Lightweight Design worldwide

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 6–9 | Cite as

Companies + Research

Companies + Research

Round Table

Boosting Life Cycle Assessment in Automotive Lightweight Design

More than 20 institutions and associations from science and industry have agreed on a position paper on the significance of holistic Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) for future lightweight design solutions. In it, they call on the public sector to make additional funds available for research in this area. According to the authors, lightweight design is a key technology in modern vehicle development. However, it applies across all materials that possible weight savings can only compensate for the economic and ecological additional effort in production if material properties are ideally utilized. In addition, the recycling of production waste and the recycling of lightweight structures at the end of their service life must be taken into account, as the diversity of the materials used makes it increasingly difficult to use established recycling strategies.

Maik Gude (TU Dresden) hands over the position paper on behalf of the Life Cycle Assessment Round Table to Herbert Zeisel (BMBF)

© Diana Wolfrum | TUD/ILK

These institutions have signed the paper: Arena 2036, Benteler, Carbon Composites, Composites Germany, Daimler, Forschungsvereinigung Automobiltechnik, Fraunhofer- Allianz Leichtbau, Hochschule Bochum, Institut für Umweltinformatik Hamburg, Institut für Leichtbau mit Hybridsystemen, Kirchhoff Automotive, Leichtbau BW, Open Hybrid Lab Factory, Plattform Forel, Prisma - Zentrum für Nachhaltigkeitsbewertung und -politik, RWTH Aachen, Stahlinstitut VDEh, Thinkstep, Thyssenkrupp, VDMA AG Hybride Leichtbau Technologien, Volkswagen. |

Premium Aerotec, Faurecia and Solvay

Initiative for Thermoplastic Composites

Premium Aerotec, Faurecia and Solvay are launching an initiative to develop thermoplastic composite materials for the aerospace and automotive industries in cooperation with the ITA Augsburg. The purely industrially financed consortium operates under the name IRG CosiMo, which stands for Industry Research Group: Composites for sustainable Mobility. The consortium sees itself as an extension of the CC4.0 CosiMo consortium, publicly funded by the Free State of Bavaria (Germany), which is developing new materials and processes for the in-situ polymerization of caprolactam to polyamide 6 for mass production applications in the automotive sector. ITA Augsburg is responsible for the consortium's project management, the coordination of the scientific research program and the operation of the plant technology for processing new materials in tape- and nonwoven-based thermoplastic composites. All systems will be installed at the Augsburg Technology Center (TZA). |

R. Blackburn (Solvay), G. Morales, R. Schaefer (both Faurecia), H. von Selasinsky (ITA), K. Gingras (Solvay), J. Scholler (Premium Aerotec), S. Schlichter (ITA), D. Hartung, J. Nägele (both Premium Aerotec), J. Treiber (Solvay) (f. l. t. r.)

© ITA Augsburg


Bond Strength in Hybrid Structures

In a joint project, SKZ and the Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) at the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) are investigating the bond strength in hybrid structures made of fiber-reinforced thermoplastics and textile-reinforced semi-finished products. The scientists want to comprehensively analyze the boundary layer between injection-molded reinforcing structures and inlaid textile semi-finished products and work out the essential influencing variables on the bond strength. Finally, the research results will be used to generate a guideline for the design of the connecting zones of hybrid structures to suit the components. Design engineers, toolmakers and injection molders will benefit equally from this. The IGF project started on June 1, 2018, is funded by the AiF and has a duration of two years. |

Locally functionalized organosheets


Krauss Maffei

New Head of Business Unit Smart Machines

On July 1, 2018, Dr. Stefan Kruppa took over as Head of the newly created BU Smart Machines at Krauss Maffei. In future, all machine-specific digitization solutions will be managed and made available there across all segments and brands. The new unit belongs to the Digital Service Solutions segment, also recently established. Kruppa sees the development of intelligent systems and solutions for injection molding, extrusion and reaction molding as the main objective of his new role. Kruppa has been with Krauss Maffei since 2010 and was most recently responsible for the Machine Technology Division. In 2015 he received his doctorate from the University of Duisburg-Essen with a thesis on "Adaptive process control and alternative injection concepts for injection molding of thermoplastics." |

Stefan Kruppa

© Krauss Maffei

Aluminum Sector

Companies Rely on Digital Technologies

In the aluminum sector, around 90 % of companies have the implementation of industry 4.0 applications on their agenda. 62 % are already developing strategies or implementing them. This was the result of a survey of 240 aluminum experts from 39 countries at the Aluminium 2018 trade fair. According to the survey, digital technologies are used in production control (14 %), the networking of machines (14 %) and in production processes (13 %). But companies are also focusing on networking with partners (11 %), mobile devices (11 %) and cloud computing (9 %). According to trade fair organizer Reed, the use of digital solutions must be differentiated by industry sector. In the production of materials and semi-finished products, the networking of machines (39 %) and production control (37 %) are considered to be the most important. For manufacturers of components for the application industries, the digitization of individual production processes (38 %) is the main focus. The same applies to mechanical and plant engineering (35 %), for which networked production control (35 %) is also important. |

