At the General Assembly at TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH in Germany, the members of the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Technologies elected their new executive board for the period 2019 to 2021. the new board will include Lothar Gräbener, Schuler Pressen GmbH, Waghäusel, Marc Kirchhoff, TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik GmbH, Ditzingen, Dr.-Ing. Norbert Müller, ENGEL Austria GmbH, Linz, Manfred Reif, DIEFFENBACHER GMBH Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, Eppingen, Jochen Schmidt, KARL MAYER Technische Textilien GmbH, Chemnitz, Klaus-Peter Welsch, GEISS AG, Sesslach and Martin Würtele, KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH, Munich.
In the subsequent constituent meeting, the committee appointed Marc Kirchhoff, Head of Industry and Key Account Management Automotive at TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik, as its chairman. Expressing gratitude for their participation in the first period of office since the formation of the Working Group on 22nd January 2016, the previous chairman Peter Egger, ENGEL Austria GmbH, and the board members Nicolas Beyl, KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH, as well as Dr. Matthias Graf, DIEFFENBACHER GMBH, were discharged.
Now that lightweight construction has experienced a certain hype due to applications with carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, autonomous driving and digitisation have moved into the focus of automotive engineering in addition to alternative drives. Hybrid lightweight construction across all materials is sufficiently broadly positioned to maintain and expand its importance in this reorientation in the future. However, it is important to develop a sustainable concept for the marketing of lightweight construction.
The General Assembly is already dedicated to the conceptual and sustainable lightweight construction for tomorrow's mobility. Falko Fiedler M. Sc., Group Leader Car Body Engineering at the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM), reports on new trends in delivery traffic in the cities, motivation for the development of the all-electric small van Streetscooter. Armin Müller, Managing Director of Emm! and inventor of the ILO 1 ultra-light vehicle, deals with advanced mobility solutions for individual transport. The efficient manufacture of lightweight components requires flexible production facilities that integrate different manufacturing processes and material combinations. Dr. Matthias Graf, Dieffenbacher GmbH, presented the modular plant concept developed in the BMBF research project MoPaHyb using the example of an automobile seat shell.
A presentation of lightweight demonstrators is also planned for the Hannover Messe 2019. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is dedicating a lightweight construction summit with Economics Minister Altmaier to the focus on lightweight construction. Through its member companies, the Working Group is promoting the topic with an upstream expert forum and a special area for the demonstrators.
In order to obtain an overview of the market development in lightweight construction worldwide in view of the high technological and market dynamics, the Working Group pursues various approaches. An important indicator is the market survey on fibre-based composites carried out every six months by the trade association Composites Germany. Short management reports on various segments of lightweight construction are also planned. They are to be prepared jointly with member companies, supplemented by available global data and market interviews with various VDMA Foreign Offices. Previous experiences with scenario workshops form the basis for discussing future prospects with experts and deriving conclusions from them.
Together with the users, the manufactures of hybrid lightweight technologies convert innovative technologies into production processes ready for series production. Current research developments are incorporated into the Working Group's Technology and Process Experience Exchange Group. The guideline published by the circle in 2018 with more than 30 technology profiles on manufacturing and joining technologies will be updated. In addition, a research advisory board is to prepare concrete projects in the future within the framework of joint industrial research.
The Working Group supports technology transfer, among other things, by accompanying the BMBF project ‘Modular production plant for heavy-duty hybrid components’, which is coming to an end, and by holding workshops on the development of lightweight demonstrator components. The Working Group is also represented on the advisory board of the BMWi Lightweight Construction Initiative. Furthermore, a cross-material lightweight construction strategy is to be developed and a long-term goal set.