Predevelopment Teamwork

The Coro­na year has cost many lives, caused upheavals and bank­rupt­cies in the econ­o­my, and has caused inde­scrib­able social suf­fer­ing and per­son­al empti­ness. How­ev­er, as the only pos­i­tive aspect, it has trained us to be mas­ters of remote con­tact via inter­net com­put­er vision. This will make many a busi­ness trip unnec­es­sary in the future.

Mod­ern tele­com made pos­si­ble the enter­prise of Traction‑X @ TH Köln as a team project of stu­dents under my lead­er­ship. We are doing pre­lim­i­nary devel­op­ment, part­ly for a fic­ti­tious cus­tomer and a not yet con­sol­i­dat­ed spec­i­fi­ca­tion, part­ly for the Ital­ian Piag­gio mar­ket leader as poten­tial new cus­tomer. In bi-week­ly vir­tu­al meet­ings we dis­cuss orga­ni­za­tion­al and tech­ni­cal issues in an effi­cient and pleas­ant way, although we are most­ly far away from each oth­er in the north­west­ern parts of Ger­many. This has enabled us to build up a good, almost friend­ly sci­en­tif­ic and tech­ni­cal rela­tion­ship, which would have been impos­si­ble if face-to-face meet­ings had to be held on site in Cologne. The patron and men­tor of all this is Prof. Bet­zler, to whom I am very much indebt­ed for this, but with whom I am also con­nect­ed by a man­i­fold tech­ni­cal-sci­en­tif­ic agree­ment, an engi­neer­ing-sci­en­tif­ic-tech­ni­cal intu­ition, so to speak, which we share in a sim­i­lar way.

Specif­i­cal­ly, a team of two stu­dents from the Far East worked on a project enti­tled “Bench­mark­ing Motor Scoot­ers” to inves­ti­gate the advan­tages of an elec­tric scoot­er equipped with Traction‑X in terms of accom­mo­da­tion space, vehi­cle geom­e­try, mass, cen­ter of grav­i­ty and result­ing dri­ving dynam­ics. For this pur­pose, a two-wheel­er from BMW was used as a ref­er­ence. Tam-An and Thanusaan were a good team and pro­vid­ed valu­able insight for the project. Thank you both.

With a sim­i­lar task and in the con­text of his indi­vid­ual project work, anoth­er stu­dent looked at the use of Traction‑X for motor­cy­cles. He devel­oped a com­pre­hen­sive spread­sheet in which all com­po­nents of a motor­cy­cle are list­ed accord­ing to mass and par­tial cen­ter of grav­i­ty and in which the total cen­ter of grav­i­ty as well as the relat­ed mass moments of iner­tia of the vehi­cle are cal­cu­lat­ed. These char­ac­ter­is­tic val­ues were cal­cu­lat­ed for a com­plete­ly recon­fig­ured vehi­cle, which in par­tic­u­lar has the Traction‑X final dri­ve with inte­grat­ed wheel sus­pen­sion, and com­pared with the same para­me­ters of a con­ven­tion­al motor­cy­cle. This spread­sheet, cre­at­ed with a lot of ded­i­ca­tion, has already been reused and cit­ed by some of his fel­low stu­dents. Nis has done a good job, and I would like to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to thank him very much.

One of the most impor­tant pieces of work is the devel­op­ment of a scaled mod­el or demon­stra­tor of Traction‑X. This par­tic­u­lar­ly chal­leng­ing work was cho­sen by a stu­dent from Ems­land, Ger­many, who trained as an addi­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing expert in par­al­lel with his stud­ies. In gen­er­al any the­sis involv­ing the cre­ation of hard­ware is always fraught with mul­ti­ple prac­ti­cal dif­fi­cul­ties, and these are mag­ni­fied when kine­mat­ic ani­ma­tion, i.e. elec­tri­cal­ly pow­ered and elec­tron­i­cal­ly con­trolled mobil­i­ty, is added to the mix. This chal­lenge was addressed by com­bin­ing an indi­vid­ual project work with a bach­e­lor the­sis. Andre is also my team part­ner and val­ued co-founder of Traction‑X.

Two stu­dents of a cur­rent team are work­ing in three cou­pled con­struc­tive papers on the design and finite ele­ment cal­cu­la­tion of Traction‑X for a potent elec­tric scoot­er. In the first indi­vid­ual project work, a require­ments analy­sis and the pre­lim­i­nary design of the Traction‑X rim have been worked on with great com­mit­ment, tech­ni­cal exper­tise and atten­tion to detail. The same com­mit­ment is now being applied to the sub­se­quent bachelor’s the­sis. Mean­while, his col­league is work­ing on the design and cal­cu­la­tion of the asso­ci­at­ed com­bined dri­ve shaft and swing arm axle. Both are using the project-inter­nal devel­op­ment envi­ron­ment of Fusion 360 and Autodesk, respec­tive­ly, which has very con­vinc­ing pre- and post-proces­sors and a very fast FE solver. Yan­nik and Jonas work togeth­er in par­al­lel, but also like a well-rehearsed team

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