autoregion international 2/2023

Products – Markets – Environment – Energy – IT – E-Mobility – Drive Technology – Future Energy Issue 02/2023 autoregion international Greater Region Mobility Innovation.

3 Summary Kreislaufwirtschaft im Kontext der Transformation Von Staatssekretärin Elena Yorgova-Ramanauskas, Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitales und Energie Nachhaltigkeit und Ressourcenschutz gehören gleichermaßen zu den zentralen gesellschaftlichen und ökonomischen Aufgaben unserer Zeit. Die Automobilindustrie – ein wesentlicher Faktor unserer Wirtschaftskraft – steht dabei insbesondere durch den Hochlauf der Elektromobilität und damit auch der Batterietechnologie vor großen Herausforderungen. Es gilt nun innerhalb kürzester Zeit, die Voraussetzungen für eine nachhaltige Batterieproduktion, energieeffiziente Fertigungstechniken, die Verringerung von Treibhausgasen und anderen schädlichen Umweltauswirkungen zu schaffen. Für das Sammeln, den Transport und vor allem das Recyceln von … Weiterlesen Circular economy in the context of transformation Sustainability and resource protection are among the central social and economic tasks of our time. The automotive industry – a key factor in our economic strength – is facing major challenges, particularly due to the ramp-up of electromobility and thus also battery technology. Within a very short time, it is now necessary to create the conditions for sustainable battery production, energy-efficient manufacturing techniques, and the reduction of greenhouse gases and other harmful environmental impacts. A robust infrastructure is essential for the collection, transport and, above all, recycling of batteries. But it is also necessary in other areas to bring products – such as discarded vehicle tyres – back into the material cycle. To maintain the competitiveness of our domestic producers, we now need new policy and regulatory framework conditions as well as product and safety standards with international validity. The state government is doing everything it can to make Saarland a highly qualified technology supplier for the future of the automotive sector. That is why we have created the framework conditions for the rapid entry into the circular economy. Our aim is to generate growth opportunities from transformation pressure. An essential building block on the way to the Circular Economy is the Saarland Transformation Network (TraSaar), which the state government launched together with the project partner autoregion e.V.. In TraSaar, the Ministry of Economic Affairs cooperates with companies, chambers, research institutions and trade unions to launch holistic solutions and concepts for the sector. Autoregion e.V. is taking on the sub-project "Battery Production & Recycling" and is thus helping to establish a regional battery cycle. Qualification and further training of skilled workers are just as important as the bundling of already existing competences of our regional industry. As a diverse location, the Saarland has all the prerequisites for a successful recycling economy. Traditional industrial branches meet innovative know-how from cutting-edge research, and since the distances are known to be short, cooperation is particularly easy. We already have a number of successes, for example in the recycling of used tyres and in the steel industry. This encourages us in our plan to develop further solutions in order to exploit the potential that lies in the circular economy. Saarland will continue to be an important part of the global automotive industry in the future. Share � � Image: © Oliver Dietze Editorial by State Secretary Elena Yorgova-Ramanauskas Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digital and Energy

4 Transformation and Employment By Armin Gehl, Managing Director autoregion e. V., Saarbrücken 6 Rethinking fuels – ideology-free, fact-based and visionary! By Dr. Carsten Meier, Managing Director of the Saarland Chamber of Industry and Commerce and member of the board of autoregion e. V. 8 Image: © IHK Saarland Image: © Oliver Dietze Editorial by State Secretary Elena YorgovaRamanauskas Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digital and Energy 3 Image: © Luxinnovation/Marion Dessard Luxembourg is going autonomous By Lena Mårtensson, Senior Marketing & Communication Officer, Luxinnovation GIE 10 Interview with Jennifer Forster-Weis The new Managing Director at NTC Nano Tech Coatings in Tholey, Saarland 20 “No electric mobility without steel” Interview with Industrial engineer Peter Schiestel, Marketing, Saarstahl AG 24

5 Table of contents Editorial by State Secretary 3 Elena Yorgova-Ramanauskas Ministry of Economy, Innovation, Digital and Energy Transformation 6 and Employment By Armin Gehl, Managing Director autoregion e. V., Saarbrücken Rethinking fuels – 8 ideology-free, fact-based and visionary! By Dr. Carsten Meier, Managing Director of the Saarland Chamber of Industry and Commerce and member of the board of autoregion e. V. Luxembourg is going autonomous 10 By Lena Mårtensson, Senior Marketing & Communication Officer, Luxinnovation GIE Dual study! 12 The “ASW Akademie der Saarwirtschaft” is expanding its range of study and teaching programmes Tried and tested dual and new dual Bachelor's degree programmes & innovative further and continuing education programmes PLUS 360 from abat: 16 The thinking organism as a revolution in manufacturing Interview with 20 Jennifer Forster-Weis The new Managing Director at NTC Nano Tech Coatings in Tholey, Saarland IB-Lenhardt AG – 22 Implementation & Certification of Wireless Technologies in a Networked World “No electric mobility 24 without steel” Interview with Industrial engineer Peter Schiestel, Marketing, Saarstahl AG Company Presentations autoregion e. V. 26 BüchnerBarella Assekuranzmakler GmbH 28 DORUCON – DR. RUPP CONSULTING GmbH 30 Global Retool Group GmbH 31 SUSI&James GmbH 32 Walter Werner GmbH 33 Expert Directory 34 Legal notice 25 We thank all participating companies, authors and all advertisers for their support.

