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22nd January 2019, Ditzingen

VDMA Working Group elects new executive board

At today's General Assembly at TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik in Ditzingen, Germany, the members of the VDMA Working Group on Hybrid Lightweight Technologies elected their new executive board for the period 2019 to 2021.

The Board of Management now includes Lothar Gräbener, Schuler Pressen, Waghäusel, Marc Kirchhoff, TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik, Ditzingen, Dr-Ing Norbert Müller, ENGEL Austria, Linz, Manfred Reif, DIEFFENBACHER Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, Eppingen, Jochen Schmidt, KARL MAYER Technische Textilien, Chemnitz, Klaus-Peter Welsch, GEISS AG, Sesslach, and Martin Würtele, KraussMaffei Technologies, Munich.

The newly elected Executive Board of the Working Group Hybrid Lightweight Technologies (from left): Dr-Ing Norbert Müller, Manfred Reif, Klaus-Peter Welsch, Martin Würtele, Jochen Schmidt, Lothar Gräbener, Marc Kirchhoff. © VDMA

In the subsequent constituent meeting, the committee appointed Marc Kirchhoff, Head of Industry and Key Account Management Automotive at TRUMPF Laser- und Systemtechnik, as its chairman. With thanks for their participation in the first period of office since the formation of the Working Group on 22 January 2016, the previous chairman Peter Egger, ENGEL Austria, and the board members Nicolas Beyl, KraussMaffei Technologies, as well as Dr Matthias Graf, DIEFFENBACHER, were discharged.

Enabler of tomorrow's mobility

Now that lightweight construction has experienced a certain hype due to applications with carbon fibre-reinforced plastics, autonomous driving and digitisation have moved into the focus of automotive engineering in addition to alternative drives. Hybrid lightweight construction across all materials is sufficiently broadly positioned to maintain and expand its importance in this reorientation in the future. However, it is important to develop a sustainable concept for the marketing of lightweight construction, it was heard.

Today's General Assembly is already dedicated to the conceptual and sustainable lightweight construction for tomorrow's mobility: Falko Fiedler M. Sc., Group Leader Car Body Engineering at the Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM), reports on new trends in delivery traffic in the cities, motivation for the development of the all-electric small van Streetscooter. Armin Müller, Managing Director of Emm! and inventor of the ILO 1 ultra-light vehicle, deals with advanced mobility solutions for individual transport. The efficient manufacture of lightweight components requires flexible production facilities that integrate different manufacturing processes and material combinations. Dr Matthias Graf, Dieffenbacher, presents the modular plant concept developed in the BMBF research project MoPaHyb using the example of an automobile seat shell.

A presentation of lightweight demonstrators is also planned for the Hannover Messe 2019. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is dedicating a lightweight construction summit with Economics Minister Altmaier to the focus on lightweight construction. Via its member companies, the Working Group is promoting the topic with an upstream expert forum and a special area for the demonstrators.

Expanding the indicators for market development

In order to obtain an overview of the market development in lightweight construction worldwide in view of the high technological and market dynamics, the Working Group pursues various approaches. An important indicator is the market survey on fibre-based composites carried out every six months by the trade association Composites Germany.

Short management reports on various segments of lightweight construction are also planned. They are to be prepared jointly with member companies, supplemented by available global data and market interviews with various VDMA Foreign Offices.

Developing current technology trends

Together with the users, the manufactures of Hybrid Lightweight Technologies convert innovative technologies into production processes ready for series production. Current research developments are incorporated into the Working Group's Technology and Process Experience Exchange Group. The guideline published by the circle in 2018 with more than 30 technology profiles on manufacturing and joining technologies will be updated. In addition, a research advisory board is to prepare concrete projects in the future within the framework of joint industrial research.

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