The demand for unrestricted mobility and the requirements concerning future models and regulations present new challenges for the industrial and research sectors of the automotive branch. The fundamental objectives which need to be fulfilled are the reduction of energy consumption and the improved management of resource conservation. The systematic utilization of lightweight structures is one way of achieving this. Today’s lightweight construction solutions offer enormous potential for further development and extensive application in motor vehicle manufacture through combinations of different materials. The development of new production procedures for hybrid components can also accelerate the application of new lightweight materials. Currently, these processes are only suitable for niche products, due to prohibitively high costs and inefficient use of resources.
Within the framework of the public-private partnership “Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. (OHLF)” and through an interdisciplinary solution approach, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, represented by its institutes IFAM, IWU and WKI, is addressing the opportunity of developing the entire process chain for lightweight structures and testing this under near-series conditions. The currently commonplace project-based working methods for individual or partial solutions should thereby be avoided. The holistic consideration of the entire process, including the integration of recycling concepts, will ensure that an environmentally sustainable process and material development is attained.