6 Transformation and Employment By Armin Gehl, Managing Director autoregion e. V., Saarbrücken The impact of the transformation process in the automotive industry on employment in the medium and long term is highly controversial, even among experts. In particular, the switch to e-mobility and the associated loss of importance of the combustion engine and the entire drive train will not remain without consequences for employment. Image: © autoregion e. V. As early as 2022, Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, announced that 40 percent fewer workers would be needed to build e-cars than to produce a vehicle with a classic combustion engine. At the time, the closure of the Ford production plant in Saarlouis, which has been announced and is expected in the near future, was laughed at or not taken seriously, but now we have arrived at the painful reality. Founded in 1970, 4.800 people were still employed here. Approximately 1700 employees work for suppliers in the immediate region. Ford will completely switch its manufacturing to electric models and concentrate production at other locations. Is this the model case for the entire industry and are we threatened with similar scenarios from our German manufacturers? The statements and plans are not yet clear or are based on different assumptions. According to cautious statements by its CEO Källenius, Mercedes-Benz expects to reduce its workforce by 2030 without, however, specifying where and how this reduction will reflect the transformation process. Volkswagen, on the other hand, does not see any profound risks in terms of job losses. Even their group works council chairperson Daniela Cavallo recently stated that "this profound change in the industry would not end in dramatic disruptions". But the perspective of individual OEMs does not seem to reflect the full scope of the coming problem. In a comprehensive study, for example, the industry association VDA comes to the unequivocal conclusion that the electrification of the new car fleet will lead to considerable job losses in the automotive industry as well as in upstream and downstream industries, with the automotive supply industry being hit particularly hard. Here it is particularly the companies that have their focus on metalworking production around the powertrain of the combustion engine. These components – primarily the engine and transmission – are no longer found in electrically powered vehicles and are substituted there by other components. And the production of these components – primarily the electric motor and battery cells – will by no means compensate for the reduction in employment caused by the elimination of the powertrain. This is partly because the electric motor has far fewer components and partly because the focus of value creation in battery cell production is in Asia. Even though our German manufacturers are investing heavily in the development and production of battery cells, it will be years before this has a noticeable impact on employment in Germany. For example, the BMW pilot plant for battery cell production in Pasdorf near Munich currently employs about 50 people. Plants under construction, such as those at Stelantis in Kaiserslautern, Tesla in Grünheide or the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL in Erfurt, will not start production until the middle of the decade. Especially against the background of demographic change, it must be the task of all those involved in the automotive value-added process – companies, politicians, associations and trade unions – to avoid job losses as far as possible and thus also to preserve the opportunity for future growth. Once the job cuts have been made, the highly qualified skilled workers will move to other sectors and they will no longer be available for the development of a comprehensive electromobile automotive value chain in Germany. The basis that is urgently needed for the development of an internationally leading competitive position will then be missing. Armin Gehl, Managing Director of the association autoregion e. V.

