Take 5: An interview with… Wolfgang Neu, Managing Director of Smart Testsolutions

Smart Testsolutions was founded in 1988. Tell us the story of its inception?

It all started at Bosch. I worked there when they were developing the first direct petrol injection, and I realised that there was no measuring and testing equipment that was optimised for automotive control units. That was what first prompted me to start the company. The idea was to develop measuring and testing equipment that would cover the requirements of automotive test objects as optimally as possible. Over the years, a comprehensive range of standardised I/O components has emerged, which we are continually developing: the MCM component family (Multi Channel Modules).

How does the company fit into the hydrogen and fuel cell space?
As long as 20 years ago, as part of an order and at the request of a customer – a major car manufacturer – we developed our first system for monitoring the voltage of individual cells in fuel cells. From that, we soon developed our own product. Continually monitoring the voltage of individual cells within a stack is important for developing and implementing operating strategies for fuel cell drives. Therefore, in the future, series fuel cell vehicles, too, will be equipped with CVM systems, and are developing a series CVM for a major German car supplier.

And you have a primary focus on the automotive industry, is that right?
Traditionally, Smart Testsolutions has focused on the automotive industry. For 30 years, we have been developing electronic components and systems for testing automotive parts. However, our business area e_Cell Electronics targets all the industries where fuel cell drives can be put to use, that is to say: aviation, marine engineering, and rail vehicles. And on top of that – as already mentioned – hydrogen production.

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