The right move

The right move

In the TÜV NORD GROUP we set great store by dialogue in the spirit of partnership between the customers and our experts. We listen and work together to come up with solutions. Here are six examples which show how we have helped our customers take the right steps.


A new era of ­cybersecurity


Digitalisation is ubiquitous, Arti­ficial Intelligence is revealing ­hitherto undreamt-of possibilities, and, in many businesses at least, Industry 4.0 is already here. At the same time, this is giving rise to new vulnerabilities. For instance, roughly 80 percent of all German companies fell victim to cyber­attacks in 2023. And the number of digital attacks is continuing to increase.


It is for this reason that the certification of processes, systems and products is such an important countermeasure against cyber­criminality. The certificates issued in accordance with the normative parts of IEC 62443, which TÜVIT was instrumental in drafting, help companies probe their IT for industrial automation systems for vulnerabilities and protect them from attacks. “The manufacturers need to rethink everything to do with cybersecurity and consider IT security at all times right from the start of product development, rather than waiting until the development phase is over,” explains Gerald Krebs, Global Account Manager Cyber­security at TÜVIT. “Otherwise, they run the risk of the product getting hacked as soon as it is launched.”



However, problems like this are guaranteed not to arise in the Smart Infrastructure, Electrification & Automotion (SI EA) division of ­Siemens. This is because Siemens commissioned TÜVIT with the certification of the “Lean Product Lifecycle@SI EA” production process at the very highest level of security. TÜVIT tested the ­security concepts, measures and processes at every stage of the entire development lifecycle and, in a global first, issued a Maturity Level 4 certificate in accordance with standard IEC 62443, the highest level for industrial cybersecurity processes, for the product development process. It is with this proof of quality of the highest degree of maturity that Siemens is now embarking on the development of its industrial products.

Certification of this kind of complexity requires a lot of professional expertise, such as that of cybersecurity expert Michelle Michael. “For many manufacturers and integrators, the requirements of this kind of certificate are a real challenge. This is why it’s so important for us to be a strong partner to our customers,” she explains. This order was a world first for TÜVIT, too, Michelle Michael says. “This makes us the world’s first accredited provider to undertake this Maturity Level 4 test.”

Michelle Michael, cybersecurity expert, TÜVIT

Gerald Krebs, Global Account Manager Cybersecurity, TÜVIT




Talking, not writing


How Artificial Intelligence is ­helping TÜV NORD experts with periodic technical inspections.


One of the most common defects that experts unearth during periodic technical inspections is excessive brake lining wear. Instead of heading for the computer to enter this finding, the vehicle ­experts can now use the AI-based “Voize” app. Lea Reuter heads up the Wilhelmshaven TÜV NORD Station and is a big fan: “Voize makes the testing much easier. I can simply say the defect into my mobile, and it automatically gets documented.” It doesn’t matter what term Ms. Reuter uses to describe the condition of the brake lining: “The developers have trained the AI to assign terms that use everyday language to the catalogue of defects,” explains Roman Meier-Andrae, Head of IT & Digitalisation at TÜV NORD Mobilität. “There are about 40,000 items in the catalogue, and until now the testers have had to know, at least roughly, which category the defect in question should be assigned to.



Lea Reuter, Head of the TÜV NORD Station in Wilhelmshaven

The app was originally used in nursing, where care services need to be documented. It took some two years to tailor an initial version to the needs of vehicle inspectors. A preliminary usage study ­involving engineers working at TÜV NORD Stations or in workshops gave rise to some important insights for the developers. “The conditions are quite different in these two cases,” Mr. Meier-Andrae explains. It’s for this reason that Voize is designed to allow all experts to tailor the app to their own needs, regardless of where they do their work. “Since we started the trial, the pilot users have been able to give us feedback on a weekly basis. Over 90 percent of the app’s functions have emerged out of this dialogue,” Mr. Meier-­Andrae adds. By the end of December 2023, 306 experts had registered to use the app.

The app is freely offered, and no one is obliged to use it. All testers are free to carry on documenting their work as they always have. And yet, Lea Reuter is optimistic: “Word will soon get around about how well Voize works. After all, the app is just very, very practical.”




Digital below ground


Talk of mining conjures up images of men toiling away in the darkness deep underground. But these times are long gone. The DMT Group is digitalising work processes underground to make them more efficient.