Ascend and Britannia Techno Polymer

European Manufacturing Base Expanded

The manufacturer of polyamide 6.6 Ascend Performance Materials acquired Britannia Techno Polymer (BTP), a compounding company for engineering thermoplastics based in the Netherlands. The acquisition gives Ascend a European manufacturing base and expands its global compounding capacity. Founded in 2006, BTP specializes in the production of proprietary polyamide compounds. BTP is certified according to ISO 9001 and TS 16949, among others. The BTP workforce is to be rapidly integrated into Ascend. BTP founder Andrew Leigh joins Ascend's global management team as Director of Compounding Technology. President and CEO of Ascend is Phil McDivitt. |

Phil McDivitt (left) and Andrew Leigh (right)

© Ascend | APMPR024


New Management Arrangements

Saertex has restructured the operational management of the Group. For this purpose, the company has transferred the management to the Global Executive Board, with Christoph Geyer as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Christoph Geyer has been Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of the Saertex Group since October 2016 and, in addition to his new responsibilities as CEO, will continue to be responsible for global sales activities. The other members of the Global Executive Board are Dr. Guido Kritzler as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Dietmar Möcke as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). The new management structure is part of a further development of the organization in order to adapt the structures of the company to the dynamic growth worldwide and the changing markets. According to the company, the Lammers shareholder family will continue to closely follow the development of the company. |

Dietmar Möcke, Christoph Geyer, Guido Kritzler (f. l. t. r.)

© Saertex

Leibniz Universität Hannover, Clausthal University of Technology and TU Braunschweig

Research on Thermoplastic CFRP for Airplanes

With 3.5 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the state of Lower Saxony (Germany), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Clausthal University of Technology and TU Braunschweig are receiving funding for an interdisciplinary research project on lightweight design with CFRP. The aim of the JoinThis project is to research processes for the manufacture of aeroplane structural components from thermoplastic fiber-reinforced plastics. The research project will start in fall this year. Scientists from the three universities in Lower Saxony have been working together at the same location in the CFK Valley in Stade (Germany) since the founding of the Research Network High-Performance Production of CFRP Structures (HP CFRP) this year. The research group led by Managing Director Dr. Carsten Schmidt develops and researches manufacturing methods for the efficient, automated production of CFRP components. |


Head of Composite Materials Division

Larry Fitzgerald is the new Managing Director of Composite Solutions at Rampf. He has many years of experience in managing technology-based aerospace companies and, according to the company, is dedicated to a culture of initiative and commitment. Fitzgerald was a member of the board of the Aerospace Industry Association of Canada and the Ontario Aerospace Council. Rampf manufactures components from carbon fiber- and glass fiber-reinforced composites for the aerospace and medical industries. The core competencies of the business unit Composite Solutions include the Vacuum Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (VARTM) process, electroplating and the integration of new functions into assemblies. |

Larry Fitzgerald

© Rampf

Polymer Competence Center Leoben

New Commercial Director

Elisabeth Ladstätter is the new commercial director of the Polymer Competence Center Leoben (PCCL). Together with the Scientific Managing Director Wolfgang Kern, she now heads the Austrian Center for Cooperative Research in Plastics Technology and Polymer Sciences. Ladstätter studied plastics engineering at the University of Leoben and completed her doctorate with a thesis in the field of composite technology. During her professional career she worked in the industry as well as in the academic sector and thus has extensive experience in the technical-scientific field as well as in commercial management. Most recently, she was Deputy Professor at the Chair for Carbon Composites at the Technical University of Munich. |

Elisabeth Ladstätter


Atlas Copco

Acquisition of Quality Control Specialists

Atlas Copco, a company based in Essen (Germany), has acquired Quiss, a supplier of visual quality control systems headquartered in Puchheim near Munich (Germany). Quiss specializes in system solutions for 100 % visual inspection and monitoring of adhesive and sealant applications. The core competence lies in image processing and the necessary algorithms as well as system design including hardware and software. The products are primarily used for quality control of adhesive and sealant application in the automotive industry. The portfolio also includes solutions for 2-D and 3-D position detection, robot guidance, completeness control and can and lid inspection. The company currently has 45 employees and had a turnover of around 8.4 million euros in 2017. Quiss will be integrated into the Industrial Assembly Systems Division of the Industrial Technology Division. |

Visual control during adhesive and sealant application

© Atlas Copco

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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2018

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