The demand for mobility without any restrictions and the requirements concerning future models and regulations will be challenging for the automotive industry as well as the automotive research sector.
The main goals for industry and research are the reduction of energy consumption and improved management of resource conservation. The innovative use of lightweight structures is one way to achieve this goal. Lightweight construction solutions offer a considerable potential for further developments and widespread application in motor vehicle manufacturing using combinations of different materials. The development of new production methods for hybrid parts can also help to accelerate the integration of new lightweight materials in automobiles. Presently, these processes have only been suitable for niche products due to high costs and inefficient use of resources.
Thanks to an interdisciplinary approach the researchers of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, represented by its institutes IFAM, IWU and WKI, presents the opportunity for the development of the whole process chain for lightweight structures and testing it under mass production-like conditions within the framework of the public-private partnership "Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. (OHLF)". Plans include the development of system solutions and to avoid the method of working on individual or partial questions, as it is common today. The consideration of the whole process chain including the integration of recycling concepts ensures an environmentally sustainable process and innovative material development.