While lightweight construction is the key strategy regarding product design, shortening of process chains plays the major role in process design. The potential for lightweight construction is not limited to new materials or material combinations. In fact, innovative technologies also offer the possibility to manufacture products and save materials at the same time. Above all, energy-efficient processes and novel process combinations are required for implementing the demands of sustainability in process chains. Appropriate solutions are not only implemented in the automotive industry, but also in mechanical engineering and plant engineering, in the aerospace industry, shipbuilding or power engineering.
In sheet metal forming, bulk metal forming and also in joining we consider the entire value-added chain. In order to optimize the utilization of energy and resources, we investigate shortening process chains of forming and joining technologies, functional and load-oriented design of forming tools and innovative processing strategies. Research foci in lightweight construction include the manufacturing of graded and hybrid components by applying forming technologies. Mechanical joining technologies in particular gain more and more importance in this context. Corresponding with customer-specific boundary conditions we consider existing production plants, desired quality and also recyclability. Our expertise lies in the fields of methodology, technology and system and ranges from initial component ideas, product development to feasibility studies, development of technologies and tool concepts, method planning up to realization of prototypes or small series. Our research even includes planning and operation of entire value-added chains and factories.