7 Events Press Contact autoregion e. V. However, to prevent job losses, it is imperative to have a climate policy perspective that is open to technology – especially with regard to the development and use of electricity-based fuels. As recently as October 2021, the German government had declared with regard to renewable fuels – so-called e-fuels – that technological openness would strengthen Germany as a mobility location, improve international competitiveness and secure high-quality jobs in our country. Less than 18 months after this publication, the same federal government agreed to a decision by the EU Council of Ministers that only zero-emission new cars may be registered in the European Union from 2035. It was only thanks to the persistence of the German Transport Minister, supported by his colleagues from Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria, that this decision did not finally put an end to the internal combustion engine. After tough negotiations, the EU Commission agreed to submit a proposal to introduce a “robust and circumvention-proof approval procedure” for vehicles fuelled exclusively with synthetic fuels. This seems to mean that the apodictic and final end of the internal combustion engine is off the table, even though the compromise solution found is not uncontroversial among experts. The view is already being expressed that this compromise is merely a test mandate to the Commission – the outcome is uncertain! But the very fact that it took a conflict-ridden debate rich in political insinuations to give the use of synthetic fuels any chance at all shows how far political opinion-makers have moved away from the principle of openness to technology and its positive consequences for the economy as a whole and employment in particular, which was still being flaunted until recently. Obviously, it is no longer a matter of researching, testing and developing sciencebased findings for their practical suitability and thus also setting employment policy accents. The focus is on the implementation of basic political convictions and party conference resolutions – without regard for the preservation of jobs, the defence of technological top positions and the competitiveness of our globally recognised automotive and supplier industry. Without necessity, an entire industry is being put up for grabs, which with its products is at the top of the world. And this is being done with the knowledge that it is not the internal combustion engine itself that is the climate-damaging problem, but the fuel used in the internal combustion engine. Despite the Brussels compromise solution, the stigmatisation of the internal combustion engine and thus also of synthetic fuels in politics and the public continues unabated. New calculations on the efficiency and ecobalance of e-fuels appear almost daily, only to come to the same conclusion again and again: Compared to the use of synthetic fuels in the combustion engine, the battery-electric drive has clear disadvantages in terms of efficiency, economy and environmental compatibility. Consequently – so the illusory conclusion – electromobility is without alternative as a mobile form of propulsion. And one of the most surprising aspects of this discussion is that the German trade unions almost unanimously share this view. Whereas in the past one was used to trade unions speaking out loudly with demands to preserve jobs even in the face of the smallest structural changes, they seem to have fallen almost silent with regard to the employment impact of the combustion ban and thus also the use of e-fuels. In a policy paper on EU legislation on CO2 fleet limits of May 2022, IG Metall rejects the inclusion of synthetic fuels within the system of car fleet limits. On the fundamental role of synthetic fuels, it states that they could play a limited role in reducing CO2 emissions in road transport, especially through blending and in segments that are difficult to electrify, such as aviation or heavy-duty and special vehicles. There is not a word in the declaration about the employment-securing effect of e-fuel technology – especially as a transitional solution. This ignorance of the employment opportunities that lie in the use of e-fuels is frightening. It is not only a matter of preventing job losses in the existing classic manufacturing segments of the powertrain. The possibilities of job creation in the power-to-X sector (electrolysers, conversion plants, CO2 separators) are also simply negated. In view of these positions, the question arises as to whether the trade unions are really still looking after the interests of their members in this issue in the due form and thus contributing to the preservation of large parts of our industry. The internationally strong position of our automotive and supplier industry depends not least on the high qualification potential of our employees. If they can no longer be sure of the support of their interest representation, this will not remain without consequences for the entire industry. Share � � Summary Transformation und Beschäftigung Von Armin Gehl, Geschäftsführer autoregion e. V., Saarbrücken Welche Auswirkungen der Transformationsprozess in der Automobilindustrie auf die Beschäftigung mittel- und langfristig haben wird, ist in hohem Maß selbst unter Fachleuten umstritten. Insbesondere die Umstellung auf E-Mobilität und der damit einhergehende Bedeutungsverlust von Verbrennungsmotor und des gesamten Antriebsstrangs werden nicht ohne Konsequenzen für die Beschäftigung bleiben. Bereits 2022 kündigte Jim Farley, CEO von Ford an, für den Bau von E-Autos 40 Prozent weniger Arbeiter zu benötigen als für die Herstellung eines Fahrzeugs mit klassischem Verbrennungsmotor. Damals noch belächelt oder nicht ernst genommen sind wir mit der angekündigten und zeitnah zu erwartenden Schließung des Ford Produktionswerkes in Saarlouis in der schmerzhaften Realität angekommen. 1970 gegründet waren hier zuletzt noch 4800 Mitarbeiter beschäftigt. Circa 1700 Beschäftigte arbeiten bei unmittelbaren Zulieferern in der näheren Region. Ford wird komplett seine Fertigung auf Elektromodelle umstellen und die Produktion an anderen Standorten konzentrieren. Ist dies der Modellfall für die gesamte Branche und drohen uns ähnliche Szenarien auch von unseren deutschen Herstellern? … Weiterlesen

