication centre for all groups participating in the processes involved: be it research and development, production or distribution, providing services or products – the AMA links innovators and offers counsel for all technical questions regarding sensor and measuring technology.
“With our Industry Directory we offer a simple and structured overview of the products and services provided by our 460 members”, says Dr. Thomas Simmons, Managing Director of the AMA. “Interested parties will find suppliers for their specific applications – conveniently ordered by parameters and keywords.”
The first part of the AMA Industry Directory provides an overview of the various measuring parameters. Divided into sections, such as geometric parameters, technological developments, or system integration, the appropriate suppliers can be quickly found. The second part lists the contact data of the member enterprises and institutes in alphabetical order. The third and last part comprises a list of keywords, such as absolute pressure or rotational speed – all at a quick glance.
“We know that practically all industrial innovations today are based on an expanded development of sensor and measuring technology,” Simmons adds. “Whether this is done in automotive engineering, medical technology, or wind-energy harvesting, it is only through sensors that smart developments become even smarter.”
The AMA Industry Directory can be ordered free of charge from AMA Fachverband für Sensorik e.V., Sophie-Charlotten-Str. 15, 14059 Berlin, Germany, and can be downloaded from www.ama-sensorik.de. If ordered by mail, a self-addressed post-paid return envelope (A4 / 3.45 €) must be included.
SENSOR Innovation Award for Fast 3D Measurement and Conservation of Resources
AMA Association awards ground-breaking development in sensor and measuring technology
Nuremberg/Berlin, 7 June 2011 ― The AMA Association for Sensor Technology presents this year’s 10,000-euro SENSOR Innovation Award on the 7th of June equally to two contenders: One is for “HoloTop and HoloFlash, 3D Sensors with Multi-Wavelength Holography,” a joint development of the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measuring Technology, Breitmeier Messtechnik GmbH, and ASENTICS GmbH; the other for the “Innovative Magnetic Plant-Based ZIM Pressure Probe” developed by ZIM Plant Technology GmbH.
Both submissions convinced the jury to the same degree. “HoloTop and HoloFlash” bring holographic measuring processes from the lab into industrial applications for the first time. The results are robust, digital-holographic inline measuring systems to be used in quality assurance for safety-relevant components in automotive engineering.
The non-invasive “Innovative Magnetic Plant-Based ZIM Pressure Probe” can detect the water supply of plants with great accuracy. A network of these probes is used to reduce the amount of water required and to increase the productivity of cultivated plants.
“Out of the numerous submissions, these two projects stand out,” states Jury Chairman Prof. Dr. Andreas Schütze from the Saarland University. “The scientifically convincing solutions and their practical utility clearly show that sensing and measuring technology are major innovation drivers both in industrial measuring processes and in improved resource conservation.”
The SENSOR Innovation Award, endowed with 10,000 euros, is presented annually by the AMA Association for Sensor Technology. Important criteria are the degree of innovation and usability. Individuals and developer teams from enterprises or institutes are welcome to contend for the award. Submissions for the AMA Innovation Award 2012 will be accepted as of September 2011. For information on the conditions of participation, see www.ama-sensork.de.
Sensor and Measuring Technology as a Motor for Advances in Wind-Energy Systems
Meeting of the AMA Science Board in Kassel on the Topic of Wind Energy
Berlin/Kassel — An invitation of the AMA Association’s Science Board to discuss the subject of wind energy on 31 March 2011 met with great interest. Renewable energy generation is a major topic that concerns research and industry not only since Fukushima.
The AMA Science Board, i.e. the representatives of the seventy research institutes organized in the AMA Association for Sensor Technology, meet twice every year for an open exchange on topics of current interest. The harvesting of wind energy entails particular challenges for sensor and measuring technologies that often make innovations and increased efficiency in wind power extraction possible in the first place. No wonder that this session met with such a great interest among the AMA members.
“For us it’s a matter of special concern to link up science and industry to ensure that the current research results are discussed directly with the industry on the one hand, and to enable the industry to voice their requirements on the other,” says Professor Dr. Andreas Schütze, chairman of the AMA Science Board. With this objective in mind, the AMA Science Board opened its doors for the public part of the convention to the representatives of AMA member companies and top experts.
In Kassel the German Renewable Energy Federation held a presentation before Prof. Dr. Andreas Reuter, Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES), read his paper “Quo Vadis Wind Energy”, expounding the present challenges for sensor and measuring technology in wind farms. Subsequently, Hydac Electronic, Saarbrucken, presented the state of the art and new research in the area of dedicated condition monitoring of drive trains and hydraulics in wind turbines. Last, not least, fas4X, a spin-off of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), gave a presentation on a special new fibre optic sensor system for structural health monitoring of rotor blades.
