Fraunhofer opens new project center for lightweight automotive construction in Poland


Lightweight construction is one of the greatest challenges facing the automotive industry. Electric motors and hybrid engines increase vehicle weight, which must be compensated by lightweight components. Lightweight materials and innovative processes can help achieve a decisive reduction in fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and production costs. In order to support automakers in reaching these ambitious goals, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Opole University of Technology have joined forces to set up the Fraunhofer Project Center for Advanced Lightweight Technologies on the university’s campus. The Fraunhofer project center focuses on developing production processes, new design ideas and pricing strategies for the manufacture of lightweight hybrid components. At the same time its work also encompasses other areas of expertise such as modeling and simulation of structures and processes, and recycling and remanufacturing. The project center is located at the interface of cross-border collaboration between German automotive manufacturers and component suppliers, on the one hand, and their subsidiaries and suppliers in Poland, on the other hand. In turn this will be making the production of lightweight structures for mobile applications energy- and cost-efficient as well as eco-friendly. The European car industry will be the ultimate beneficiary of this process. In addition, new resource-efficient production technologies that contribute to climate protection can be beneficially tested by all industries dealing with lightweight and multi-component designs.