The foundation stone for an in-depth scientific discussion on the protection and preservation of bells was laid in 1996 by the Fraunhofer Institute in Darmstadt (LBF). Encouraged by German bell founders and sponsored by the Association of German Foundry Professionals (VDG), basic findings on the evaluation of the ringing loads on church bells were developed there under the topic "Determining the parameters influencing the life of bells". From 2005 to 2008, as part of the European research project "Maintenance and protection of bells" at the University of Kempten, in cooperation with eight European bell founders, two universities and the Advisory Committee for the German bells this information on a broader data basis and the loading mechanisms of ringing bells systematically studied to develop methods and tools that allow the protection and preservation of bells for the everyday work of bell specialists. After completing the project, the institute "European Competence Center for Bells ECC-ProBell®" was founded at Kempten University of Applied Sciences in order to continue research on bells on the basis of the results obtained.
For research on bells, a sound-insulated measuring laboratory, a certified laboratory for material technology and durability as well as an acoustic laboratory are available at the University of Applied Sciences Kempten. Over 20 bells and numerous clappers can be tested in the existing bell chairs under different ringing conditions and examined in long-term tests. Competencies in the field of steel construction, electronics as well as
Industrial process and control also enable investigations and analyzes of bell-tower constructions as well as questions concerning the drive of bells.
For the analysis of the ringing behavior of bells and the development of new ringing concepts, extensive measuring equipment as well as hardware and software for simulation and calculation are available.