8 Rethinking fuels – ideology-free, fact-based and visionary! By Dr. Carsten Meier, Managing Director of the Saarland Chamber of Industry and Commerce and member of the board of autoregion e. V. The debate about the future automotive drive system continues to be conducted with much passion in Germany. It is true that there is widespread agreement that CO₂ emissions from the transport sector must fall in order to make substantial progress in climate protection. But the way to get there – open to technology and diverse or state-led and regulatory – is highly controversial. With the “Fit for 55” package of measures, the EU Commission had already set ambitious targets for the implementation of the “Green Deal” in July 2021. For example, net greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars are to be reduced by 55 percent by 2030 compared to the level in 2021. In spring of this year, the targets were drastically tightened again: CO₂ equivalent emissions are to be reduced to zero by 2035. The consequence; from that point on, no new vehicles that can be fuelled with a fossil fuel may be registered. This effectively means the end of the internal combustion engine – even though it is not the engine as such that is harmful to the climate, but only the fossil fuels powering the engines. Whether this really marks the end of the piston engine in Europe remains to be seen. Because even after 2035, car manufacturers will still have the option of bringing passenger cars onto the European market that are equipped with an internal combustion engine. The prerequisite, however, is that these cars must be fuelled exclusively with eFuels, i.e. with synthetic and CO₂-neutral fuels (vehicle category “eFuels only”). Thus, what does this mean? The fact that this compromise was reached at all is first of all, an important negotiating success by the Federal Government, a compromise which protects Germany as an automotive location, at least temporarily. The manufacturers are now required to integrate a corresponding shut-off device in the vehicles, which ensures that the engine no longer starts if the vehicle is refuelled with a fossil fuel. Technically, this is certainly feasible. However, the decision by itself is highly questionable in terms of regulatory policy. With the end of the internal combustion engine, the EU Commission has in fact set the course for electromobility. The reduction of fleet limits to zero grams of CO₂ obviously serves the goal of accelerating the market penetration of electric vehicles. What the market is unable to achieve for various reasons, for example because consumers have other preferences or because battery electric vehicles are not competitive under market conditions, has once again been forced through state intervention. Moreover, it is also ecologically questionable, because the eco-balance of e-vehicles – related to the entire value chain (“well-to-wheel”) – is far from climate-neutral. Instead, it would have been more ecologically and climate-friendly if the EU Commission had not focussed on new registrations, but had looked at the existing fleet of vehicles – after all, there are 350 million in Europe. This would have led to direct emission reductions. Specifically, targets for the substitution of fossil fuels with eFuels or higher quotas for their admixture in fossil fuels would have been a feasible path. But eFuels are always hastily pushed into the background in the political debate because the critics' central arguments are not questioned. These are: (1) The production capacities of synthetic fuels are far from sufficient to meet potential demand. (2) A litre of eFuels currently costs the end consumer 4.50 euros and thus about three times as much as a litre of petrol. The use of synthetic fuels is therefore not economically viable. (3) The production of eFuels is not climate neutral and not efficient. We should counter this: We need to rethink fuels – ideology-free, fact-based and visionary! As far as the currently still too low production capacities of eFuels are concerned, politics should adapt the funding framework in the sense of technology openness and technology diversity – similar to the promotion of the ramp-up of battery technology and fuel cells – and thus accelerate eFuel production. This is because technology maturity needs scalability and scaling takes place in stages (planning, approval, construction and commissioning of the plants). And also along a learning curve. With the expansion of production capacities, production costs will fall and eFuels will then be affordable for the end consumer. Experts expect production costs to fall to a range of 1.61 to 1.99 euros per litre in 2025 and to values between 0.70 and 1.33 euros in 2050. The price of petrol is likely to be significantly higher by the middle of the century. As far as the efficiency and life cycle assessment of fuel supply is concerned, this aspect must also be considered in a differentiated manner. It is true that the production of eFuels through power-to-liquid processes is very energy-intensive and the energy supply from renewable sources in Germany lags behind the energy demand for the production of the required quantities of eFuels. The production process also has a lower level of efficiency than the direct use of electric power in vehicles with battery-electric drive systems. However, this argument, which is repeatedly put forward by critics, does not help if the goal is also to decarbonise those areas of the transport sector that cannot be electrified or can only be electrified with difficulty. As far as the eco-balance is concerned, it would be much better if the production of eFuels took place at suitable locations with a high capacity factor, such as in Image: © IHK Saarland Dr. Carsten Meier, Managing Director of the Saarland Chamber of Industry and Commerce and member of the board of autoregion e. V.

Norway (hydropower), Argentina and Chile (wind power) or Morocco (solar energy). This will then be completely CO₂-neutral. There is also the social dimension: it should not be underestimated that the global value chain leads to a diversified energy supply and inevitably entails technology exports. As a result, this enables the development of local value creation and thus the creation of jobs in countries of the global South as well as the preservation of jobs in the German supply industry. Moreover, eFuels are relatively easy to transport and store with the existing infrastructure (pipelines, refineries, tankers, filling stations). From an overall economic perspective, the high additional costs of the technology switch from the combustion engine to the electric drive would be eliminated and no further politically induced capital destruction would take place. The crucial point, however, is that e-fuels are the only way to directly reduce the emissions of the existing 1.4 billion vehicles worldwide. In this respect, they are one of many necessary elements for achieving the Paris climate protection goals. And thus, they do not come into conflict with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as would be feared from a radical switch to e-mobility. In this context, the competent contributions by the experts from science and industry who appeared at the joint event of autoregion e. V. and IHK Saarland at the Porsche Centre Saarland in May regarding the topic “e-fuels – where is the journey heading?” were very impressive. Let us therefore continue to discuss the future of mobility together, based on facts and free of ideology, and stand up for our automotive location Saarland with all our strength and a lot of passion! The Saarland Chamber of Commerce and Industry and autoregion e. V. will be happy to accompany you on this journey. Share � � Summary Kraftstoffe neu denken – ideologiefrei, faktenbasiert und visionär! Von Dr. Carsten Meier, Geschäftsführer der IHK Saarland und Mitglied im Vorstand von autoregion e. V. Die Debatte um die künftige automobile Antriebsart wird in Deutschland weiterhin mit viel Leidenschaft geführt. Zwar besteht weitgehend Einigkeit dahingehend, dass der CO₂-Ausstoß des Verkehrssektors sinken muss, damit substantielle Fortschritte beim Klimaschutz erzielt werden können. Doch der Weg dorthin – technologieoffen und vielfältig oder staatlich gelenkt und regulatorisch – ist höchst umstritten. Mit dem Maßnahmenpaket „Fit for 55“ hatte die EU-Kommission zur Umsetzung des „Green Deals“ bereits im Juli 2021 ehrgeizige Ziele vorgegeben. So sollen die NettoTreibhausgasemissionen von Personenkraftwagen bis 2030 um 55 Prozent im Vergleich zum Niveau des Jahres 2021 sinken. Im Frühjahr dieses Jahres wurden die Ziele sogar nochmals drastisch verschärft: Bis 2035 sollen die CO₂ äquivalenten Emissionen auf Null reduziert werden. Dies hat zur Folge, dass ab dem Zeitpunkt keine Neufahrzeuge mehr zugelassen werden dürfen, die mit einem fossilen Kraftstoff betankt werden können. Das bedeutet faktisch ein weitgehendes Aus des Verbrenners – und dies, obwohl nicht der Motor als solcher klimaschädlich ist, sondern nur die fossilen Kraftstoffe, mit denen die Motoren betrieben werden. Ob in Europa damit tatsächlich das Ende des Kolbenmotors eingeleitet ist, wird sich zeigen. Denn auch nach 2035 haben die Automobilhersteller weiterhin die Möglichkeit, Personenkraftwagen auf den europäischen Markt zu bringen, die mit einem Verbrennungsmotor ausgestattet sind. Voraussetzung ist jedoch, dass diese Autos dann ausschließlich mit eFuels, also mit synthetischen und CO₂-neutral hergestellten Kraftstoffen betankbar sind (Fahrzeugkategorie „eFuels only“). Was bedeutet dies nun? Dass es überhaupt zu diesem Kompromiss kam, ist zunächst ein wichtiger Verhandlungserfolg für die Bundesregierung, der den Automobilstandort Deutschland zumindest vorübergehend schützt … Weiterlesen

