Hot Topics 2017
“The right materials and the suitable processes across the entire digital car body process chain” is the focus topic of the AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO 2017. Please find here the top issues that enter industry stage of the world's only trade fair for car body manufacturing, painting and assembly.
Prof. Christoph Wagener, Kirchhoff AutomotiveDeutschland GmbH, und Dr. Thomas Rudlaff, Daimler AG
One thing is certain: our industry is on the move. Whilst new demands and specifications continue to drive global automotive body production, innovative ideas, technologies and concepts continue to carry mobility forwards, one step at a time. This includes, for instance, connectivity and automation, in other words autonomous driving and the networking of vehicles with each other. Both will bring new challenges for body construction. For example, automated driving means that ultimately no more car to car accidents will occur, which in turn will reduce the requirements placed on car body construction. Or, as experience shows, will probably lead to completely new challenges. It is estimated that by 2050 around 70 % of human beings will be living in cities according to researchers. What does this mean for mobility? How can we bring exhaust emissions and noise pollution under control? We will have to deal with new forms of propulsion – irrespective of whether it is based on electric batteries or fuel cells. Large cities will want to deny passenger vehicles access to their centres to restrict traffic volumes. Subjects such as the expansion of public transport, car-sharing etc. are not just of interest to major manufacturers, they have also been of interest to policy makers for a long time. New mobility concepts are therefore urgently required in order to master these challenges. But this is not just limited to the future: the current challenges facing car body production are formidable. The number of vehicle models and derivates is increasing significantly, creating new problems for OEM as it does so, especially if multiple propulsion options are concerned. How do we proceed in the area of fuel cells? The digitalisation of the process chain, or human-machine communication, is another exciting subject, as well as novel material concepts. That’s why this year’s AEE key focus on the "The right materials and the suitable processes across the entire digital car body process chain" is very much appropriate. We are currently witnessing a paradigm shift in automotive body construction, from detailed optimisation right up to holistic approaches. Where once the focus was on individual areas such as lightweight construction, now manufacturers and suppliers are currently interested in system-wide product improvements, especially in connection with the production chain. For this reason, the holistic approach of AEE regarding all aspects of the production chain is indispensable for us. The challenges facing engineers at OEM and suppliers is increasing steadily due to the use of composite materials and new vehicle concepts. How can you keep yourself informed about the new developments in these areas better and more e ciently than here at AEE?
Almost 100 exhibitors present their innovations
The AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO is the only trade fair worldwide, which hosts all areas along the automotive body process chain under one roof. For two days, exhibitors and visiting specialists can discuss all aspects of automotive body construction, painting and final assembly at the exhibition center of Nuremberg. After the success of the two previous events in 2013 and 2015, there are also great expectations for the AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING EXPO 2017: already, two months before the start of the trade fair, almost 100 exhibitors have registered to present their new products and services at the end of May – this represents a 30% increase in the number of exhibitors. A significant increase in the number of visitors is also expected. The trade fair is powered by Automotive Circle, the leading communication platform for the international automotive and supplier industry. Automotive Circle guarantees the best contacts and industry-relevant specialist information thanks to its many years of collaboration with over 20 leading international OEM brands.
Dow Automotive Systems
Dow Automotive Systems is presenting its portfolio for body design and assembly solutions covering key aspects such as lightweight and process benefits. Highlights at the Dow booth will be „Voraforce“ and „Vorafuse“ composite solutions for RTM and pre-preg application and „Betamate“ and „Betaforce“adhesives supporting lightweight design by enabling a material mix.
„Voraforce“ areultra-fast curing resins for composite applications with high potential of parts integration. Dow states it’s the first carbon fiber based commercial composite solution for mass production providing mass reduction and is presented alongside with Voith Composites, a technology expert for direct fiber placement and advanced RTM processing.
„Betaforce“composite adhesives enable weight reduction, improved acoustic performance and better corrosion protection. Design flexibility is maintained while processing performance and sustainability goals are achieved.
Rounding-off the portfolio, also solutions from Dow Corning are showcased at AEE, including a broad portfolio of high-performance silicones and other innovative technologies. An extensive selection of electronics design materials, adhesives, sealants, silicone elastomers, specialty lubricants, enhanced thermoplastics and advanced lighting technologies can help meet design challenges for improved acoustics, safety, durability, fuel efficiency or expanded styling options.
Dow Automotive Systems presents its solutions and advanced materials for original equipment manufacturers, tier suppliers and commercial transportation manufacturers.
EDAG-PS develops production-ready solutions for tomorrow’s sustainable mobility
EDAG Production Solutions GmbH & Co. KG (EDAG-PS), engineering partner for project management and networked production engineering working towards the factories of the future presents, for the first time ever, a media-independent grabbing system for automotive body parts at AEE 2017: The additiv – a 3D printed grabber – is opened and closed exclusively by robot.
“This makes other media and their components such as directional valves, proximity switches, cables etc. and their control units superfluous,” explains Rainer Wittich, CEO of EDAG-PS. “Assembly of the grabber is as easy as changing components after a crash. Special parts can simply be reprinted as and when needed. At the same time, storage is minimised through the use of standardised modules.”
Aside from the new grabber system the company also demonstrates how hybridised lightweight and flexibility can be combined successfully with its ‘NextGenSpaceframe’, and how EDAG-intern controls the interplay of product development and production engineering (EDAG-PS). The successful implementation of their own vehicle concept allows growing vehicle variance to be brought under control through numerous types of motor and load classifications. The associated production concept, which is based on cooperating robots, was developed in parallel using Industry 4.0 approaches and presented at the same time as the product.
EDAG-PS is a total supplier in production engineering. Aside from execution of the individual stage of the product development process, the company offers all services regarding factories and production systems. Together with complete factory planning for all segments, including cross-processes, EDAG-PS also offers complete support during the entire implementation phase.
Kirchhoff presents aluminium support frames in shell design
A weight-optimised aluminium support frame in a shell design is just one of the exhibits that Kirchhoff Automotive is presenting this year at AEE. The goal during development of this product was to realise a cost-effective lightweight design for the mass production of mounting components.
Thanks to increasing demands for lightweight design, aluminium parts are becoming increasingly common within the current generations of vehicle bodies and, in particular, their mounting components. This also applies to vehicles, which are produced in large numbers, e.g. compact class vehicles. Aside from classic steel designs, support frame designs are being increasingly incorporated, which feature mixed materials containing aluminium, e.g. combinations of casting, profiles and sheet metal. Kirchhoff Automotive’s aluminium sheet designs enable production processes readymade for mass production such as deep-drawing and gas shielded welding, crash-proof aluminium wrought alloys with a high energy absorption capacity as well as high use of construction space due to the degree of freedom during forming.
In addition, Kirchhoff Automotive will also be presenting other innovative products and technologies at the group stand of Automotive Center Südwestfalen at AEE.
Stand 12-420 | www.kirchhoff-automotive.com