As a TÜV NORD subsidiary, the DMT Group is using a comprehensive tool box to help mining companies digitalise their processes. Automation, enhanced efficiency, improved quality, environmentally sound practices and increased safety for the workforce are all key factors here.

Carlos García Piña, a geologist at DMT, and Dr. Vassilis Roubos, a mining engineer and head of DMT’s consultancy service, are both part of this change. With over 15 years of experience in research and product development at DMT, these two men have created digital instruments that will shape the future of mining. 



“For years, the mining industry was too conservative and too slow to accept new technologies,” says Dr. Vassilis Roubos. This is slowly changing. “Our goal is to optimise processes and reduce costs while also improving both performance and sustainability,” he explains. 

“We can digitalise rock sampling and extract high-quality information based on sensors,” Carlos García Piña says. This offers insights into the samples’ geology and chemical composition, he adds.  

And digitalisation is having a positive impact on employee safety, too. It is now possible to closely monitor environmental conditions to identify potential dangers in good time. “We use smart uniforms to track people underground. This allows us to be sure that no one will enter an unsafe zone,” Dr. Vassilis Roubos says, adding: “We always know how many people are in the mine and can evacuate them more quickly in an emergency.” At the same time, workers can be warned of blasting or safety work. 

Both researchers agree that efficiency and safety could improve further in the future. “In five to ten years, digitalisation will be an integral element of mining,” says Carlos García Piña.

Carlos García Piña, geologist, DMT




Wind power for Egypt

With the support of TÜV NORD, 500 megawatts of green electricity are set to be provided to 800,000 Egyptian homes by 2025.


Africa’s largest wind farm is being built close to the Egyptian city of Ras Gharib, 300 kilometres southeast of Cairo. The region offers suitable conditions for the generation of wind power. From 2025, the “Gulf of Suez” wind farm, with its 77 turbines, each of which is 180 metres high, will deliver 500 megawatts of green electricity to 800,000 homes. TÜV NORD is playing a crucial role in this development: The company is monitoring the structural, mechanical and electrical quality of the project being delivered by AMEA Power, a leading developer of renewable energy sources. International consulting group COWI has meanwhile assumed responsibility for the project management and design review. Cooperation is the key to success here: “COWI and TÜV NORD are an ideal match with complementary portfolios and a high level of cultural alignment,” says Alexander Ohff, Executive Vice President Renewables at TÜV NORD.



Alexander Ohff, Executive Vice President Renewables, TÜV NORD

Ahmed Marei, Managing Director, TÜV NORD Egypt

Ahmed Marei, Managing Director of TÜV NORD EGYPT: “This project is strategically important for us, as it will contribute to Egypt’s goal of more sustainable development.”

The project will also have a positive impact on the local community by creating a large number of jobs during the construction phase. TÜV NORD attaches great importance to recognised international safety standards which are designed to counteract work-related injuries and illnesses. 

The “Gulf of Suez” wind farm marks just the beginning of the cooperation between TÜV NORD and COWI and will pave the way to many more joint projects. 




Making spare parts layer by layer


3-D printing has proved its worth as a manufacturing method. A new standard is set to improve production quality.


The new ISO/ASTM 52920:2023 standard had only just been ­published in June 2023 when TÜV NORD certified one the first companies in the world to have the new standard applied to its manufacturing operation: Deutsche Bahn’s additive production site in Neumünster. DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung (vehicle maintenance) supplies the company’s entire fleet of railway vehicles with replacement parts. Some Intercity trains were built in the 1980s, which means that they have been in use on the rail network for forty years. But what happens if the manufacturers of older components are no longer active on the market? One missing replacement part can paralyse an entire train – causing massive economic damage. Jens Groffmann, project manager for additive production at TÜV NORD, explains: “With the aid of 3-D printing, Deutsche Bahn can respond quickly and flexibly to get the train up and running again.”



In normal metalworking, a solid piece of metal is sawn, turned and milled until the component emerges. A 3-D printer, on the other hand, constructs the part layer by layer, without material wastage. As well as metal, plastics and rubberlike materials can also be processed in three dimensions. In Neumünster, for instance, clothes hooks and light fittings for train interiors are printed. The certification guarantees that all production processes are reliable and repeatable – from preparation and printing right through to postprocessing of the part. In this way, consistently high quality is ensured, and the components can be supplied on an industrial scale.

