January 10, 2023 | Henkel and DLR

Cooperation in research and development

Section of the extinguishing water center as a point cloud
Complete rooms can be measured in detail using the latest laser scanning technology.
  • The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Henkel intend to intensify their existing cooperation in research and development for civil security applications.
  • In May 2021, Sylvie Nicole, Chief Human Resources Officer of Henkel, and Prof. Dr. Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla, chair of the DLR Executive Board, signed a cooperation agreement at a virtual meeting.
  • The collaboration pursues the goal of digitizing buildings and facilities in an automated way and making them usable for security applications.

The Institute for the Protection of Terrestrial Infrastructure aims to ensure the stable supply of society. The development of methods for detecting and defending against threats is just as much a part of its tasks as preparing decision-makers and emergency forces for crisis situations. An effective tool for this purpose is the digital twin, which can be used, among other things, to predict the effects of decisions or even make it possible to put emergency forces in crisis situations using virtual reality and thus prepare them proactively for emergencies.

While buildings can already be designed on a computer nowadays, the digitization of existing, historically grown infrastructures, however, involves time-consuming, manual work. This makes spontaneous use of digital twins in the event of a crisis impossible and, due to the high costs involved, limits their use to a few, selected infrastructure projects.

As part of the Automated Model Generation project, this process is to be automated through the use of state-of-the-art technologies, thus enabling cost-effective, widespread deployment. In a first step, work is currently starting on the creation of a geometric-functional model of a fire-fighting water system on the Henkel site in Holthausen.

For this purpose, various measurement methods have been combined to not only create an image, but also to capture existing structures and convert them into a functional twin. With this research project, Henkel aims to drive forward the digitalization of emergency response. In doing so, the focus is always on the requirement of fully comprehensive emergency response.


Anna Baumbach

Consultant Public Relations
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute for the Protection of Terrestrial Infrastructures
Rathausallee 12, 53757 Sankt Augustin