The German-Australian Study Center for Optofluidics and Nanophotonics (SCON), a cooperation between the company Bürkert, the German university “Hochschule Karlsruhe (HsKA)” and the “Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)”, was started last year. The three students Jamie Cox, Phillip Nguyen and Markus Knörzer are currently in the second half of their one-year exchange program, after they spend the first half in Germany. Jamie Cox (22) and Phillip Nguyen (21) are both in their final year of their bachelor’s degrees and are will graduate later this year. Markus Knörzer (24) is doing a research internship to prepare for his PhD program starting next year at RMIT.
From the 7th to the 9th of July, the three SCON students were spending three days at the Bürkert Systemhaus and sales office in Sydney, learning about the work that the sales and solutions teams do as well as working on a joint project between the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Bürkert.
After a general introduction, the students were introduced to the sales team which make up a substantial part of the group at Sydney. After learning about how the sales team works, the students were guided through the engineering workshops and the warehouse where the larger custom solutions are put together. At the end of the first day the students received some information about the main industries and applications and the way in which Bürkert’s customer centric approach helps keep them competitive.
On the second day the three worked on their joint project, where they assembled and tested an 8-channel manifold with Bürkert solenoid valves. They are controlled via digital outputs of a USB I/O-box, whose outputs are amplified by a custom designed electronic circuit. Once the assembly and testing was completed the students got a more thorough tour of the warehouse and were presented with some of the most interesting custom solutions the team had built there. Such systems included a coal slurry filter and a testing system for mist sprayers. At the end of the day the students spoke about the filtration solutions Bürkert offers and how they are used in industry.
On the last day the students began with some system redesigns and component searches to meet the demands of the project. The highlight was the development of a wine mixing system, built into a shipping container modified into a bar people could come to and try their own blends.
The SCON students would like to thank the team at Sydney for providing a wonderful tour experience and expertise.