Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Getting cars onto the road faster

16.02.2011
Auto manufacturers are looking for shorter production times, faster logistics processes, new materials and technologies. A novel software platform will help companies to achieve these goals by reducing not only the development times but also the development costs.

The auto industry faces major challenges. New models are entering the market at ever shorter intervals, products are becoming more complex, and the trend towards electric cars requires modified vehicle structures. European production sites are coming under increasing cost pressure from low-wage countries.


The fender with integrated LED tail light developed in the Pegasus project has been produced for demonstration purposes. (© Fraunhofer ICT)

Cost reductions, shorter production times, new materials and innovative assembly techniques are needed if companies are to remain competitive. To achieve these goals, 23 business and research organizations are participating in the EU’s Pegasus project (www.pegasus-eu.net). One of the research partners is the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal, which is contributing its expertise in the polymer engineering sector. The project partners have jointly developed a software platform to reduce development times and costs.

The Integrated Design and Engineering Environment (IDEE) is a CAD/CAE/CAM software system which is connected to an intelligent database. It analyzes the functional requirements of a product and identifies appropriate materials at an early stage of the development process. If, for example, a car roof is to be made in a different material than before, it is not necessary to conduct a new development process. Instead, the design engineers enter the component data into the software system, which assesses the information and then selects suitable materials and manufacturing processes. The platform also provides engineering guidelines for designing the tools that will be used to produce the component. The project partners have demonstrated how this platform could work on the example of a fender with integrated LED tail light. “We used the original fender from a Smart. Our project demonstrates how this complex component can be produced more quickly and cheaply with new processing techniques, materials, bonding agents and tools,” says Timo Huber, a scientist at Fraunhofer ICT. Instead of conventional lamps, the project partners fitted LED tail lights to the fender. This reduced the number of separate parts from eight to five, and the number of processing steps from twelve to five. Material and cost savings were also achieved by using conductor paths made of electrically conductive polymer. The conductive carbon nanotubes conduct the electricity from the connector to the LEDs and render metallic conductor structures superfluous.

A further example application: So that components such as the LED tail lights can be dismantled more quickly, they are bonded using a special adhesive. For this the research scientists at Fraunhofer ICT and their project partners developed a new microwave-active adhesive bonding system. When irradiated with microwaves the individual components lose their adhesion and can be easily taken apart. This means that parts can be efficiently recycled into different categories. “In addition, we dyed the fender using newly developed pigments based on special nanoparticles,” states Huber. These nanostructures can be worked in particularly evenly, to dye plastics such as polypropylene. This means fewer pigments are needed than usual. “We have also taken the importance of protecting the climate into account. Further developments in local fiber reinforcement of structural vehicle components will reduce weight and therefore emissions of CO2,” the scientist adds, and sums up: “All in all the IDEE system will shorten development times, cut the number of assembly steps and reduce the amount of material consumed.” IDEE is still under development, but it can already be used to produce simple components. The software should be ready and available to the auto industry in about a year’s time.

Timo Huber | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2010-2011/14/getting-cars-onto-the-road-faster.jsp

Further reports about: Fraunhofer Institut ICT LED development time manufacturing process

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

nachricht New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects
11.08.2016 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>