IMPROFE: Quality Checks for E-Motors

Ulrike Kleb from the POLICIES institute is a specialist in the evaluation and interpretation of data. Her project team is developing methods to detect faulty stators during production and to predict possible deviations.

Ulrike Kleb with laptop in a stairwell with several people.
Ulrike Kleb (right.) is a specialist for statistics and data analysis. The aim of her research is to simplify the series production of hairpin stators for electric motors. Photo: JOANNEUM RESEARCH/Bergmann

The stator is the heart of every electric motor. The project partner Miba Automation Systems is developing a process for the serial production of hairpin stators within the scope of the IMPROFE FFG project. Hairpin technology is still relatively new in the automotive industry and enables increased motor efficiency on the one hand and on the other flexible and relatively cost-effective production even in large
volumes. This is where Ulrike Kleb from the POLICIES Institute and her team enter the scene. “To do this means that critical attributes of the stator need to be checked as completely as possible and inline, so directly in the manufacturing process,” Kleb explains. “The machine positioning and wiring of the hairpins to an electrically conductive winding is done in three production steps: Widening, twisting, and contacting, meaning the connection of the ends via spot welding.” The first two steps involve measuring the position of the pins using optical measurement methods thus ascertaining the quality. The quality check of the welding points is done by another project partner: The Institute of Physics at the University of Graz. This check uses a laser-ultrasound method that enables the direct measurement of the welding seam. The measurement results are then used by the statistics experts to create forecasts for the further steps.

Digital Image enables Monitoring and Control

“The ultimate goal is to detect a deviation and change the machine parameters in subsequent production steps so as the prevent the fault,” Kleb explains. A digital representation of the manufacturing process is created for further optimisation. “In this way, the manufacturing process can be checked better and optimally controlled,” Kleb continues. “The bottom lineis that the automotive industry is able to manufacture high quality hairpin stators in very high volumes with the efficient use of resources.” IMPROFE will continue into 2024.

Ulrike Kleb  studied technical mathematics at the TU Graz and has worked at JOANNEUM RESEARCH since 1992. She focusses on the application of data analysis, statistics, and artificial intelligence for quality and resource optimisation in production.


Photo: Miba



Hairpin-Stator, Photo: Miba

Hairpin stator: In hairpin technology, the copper wires are...

Hairpin-Stator, Photo: Miba

...connected by a weld. Their shape is reminiscent of hairpins.