Deutsche Bahn is breaking new ground in this area, with over 100,000 parts having been produced using the additive method since 2015; the idea is for ten percent of all components for new train types to be printable by 2030. “Deutsche Bahn is at some point going to need more printed parts than it can make for itself. Which is why this certification is so very important for suppliers. After all, it confirms that a company can supply the required ­quality, making it an attractive service provider,” Mr. Groffmann explains. This doesn’t just apply to Deutsche Bahn but also to other industrial sectors that use 3-D printed parts, such as the auto industry, food companies and the aerospace sector, he adds.

Jens Groffmann, project manager for additive production, TÜV NORD




Safely getting the hang of data protection


Aspiring information security officers are learning their trade at the TÜV NORD Akademie.


Digitalisation is making our lives easier in many areas. However, the more widely connected everything is, the higher the risk that information will get into the wrong hands – and this also applies to commercial players. “Information is the most valuable thing any company can have. It is fundamental to business success, which is why it also needs to be protected,” Jaime Taboada ­Aparicio, IT consultant at Lufthansa Industry Solutions, explains. 



Jennifer Hildebrandt, Sales Manager, TÜV NORD Akademie

It is for this reason that the service provider, in its role as a professional IT consultancy, offers comprehensive support in the information security field to Lufthansa companies and third-party firms on the market. One milestone in this area is certification in accordance with the international ISO 27001 standard. “We need information security officers who don’t just have theoretical knowledge of the ISO standard but can also implement it in practice,” Mr. Taboada Aparicio explains. “It’s for this reason that we have organised trainings for the subsidiaries of Lufthansa Technik AG.” The TÜV NORD Akademie was appointed quickly – partly due to its multitiered system which allows it to offer international training across all the time zones, from the US to China for instance. 17 employees have completed the four-day training to date, and between 20 and 30 others are planned for 2024. “The training is designed to be very practical,”  Jennifer Hildebrandt, Sales Manager at the TÜV NORD Akademie, explains. “The participants learn how to proceed in line with ISO 27001 and develop an understanding of basic IT protection in the process. They can then immediately implement the information security methods they’ve learned back in their own companies.”

The TÜV NORD Akademie offers the training online and face to face, and it concludes with the award of a TÜV certificate. One important element is the interactive group discussions which provide the participants with a forum to ask questions and talk to each other. Mr. Taboada Aparicio has done the online training himself and is a big fan: “The training helps teams develop the necessary specialist knowledge that will allow them also to pass future ­recertifications within Lufthansa Technik AG.”




A hive of activity despite shutdown


bp distils almost five million tons of crude oil per annum into heating oil, gas and fuel at its refinery in Emsland. TÜV NORD is on hand to ensure that it can operate safely.


The machinery is impressive: 82 distillation columns, 110 air coolers, 34 ovens and 517 heat exchangers are all connected by miles of pipework. To ensure that everything works smoothly within this labyrinth, the facility is regularly tested in line with the industrial safety ordinance. The experts carefully scrutinise every valve and every screw. To allow them to do so, the refinery has to shut down. And yet, the site is a hive of activity: This is because it is a good opportunity for the operator to carry out maintenance on the whole installation. 3,500 people were working there during the major audit in April and May. They took machines to pieces, cleaned vessels and repaired anything that had succumbed to the stress and strain of permanent operation.



What’s more, 67 employees from TÜV NORD were also on site. Olaf Schikorra coordinated the communication with bp, the repair companies and the work of the experts. “Most of the inspection work was in the steam and pressure field. But electrical engineering experts were also on site, alongside their counterparts for functional safety and water resources legislation,” explains the Senior Vice President Central-East Process Technology at TÜV NORD in Osnabrück. 

Mr. Schikorra is especially proud of the digital tool developed by expert Mario Meiners. This uses explosion-proof mobile phones to lead the experts with the exact GPS coordinates to their next test subject. All the work is documented with this method. To be able to call up the current status at the touch of a button was something new in this project, Mr. Schikorra reports, adding that it was very valuable especially as the project approached its conclusion. He particularly stresses the team’s achievements: “My colleagues on site worked brilliantly together. As a team we managed to keep to the schedule, which meant that the refinery was up and running again on time.”

Olaf Schikorra, Senior Vice President Central-East Process Technology, TÜV NORD