Let’s talk ... interview with a member of Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer

As part of our interview series in each newsletter, we once again introduce you to a member of the Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer. This time, Christian Mohnke from Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK answered our questions. Read more about his career and his personal views on the goals, potential and aspirations of the Business Area Cleaning of Fraunhofer


1. How did you join Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer?

Our institute has also been represented in the Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer for a long time. Until 2020, the IPK was the spokesperson and coordinator of the Allianz for many years. Already during my work as a student assistant, I actively supported the colleagues in the field of cleaning technology. Since 2015, I have been actively working as a research assistant in the field of industrial cleaning technology. My focus is primarily on CO2-based cleaning processes.

2. What goal have you set yourself for your work at Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer?

With my work, I would like to contribute to the Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer so it can become THE contact for industrial cleaning technology in Germany.

3. What would you like to pass on to the customers of Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer?

Cleaning tasks are usually difficult to standardize and only rarely is it easy to identify the right contact person. This is precisely where we come in as FRei. As a central contact for the topic of industrial cleaning technology, we can discuss the specific request with the customer and determine the optimal solution approach. Due to our broad range of topics, we have always been able to find one or more specialists for every request, no matter how special it may be.

4. What does the Fraunhofer IPK offer in cleaning technology?

At Fraunhofer IPK, we are mainly concerned with blasting processes. Above all, the use of CO2-based blasting processes should be mentioned here. The areas of application here range from rough paint stripping or descaling to the gentle cleaning of electronic or optical components. However, blasting with resistant media such as water and compressed air blasting with abrasive media are also part of our portfolio.
In addition to consulting and feasibility studies, we also offer our customers the development of individual solutions or prototype systems. Due to the close cooperation with colleagues from other departments in the company, we are able to realize and implement a very high degree of automation through robotics, image processing and AI-based applications.

5. What makes you a competent partner in cleaning technology?

Experience is a very important factor in cleaning technology. However, it is still very often characterized by trials and feasibilities. In addition to manual dexterity and technical understanding, you also need a bit of tenacity and perseverance. These qualities, combined with a good dose of fun at work and a healthy curiosity, make us a competent partner in cleaning technology.

6. What do you wish for the industry?

Climate change and the associated climate protection targets will not leave the industry unscathed. I hope that we will manage this transition well and that the industry will emerge stronger. The slow shift away from the internal combustion engine toward electromobility is a good example of this. But as we move away from "good old" technology, new fields and opportunities are constantly opening up. New electronic components, optical systems or new semiconductors will also require new innovative cleaning solutions. I believe that cleaning technology will continue to accompany us and will possibly become much more important.

7. What is urgently needed so that the next big step can be taken in the field of cleaning technology?

That cleaning technology takes on a higher status in product development and manufacturing. Unfortunately, the topic of cleaning only "pops up" very late in a product development or in an ongoing process. Many limits are then usually already defined and fixed. For cleaning, there is then only a very limited "radius of movement" for finding and implementing solutions. A greater awareness of the topic of industrial cleaning technology would be a huge step forward for the entire industry.