Science, research, development and innovation processes = the way to success
Dealing with tasks in the area of science significantly increases the use of innovation prospects in the subsidiaries of the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP. In the areas of research, development and innovation, the individual companies within the Group face a wide variety of tasks depending on their production and business strategy. The Group therefore draws attention to building its own scientific and development capacities for the major fields of its business. When dealing with projects and tasks, the Group's own research and development capacities are often combined with the research and development capacities of universities, research centres or other entities.
Universities are usually considered most significant partners when dealing with tasks concerning science and technology development. Nowadays, universities have important capacities that can be successfully used to achieve the goals of projects and tasks. Under the Research and Development for Innovation Operation Programme they have the opportunity to gain top-class equipment for their laboratories and centres, and offer their capacities to their industrial partners. The intersection of cooperation of the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP with universities is getting a synergistic effect that improves the efficiency of the research, development and innovation processes.
Based on our focus, our major partners are:
- VŠB - Technical University of Ostrava,
- Brno University of Technology,
- University of West Bohemia,
- University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague,
- Technical University of Liberec.
The common interest is to create an environment stimulating research, development and innovations, support the cooperation of schools and the private sector, make the technical fields of study at universities more attractive, and try to participate also in international cooperation in research, development and innovations. The cooperation with the above mentioned universities is focused primarily on the areas of classic and nuclear energetics, new manufacturing technologies in the field of heavy mechanical engineering and mechanical metallurgy, materials engineering, transport, information and communications technology, waste treatment technology, and also technologies associated with environmental protection.
Grant programmes for supporting science and research such as "Impuls", "Tandem", "Trvalá prosperita" and recently also "TIP" became the basis of the cooperation, both direct and indirect, between the subsidiaries of the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP and the universities. We assume that the output from our cooperation will be not only new theoretical knowledge in the fields mentioned above in the form of patents, utility and industrial patterns, prototypes published in journals, but also results applied in the form of verified technologies and technology procedures implemented in new products with much better utility characteristics.
An example of applying science and research is the Green Technology field. For the future, the strategy of the Group in the area of innovations focuses primarily on, apart from the existing production and engineering, Green Technology. This new business field includes areas of biomass processing in biogas plants, the transformation of biomass to thermal or electrical energy and the cleaning of biogas and its use in vehicles as an alternative fuel. The CNG Vitall trademark was created.
The basis of Green Technology is comprised of traditional fields – cylinder production and biogas plant production and assembly, which are technologies used for ecological production of gas, heat and fuel for motor vehicles. These energies are available via the traditional biogas plants, and recently also via steel cylinders and their forms. Other possibilities of gas storage and transfer have been created in the recent years, especially bundles of steel cylinders and CNG filling stations for motor vehicles. These are the most go-ahead products of the technology, which is developed through the participation of technicians from all over the Group. The technological development of biogas plants focuses primarily on the possibilities of using inputs from agricultural production and municipal solid waste available in the region. In the cooperation with research capacities, the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP innovates the technologies heading towards a more efficient use of waste heat from the fermentation process and its transport. One of the most common methods of gas processing today is the use of cogeneration units to produce heat and electric energy and selling it to ČEZ, a Czech heat supplier, for subsidized prices.
As subsidising is time-limited, the Group focuses on the development of engines and pumps powered by natural gas used for example for irrigation, fuel transfer etc. It also concentrates on cleaning biogas to be used in transport (CNG transport) or in household appliances. Experts currently work on a comprehensive solution of the use of biogas in transport using the following principle: biogas plant – sewage disposal plant – CNG filling station. The connection of a sewage disposal plant, biogas plant, cogeneration unit, biogas cleaning technology, and biomethan filling station creates a unit producing pure energy from waste. The aim is to provide a comprehensive technology that can produce useful energy from unusable and polluted input. The current pilot project is extending a biogas plant in Pustějov by cleaning and compressing in the form of a CNG filling station. Within Green Technology, CNG is a large area itself. It provides a wide range of possibilities for both the producers and consumers. The solution is beneficial for the municipal and business sectors, but also for natural persons as it is significantly economic and ecological in comparison with the traditional approach. CNG is a solution for reducing NOx, CO2, particulates and other pollutants coming from diesel and gas powered vehicles not only in regions affected by emissions. Moreover, the savings in operating costs are 40%.
Green Technology means not only components production development to the subsidiaries of the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP, but also the ecological and economical operation of a car pool, special and manipulating machines and railway vehicles. By the decision of the chairman of the board of directors, the entire transportation of the Group was converted to CNG. Four company CNG filling stations are in operation within the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP. The first large CNG filling station on the Ruská street in Ostrava is planned to be opened in 2009.
Transport ecologization is also a part of the Green Techology project of the VÍTKOVICE MACHINERY GROUP. We prepare projects for public transport ecologization in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
Comprehensive renewal of power plants
In the field of energetics, VÍTKOVICE POWER ENGINEERING a.s. provides comprehensive renewal of power plants. The project of the comprehensive renewal of power plants includes a wide range of implemented research activities concerning the diagnostics of mills for both power plants, verifying the conditions of lignite burning, welding procedure qualification, verification of burning process mathematical model results etc.