10 Luxembourg is going autonomous By Lena Mårtensson, Senior Marketing & Communication Officer, Luxinnovation GIE Self-driving bus shuttle manufacturer Ohmio Automotion Ltd, with roots in Australia and New Zealand, has opened its first European office in Luxembourg. After winning a key contract with national railway company CFL, Ohmio will use Luxembourg as its base for addressing the growing demand for autonomous vehicles in Europe. Autonomous shuttles are an interesting alternative for transport providers looking for sustainable last-mile solutions. The Luxembourg railway operator initially launched an international call for tenders for self-driving shuttle buses in 2020, and the contract has recently been awarded to Ohmio. In early 2023, the company provided two vehicles to be implemented in the context of a threeyear project. Intelligent transport systems Ohmio’s solutions go further than just the vehicles. “Originally, we are an infrastructure company. We have been working with intelligent transport systems, where the infrastructure is able to communicate with drivers, for over two decades,” explains Chairman Mohammed Hikmet. “In 2015, we decided to think about how this communication would be done with vehicles without drivers, and two years later we had developed our first autonomous shuttle capable of communicating with its environment. Instead of just developing self-driving vehicles, we provide an entire ecosystem.” Ohmio’s vehicles have already been deployed in New Zealand, Australia, China, South Korea and New York, and are soon to be deployed in the UK, the Netherlands and Finland. “Ohmio’s experience and achievements in Korea, as well as its modular platform approach and first experience of level 4 autonomous driving were among the most interesting aspects of their offer,” says Carlo Hansen, Chef du Service BU at CFL. The Luxembourg contract is the company’s first project in Europe. “We will work together with CFL and other partners to develop a system that ensures that the vehicles operate safely and efficiently,” says CEO Dean Zabrieszach.” Images: © Ohmio

11 European opportunities for autonomous vehicles However, the company’s journey to Luxembourg started well before the CFL tender. “When we attended the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress in Copenhagen in 2018, we met Joost Ortjens, business developer at national innovation agency Luxinnovation, who introduced Luxembourg to us,” recalls Mr Zabrieszach. “He told us that it is a very progressive country interested in implementing autonomous vehicles. This gave us the opportunity to show our vehicles and later, to respond to the CFL call.” Ohmio will use its new Luxembourg base to develop business opportunities across Europe. “We have recently been successful with projects in the UK, the Netherlands and Finland and we have interest from Austria, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Germany. The European market abounds with opportunities.” Tremendous support The Ohmio team visited Luxembourg as part of the CFL tendering process and benefitted from a tailor-made “soft-landing” onsite visit organised by Luxinnovation and the House of Entrepreneurship. “The visit was very well planned: we had 4-5 meetings on the same day. Everywhere we went we felt welcome, and everyone showed us opportunities,” says Robert Sykora, Ohmio’s newly appointed Director for Europe. “We realised that there was a lot of work to be done here and that Luxembourg was a central location for reaching out to the rest of Europe. We also received tremendous support. This made us take the decision to open our office here, even before we knew that we had won the CFL tender. We will for sure stay in touch with Joost Ortjens and his colleague Anthony Auert to benefit from their knowledge of the ecosystem to spot future opportunities.” He also hopes to bring a win-win situation to the country. “With the introduction of Ohmio’s autonomous vehicle expertise to Luxembourg, we would like to expand Luxembourg’s technical outreach by joining various international standards organisations as a ‘participating member’. This will enable an enormous amount of global technical expertise to be readily available to the country,” he points out. Partnerships key to success During the visit to Luxembourg, Ohmio met inspection body Luxcontrol that provided complete information on the steps to take to get its self-driving vehicles accredited in Luxembourg. The team was also introduced to public transport providers Sales-Lentz that offered to be Ohmio’s local maintenance partner, as well as to intelligent sensing solutions provider IEE that invited the company to use office space at its premises for its Luxembourg branch. “We gladly took up IEE’s offer and have taken up a lease with them,” says Mr Zabrieszach. “We have also already spoken to Sales-Lentz about some potential future projects. This visit paid off in a big way: we were able to meet a lot of people, demonstrate that we are serious and position ourselves very well for the CFL contract.” Building further partnerships is a priority. “We are looking for partners to conduct the vast amount of R&D needed to develop the connections between our autonomous vehicles and their surrounding ecosystem,” says Mr Hikmet. “IEE is one example of interesting partners here – we think that our cooperation has the potential to go way beyond shared offices in the future.” The local collaborations are also important for CFL. “Ohmio’s cooperation with IEE and Sales-Lentz and the possibility to include technical partners like Goodyear or the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology in the future, as well as the company’s plans to open a local office in Luxembourg, had a positive impact on CFL’s decision,” confirms Mr Hansen. “I think that the future cooperation between Ohmio and CFL will be very beneficial for both sides and enable CFL to make its contribution to developing autonomous driving technology. I hope that together we will reach a new level of autonomous driving in Luxembourg, especially on public roads.” Share � � Luxinnovation GIE Ohmio vehicle in Bettembourg

