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

© Fraunhofer IST

As part of our interview series in each newsletter, we introduce a member of the Business Area Cleaning of Fraunhofer in more detail. This time Helge Thomsen from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST answered our questions. Read more about his career and his personal perspective on the goals, potential and wishes for the Business Area Cleaning of Fraunhofer.


1. How did you join Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer?
Due to my many years of experience and expertise in the field of aqueous cleaning technology at Fraunhofer IST, I have taken over the function as a representative of the institute at the Cleaning Technology Alliance and now at the Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer.


2.  What goal have you set yourself for your work at Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer?
I hope that there will continue to be good cooperation between the participating institutes and hope that we will soon be able to meet again in person.


3. What would you like to pass on to the customers of Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer?
I see the Cleaning Business Area of Fraunhofer as a community of interests. Experiences on cleaning problems can be discussed and, in the best case, also solved.


4. What does the Fraunhofer IST offer in cleaning technology?
On the one hand, Fraunhofer IST has a large multi-chamber system for aqueous cleaning, which is used for pre-treatment for further production steps such as coating processes. On the other hand, we also offer solutions for water purification and treatment using diamond electrodes or the cleaning of surfaces with atmospheric pressure plasma processes.


5. What makes you a competent partner in cleaning technology?
Since I have been dealing with this topic for more than 15 years now, I have gained a great wealth of experience.


6. What do you wish for the industry?
Problems in cleaning are often not in focus, as it is often not regarded as a value-adding production step. For the industry, I hope that cleaning will be perceived and accepted as a fully-fledged and necessary step in the production chain.


7. What is urgently needed so that the next big step can be taken in the field of cleaning technology?
So far, the cleaning success has been based very much on the experience of the employees. The next big step is the digitization of cleaning processes for better use of resources and more effective tracking of possible sources of error if something has gone wrong in a subsequent step.