The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft has opened its inaugural project centre at the Opole University of Technology in Poland. The newly established research platform goes by the name of Fraunhofer Project Center for Advanced Lightweight Technologies (ALighT) and is the fruit of a partnership between the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU and the Opole University of Technology. This project centre unites both partners’ expertise in the development of production processes, new design ideas and pricing strategies for the manufacture of lightweight hybrid components, particularly for the automotive industry.
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 new project centre was officially opened in the presence of: Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister phD Jarosław Gowin; Marcin Ociepa, permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology; Fraunhofer President Prof. Reimund Neugebauer; Arkadiusz Wiśniewski, Mayor of Opole; Prof. Marek Tukiendorf, Rector of the Opole University of Technology; Prof. Welf-Guntram Drossel, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IWU; and Prof. Lothar Kroll, Division Director at Fraunhofer IWU and Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Project Center ALighT.
At the interface of cross-border collaboration
The project centre 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 modelling and simulation of structures and processes, and recycling and remanufacturing. The project centre 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.
“Interdisciplinary collaboration and international partnerships are the cornerstones of top-class research today,” said Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. “That is why we look forward to working together with our Polish partners. Fraunhofer IWU has wide-ranging expertise in lightweight construction and will also contribute its know-how in handling advanced materials. The researchers at Opole University of Technology will contribute their specific areas of expertise, for example, in process and process engineering simulations. Together we can add value, intensify knowledge transfer and increase innovation for the companies involved.”