12 Dual study! The “ASW Akademie der Saarwirtschaft” is expanding its range of study and teaching programmes Tried and tested dual and new dual Bachelor's degree programmes & innovative further and continuing education programmes The Akademie der Saarwirtschaft (ASW gGmbH) – the dual education institution of the htw saar (University of Applied Sciences) has been offering dual studies for over 30 years. Now the ASW is expanding its range of courses. Image: © ASW Archiv ANZEIGE Today's ASW gGmbH in Neunkirchen/Saar began offering dual study programmes in 1991 as a vocational academy. Since 2021, the Saarland higher education institution has been part of the htw saar (University of Applied Sciences) in Saarbrücken/Germany. Since 2021, the ASW, as the “Academy of the Saar Economy”, has been offering three-year Bachelor's degree programmes in the fields of: Business Administration ((BWL) Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)), Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)), Business Informatics (Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)) and n Industrial Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)) for the htw saar. From the winter semester 2024, the ASW will offer a new degree programme: “Integrated Sustainable Building Technology”. New degree programme from winter semester 2023/2024: “Integrated Sustainable Building Technology”. With the newly designed Bachelor's degree programme “Integrated Sustainable Building Technology”, the Saarland University of Applied Sciences (htw saar) and the Akademie der Saarwirtschaft ASW gGmbH (ASW) are expanding their dual study programme and offering a dual degree programme in the field of civil engineering and supply technology for the first time. In order to limit the consequences of climate change, more and more sustainable raw materials and technologies are being used. This development also affects the construction industry as an important part of the overall economy. Here, building and supply technology, such as heating, cooling, air conditioning and sanitary technology, as well as electrical energy systems and gas technology for biogas and hydrogen, play an important role. Increased networking and digitalisation also have an impact on electrical building technology and building automation. Increasingly, qualified engineers are needed for the technological changes in the complex field of building technology. This is where the new degree programme comes in. The dual Bachelor's programme Integrated Sustainable Building Technology is an interdisciplinary programme at the interface of civil engineering and supply engineering. The focus is on renewable energy systems, storage and hydrogen technologies and building services engineering in the form of electrical building services engineering, sanitary, heating, cooling and air conditioning technology and building automation. Both integration in new buildings and modernisation in existing buildings are covered. Its special feature is the dual structure, in which competences are acquired at the two learning locations “university” and “company”, which in combination lead to high professional action and problem-solving skills. The close interlocking of theory and practice is realised organisationally through a clearly structured block phase model and in terms of content through a framework plan for the practical phase that is coordinated with the curriculum. The programme starts on 2 September 2024. The admission requirement for a dual study programme at htw saar and ASW is the general higher education entrance qualification, the entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences or the subjectspecific higher education entrance qualification. Prospective students can apply to companies for a training and study place from September 2023. Students are prepared for work as specialists and managers in the development of techno-