The lively discussion among all participants confirmed once again the AMA’s choice of an exciting topic. The event made it clear that especially future offshore wind farms hold numerous challenges in store for components and systems. Thus, sensor and measuring technology will have a dual key function: optimizing and testing new components and entire systems in research and development, as well ensuring low maintenance and high reliability during subsequent operation.
The next meeting of the AMA Science Board is expected in September at the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. AMA members will receive a timely invitation. More information at www.ama-sensorik.de.
Nominations for SENSOR Innovation Award 2011
AMA Association for Sensor Technology Nominates Three Contenders
Wurzburg/Berlin, 24 Feb. 2011 – The AMA Association for Sensor Technology grants its SENSOR Innovation Award for the 11th time. It will present this year’s 10,000-euro award at its trade fair, the SENSOR+TEST, on 7 June 2011 in Nuremberg. The blue-ribbon jury nominated three projects out of the numerous submissions from Germany and abroad and presented them at the annual press conference in Wurzburg.
“The jury was again confronted by a real challenge in view of the many good ideas, solutions, and implementations from all areas of industry that we received from Germany and abroad,” said jury chairman, Prof. Dr. Andreas Schütze, University of the Saarland, commenting on the submitted projects for the SENSOR Innovation Award 2011. “After a thorough evaluation of all the submissions, we were able to identify three outstanding projects as runners-up for the award.”
The jury nominated the following submissions (in alphabetical order):
- HoloTop und HoloFlash / 3D Sensors with Multiwave Holography
Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measuring Techniques, Freiburg
Breitmeier Messtechnik GmbH, Ettlingen
ASENTICS GmbH & Co. KG
- Smart Plaster for Kidney-Function Determination
University of Heidelberg, Medical Research Center
- Innovative Magnetic, Plant-Based ZIM Pressure Probe
ZIM Plant Technology GmbH, Hennigsdorf
The jury’s evaluation criteria include the degree of innovation and user benefit. The AMA Association attaches special importance to the fact that individual members of a developer team – the innovation drivers themselves – are awarded, not an enterprise or institute. The AMA Association for Sensor Technology will present the SENSOR Innovation Award 2011 on the 7th of May 2011 during the opening ceremony of the SENSOR+TEST in Nuremberg.
For more information, please see: www.ama-sensorik.de.
Sensor and Measuring Technology Expecting Record Year
Rise in Turnover, Greater Investments Planned
Berlin, 15 February 2011 – The January Poll taken by the AMA Association for Sensor Technology among its member enterprises indicates that a record year can be expected in the sensor and measuring industry.
The AMA Association canvassed about 460 members regarding the economic development. The result shows a predominantly positive mood in the sensor and measuring-technology industry. Particularly notable are the sales trend and the readiness to invest.
Suppliers of sensor and measuring technology continue to strengthen. This branch of industry arrived at its trough in the middle of 2009, but was able to attain a continuous increase in sales of 31 percent. Before the turn of the year 2010/2011, the sensor and measuring industry thus exceeded the pre-crisis level.
The positive trend spurred the expectations of the member enterprises for the year 2011. Approximately 90 percent are counting on further sales increases in the current year. Projected to the sensor industry as a whole this would result in an additional 13 percent increase in turnover. Thus the sensor industry would just about continue the extended trend of the pre-crisis years. According to the AMA Association’s calculations, the turnover of the 2,300 mainly small and medium-sized enterprises in the German-speaking region amounts to approximately 35 billion euros per year. As opposed to the cautions investments by the sensor industry in the years 2009 and 2010, the positive trend in sales encouraged the industry in again planning for significant investments in 2011.
Dr. Thomas Simmons, managing director of the AMA Association, stated: “We’re assuming a downright thrust in investments this year. The January polls indicated a plus of 27 percent for the current year. This means about 13 percent more than for the record investment year 2008. It’s comforting to see how the sensor industry is resolutely closing the gap to the above-average growth it had before the crisis.” Simmons emphasized that the sensor industry will invest above all in its own development and in innovations. The sensor industry’s customers, active throughout the entire industrial spectrum, are also investing in new developments.
All this means more sensor and measuring technology for more and more new applications. Simmons says, “The projected rate of increase is a good indicator for the current innovation readiness of the entire industry. One drop of bitterness remains though: Despite the positive statistical averages, the climb out of the valley of tears isn’t finished for about five percent of our small and medium-sized enterprises.”