Unleashing the power of connections at the CoilTech Fair 2023

In March 2023, one of the biggest events dedicated to electric motors and the automotive industry was held in Augsburg, Germany. As an RDI specialist on a mission to find the right product-market fit for the PROTOR research-to-business project, the CoilTech Fair 2023 was the perfect event to attend.

The main goal of attending CoilTech was to identify the right market for PROTOR (LAB 2023), a project born after many years of research at LUT University on electric motors and more specifically, on bearing currents. Link to PROTOR website. (Link 1)

[Alt text: a huge building with text CoilTech.]
Image 1. CoilTech Fair is one of the biggest events dedicated to electric motors. (Image: Konstantin Vostrov)

Unfortunately, bearing currents are an important problem to which there currently is no standard solution (Vostrov et al. 2020). Bearing currents reduce motor life span and when not treated, eventually lead to machine failure. Motor failure halts normal operation and production processes which leads to lost profits and extra costs in repairs or replacement. Out of all motor faults, bearing faults take up anywhere from 50 % to 90 %, causing unplanned motor downtime that results in financial losses of up to 30 MEUR per year globally (Deekshit et al. 2018). PROTOR aims to prevent parasitic bearing currents from occurring, saving companies a whole lot of time and money.

Discovering the product-market fit

The fair provided a unique platform to introduce the idea behind PROTOR while also gaining invaluable insights into the market’s demands and trends. With a strong belief in the potential of this project, our team sought out conversations with industry experts, manufacturers, suppliers, and potential customers.

Although not what we would’ve expected, the most interesting insight for us was that the bearing currents problem is still not extremely popular, and therefore, finding the right customer proves to be a challenging feat. More awareness and education are needed when it comes to the danger that bearing currents pose and the resulting negative effects.

Image 2. Fostering potential partnerships. (Image: Konstantin Vostrov)

Networking and collaboration

In addition to finding the product-market fit, CoilTech proved to be an excellent avenue for fostering potential partnerships and collaborations. I engaged in numerous conversations with representatives from established companies and research institutions, all of whom shared a common vision for a more energy-efficient and sustainable future for electric motors and the automotive industry.

CoilTech further enriched the experience by hosting a lineup of inspirational keynote speakers who shared their expertise and vision for the industry. Their talks shed light on emerging technologies, disruptive business models, and the importance of collaboration.

One specific talk, imparted by Sebastian Hartmann from RWTH Aachen University, discussed our current practices on the recycling of electric motors and how far away we are from having fully efficient processes. This talk provided real food for thought on how we must not think of innovations on their own, but also consider the impact new technologies have on our environment.

Visiting CoilTech was a great experience. The fair not only enabled one to understand more about the current market and industry trends, but also opened doors to potential collaborations. Engaging with passionate industry professionals, attending thought-provoking sessions, and gaining inspiration from keynote speakers, all contributed to a fruitful and enlightening experience. Link to CoilTech presentation. (Link 2)


Sofia Ramos works at LAB University of Applied Sciences as an RDI Specialist, providing expertise in market research and business development for the PROTOR research-to-business project (LAB 2023).


Deekshit, K.K.C, Gopala Rao, M.V. & Rao, S.R. 2018. 2018. Bearing fault detection in a 3-phase induction motor using stator current frequency spectral subtraction with various wavelet decomposition techniques. Ain Shams Engineering Journal, Volume 9, Issue 4. 2427‒2439. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asej.2017.06.002.

LAB. 2023. PROTOR. Protect electric motors from bearing currents. Project. LAB University of Applied Sciences. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at https://lab.fi/en/project/protor

Vostrov, K., Pyrhönen, J., Niemelä, M., Ahola, J. & Lindh, P. 2020. Mitigating Noncirculating Bearing Currents by a Correct Stator Magnetic Circuit and Winding Design. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at https://doi.org/10.1109/TIE.2020.2984455.


Link 1. LAB. 2023. PROTOR. Protect electric motors from bearing currents. Project. LAB University of Applied Sciences. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at https://lab.fi/en/project/protor

Link 2. CoilTech. 2023. CoilTech Deutschland. Video. YouTube. Cited 15 Sep 2023. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-DWdfx0-4U