logies for technical building equipment at manufacturing companies. Further fields of activity can be in the planning and coordination of corresponding projects in planning offices, state authorities and implementing companies as well as in the facility management of large public or private sector buildings or industrial companies. The standard period of study is six semesters. Graduates are awarded the academic degree Bachelor of Engineering. More information on the degree programme and application deadlines can be found at: Proven dual study programmes in business administration, business informatics, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering. What does it mean for students to study “dual”? The three-year dual Bachelor's programme at the ASW in Neunkirchen/ Saar has been characterised by the concept of alternating lectures at the ASW with practical phases in the company since its inception. In this way, well-founded professional knowledge is combined with the ability to quickly put it into practice in day-today business. Students can obtain a state university degree (Bachelor) after three years and, if they are interested, they can also follow this up with a Master's degree. There are many arguments in favour of a dual study programme. First and foremost: attractive salaries. In contrast to a traditional degree programme, students in a dual study programme are paid by the partner company that accompanies them. Each year there are several theory blocks at the ASW in Neunkirchen. In the remaining time, you gain practical experience in the cooperating company. At the ASW, dual study programmes are not linked to fixed grades. The prerequisite is a general university entrance qualification (Abitur), a technical college entrance qualification (Fachabitur) (specialist baccalaureate) or a completed master craftsman's examination. Interested students apply to an ASW practice partner of their choice. The ASW is happy to help with the initial contact with their partner companies. Through the dual study programme at the ASW, future business economists (m/f/d), mechanical engineers, business informatics specialists and students of industrial engineering acquire valuable practical skills in addition to specialist knowledge, which puts them in an excellent starting position for later employment as a manager. The educational cooperation with the companies ensures that the needs of the participating dual partners (m/f/d) are also taken into account in terms of content. The following specialisations are offered in business administration: Trade, Industry, Financial Services, Taxation and Accounting, Logistics, Craft Management. The aim of the Mechanical Engineering Production Technology programme is to train engineers within the three years who acquire a high level of knowledge from industrial practice in addition to the theoretical tools. The dual or two-track training concept at one of the ASW is ideally suited for this purpose. The increasing penetration of business processes by information and communication technology requires qualified employees with both high business and technological competence in all areas of the economy. At the ASW, future business informatics specialists (m/f/d) acquire broad-based knowledge in both areas. Both previously completed and new learning material are repeatedly introduced into the lessons in realistic group work.

14 The aim of the Industrial Engineering and Production Management degree programme is to train practice-oriented engineers in three years who have an eye on costs, turnover, the market and technical feasibility in companies at the sensitive interface between technology and business and who coordinate and improve the cooperation between these sometimes competing areas. After the three-year study programme, graduates (m/f/d) have the necessary knowledge in the field of mechanical engineering, business administration and overarching subject complexes, such as: Project Management, Logistics, Controlling, Technical Sales, as well as fundamental professional experience that cannot be acquired in this specific form in any other degree programme. “A dual study programme at the ASW represents the ideal combination for performance-oriented and performance-ready young people between an education that is as scientifically sound as it is practice-oriented. Our goal is to produce capable and resilient young managers with professional and emotional competence,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Metz, Managing Director of ASW gGmbH and Prof. Dr. JanChristoph Gaukler, head of the “Integrated Sustainable Building Technology” course. “A dual study programme at ASW is an investment in the future for both students and companies,” add Prof. Dr. Thomas Kunz, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kohlrusch and Prof. Dr. Christof Graf, who are also responsible for advanced and continuing education courses at ASW. Advanced and further training courses for the “ASW Fachwirt (vocational baccalaureate)”. In 2005, the first one-year ASW advanced and further training course in the field of marketing was launched. Since then, several courses of this kind have been developed and have become established in the Saar-Lor-Lux region. Each successfully completed advanced and further training course is certified with the degree “ASW Fachwirt (vocational baccalaureate)” in the respective areas of “Marketing”, “Controlling”, “General Management”, “Purchasing/Logistics”, “Retail Management”, “Industry 4.0” and “Human Resources”. Since 2020, the new, purely digital teaching format in the area of “Digital Marketing” has also been established. The “ASW Fachwirt (vocational baccalaureate) Digital Marketing & communication management” is one of the newest and most successful “ASW Fachwirt (vocational baccalaureate)” continuing and further education programmes. (cgraf) Info Share � � Summary Dual studieren! Die ASW Akademie der Saarwirtschaft baut Studien- und Lehrangebote aus Bewährte duale und neue duale Bachelor-Studiengänge & Innovative Fort- und Weiterbildungsangebote Die Akademie der Saarwirtschaft (ASW gGmbH) – die duale Bildungseinrichtung der htw saar (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft) bietet seit über 30 Jahren ein Duales Studium an. Jetzt baut die ASW ihr Studienangebot aus. Die heutige ASW gGmbH in Neunkirchen/Saar begann 1991 als Berufsakademie duale Studiengänge anzubieten … Weiterlesen

16 Summary PLUS 360 von abat: Der denkende Organismus als Revolution in der Fertigung In einer schnelllebigen und wettbewerbsintensiven Fertigungslandschaft ist es für den Erfolg entscheidend, der Zeit immer einen Schritt voraus zu sein. Um erfolgreich zu sein, müssen Unternehmen ihre Produktionsprozesse optimieren, Ausfallzeiten minimieren, Kosten senken und … Weiterlesen PLUS 360 from abat: The thinking organism as a revolution in manufacturing In a fast-paced and competitive manufacturing landscape, staying ahead of the curve is critical to success. To be successful, companies must optimize their production processes, minimize downtime, reduce costs, and ensure top-notch quality at the same time. This is where a Manufacturing Operation System (MOS) comes into play, providing a comprehensive solution for the manufacturing industry. PLUS 360 by abat is at the forefront of this innovation. Machine control: increasing efficiency and precision PLUS 360 by abat streamlines and optimizes machine control by making the manufacturing processes more effiecent and precise. By integrating advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), this system enables seamless communication between machines and humans. PLUS 360 gives manufacturers a real-time view of machine performance for proactive maintenance, minimizes downtime, and optimally guides employees through the process. Process under control: The full power of intelligent manufacturing Beyond machine control, PLUS 360 by abat optimizes the entire production process through comprehensive process control capabilities. Linking all aspects of the manufacturing process, from raw material procurement to final product delivery, results in increased control and transparency for the manufacturer. For the usage within automotive industry, PLUS 360 facilitates seamless coordination between suppliers, assembly lines, and distribution centers. This integration streamlines the supply chain and ensures just-in-time delivery of components. PLUS 360 by abat optimizes as well production schedules and material usage within furniture industry while improving resource allocation. Real-time monitoring: Datasupported decision-making PLUS 360 by abat provides manufacturers with real-time monitoring capabilities that give them valuable insight into their operations. Through a central dashboard, managers can access critical production data in real time, such as production rates, quality metrics and equipment utilization. Machine and process optimization eliminates inefficiencies, reduces waste, and enables informed resource allocation – all for the benefit of productivity and customer satisfaction. PLUS 360 by abat. Organism, orchestra, foundation of your work Think of PLUS 360 as an organism within your manufacturing operation. It connects machines, systems and people in perfect synchronicity. With PLUS 360 by abat, manufacturers can revolutionize their operations, reduce downtime, and avoid costly errors. By leveraging AI and real-time data analytics, companies act productively, efficiently, always profitably – and always one step ahead. About abat abat in St. Ingbert, Saarland, is part of the abat Group, which has more than 800 employees and additional national and international locations. The company stands for digital high availability solutions in the complex manufacturing industry for production control, production planning and quality management. In addition, the portfolio includes xReality, artificial intelligence, app and software development, and cloud services, among others. A strong asset of abat's IT experts is the transformation of legacy systems. The goal: to open the door for tomorrow today. Share � � LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Read more about abat Image: © NicoEINino/

CONTACT US +352 33 20 71 921 Electromagnetic compatibility Corrosion tests Accelerated aging tests Vibration & dynamic stresses Endurance & service life tests Design verifications & validations Testing Services ENSURE PRODUCT EXCELLENCE THROUGH STATE-OF-THE ART TESTING AND QUALIFICATION SERVICES in Luxembourg

20 Summary Interview Jennifer Forster-Weis Die neue Geschäftsführerin bei NTC Nano Tech Coatings im saarländischen Tholey Frau Forster-Weis, hat Sie die Ernennung zur Geschäftsführerin der NTC Nano Tech Coatings GmbH überrascht oder war die neue Position für Sie absehbar? Ich darf schon seit langem ein Teil des Unternehmens sein und habe auch die schwierigen Anfangsjahre … Weiterlesen Interview Jennifer Forster-Weis The new Managing Director at NTC Nano Tech Coatings in Tholey, Saarland. Mrs Forster-Weis, did the appointment as Managing Director of NTC Nano Tech Coatings GmbH come as a surprise to you or were you expecting the new position? I have had the privilege of being part of the company for a long time and also experienced the difficult early years. During these years, however, a very close partnership has developed with Dr Wagner. From the beginning, I took a lot of pressure off him in the administrative area. Dr Wagner assigned me more and more important tasks and I was able to contribute significantly to the success of the company, something I am very proud of. I became an authorised signatory in 2016 and have been able to contribute to determining the course of the company since then. I was delighted to be appointed Managing Director at the beginning of July this year. Normally, Dr Georg Wagner, who is the founder and main shareholder, represents the company in public. Will we also see you more at official appointments now? As in the past, during my time as an authorised signatory, I was able to relieve pressure on Dr Wagner, so to speak, so that he can manage the important research and development tasks in our company and do his work on the committees on which he and the company are represented. He also remains focused on cultivating international client contacts and attending and appearing at conferences worldwide. I take over the daily business, so to speak, i.e. I take care of the operational and administrative part of the business. What do you yourself find fascinating about the company, and where do you see NTC's strengths? I see many young, dedicated people in the company who focus on innovative and sustainable surface systems. The reason we have been so successful up to now is that we have outperformed larger, traditional competitors with creative ideas and the decisive scientific know-how. I would like to continue this trend and contribute to environmental protection worldwide with our coatings. Does the switch to green solutions play a key role in your company, as it does in all modern companies? Through the use of our functional surface coatings, we have already been able to demonstrate energy savings in a number of areas. In general, we are researching every day for ever better and more environmentally friendly solutions for the processing and manufacture of our products. We also continue to work in other areas, such as the automotive industry, on new individual and functional surface coatings that are as effective as possible while conserving resources. Are you also responsible for the management of the entire staff? Yes, we have a great team with dedicated employees. Stability is not just important in the field of surface coating, but also for companies. I would like to give the employees the opportunity, as far as practicable, to develop personally in their field of work through training and more, and thus to contribute a great deal to our success. It is also our aim to train further employees and include them in the team in order to continue to grow. For the future, I would like to continue contributing significantly to the success of the company and to develop and produce innovative and highly functional surface coatings together with motivated and committed employees. Many thanks for this interview! Share � � Image: © Hans-Jörg Voigt Mrs Forster-Weis