Launch of “Phase II: Light Commercial Vehicle” of The Lightweight Forging Initiative
Due to the great success of “Phase I: Passenger Car”, The Lightweight Forging Initiative is now embarking on “Phase II: Light Commercial Vehicle”. Under the auspices of the German Forging Association (Industrieverband Massivumformung e. V.), a newly constituted consortium of 17 forging companies, 10 companies from the steel industry (manufacturers of wire and bar) and an engineering service provider joined forces at the beginning of October 2014 for “Phase II: Light Commercial Vehicle” of The Lightweight Forging Initiative. Although the participants have changed slightly, their aim is to build upon the success already enjoyed during Phase I.
The goal of The Lightweight Forging Initiative is for forging companies and steel manufacturers to make a concerted effort to effectively demonstrate the potential of forged parts for lightweight design in a light commercial vehicle. The benefits for the companies and the industry lie in effectively communicating the lightweight design potential of forged parts as well as in underlining the advantages over competing production processes and materials.
Joint, coordinated efforts bring together the numerous activities carried out at an individual company level and specific to particular products. This bundling of know-how raises the profile of these activities taking place in the forging industry. Intensive cooperation among those with diverse areas of expertise, ranging from raw material production to forging and machining is also beneficial. Furthermore, research projects for developing new processes using modern steels are initiated.
The project is being financed from the resources of the companies and associations involved.
Chairman of the Consortium and Project Management
Dr.-Ing. Hans-Willi Raedt, Vice President Advanced Engineering, Hirschvogel Automotive Group, Denklingen (as a representative of the forging companies), is Chairman of the Consortium. Speaking on behalf of the forging companies, he says: “Generating optimum solutions can only be achieved by bundling all know-how across the entire production chain – from steel manufacture, forging and machining through to the finished product.”
Dipl.-Ing. Frank Wilke, Vice President Technical Customer Consulting, Deutsche Edelstahlwerke GmbH, Siegen (as a representative of the steel manufacturers), is Vice-Chairman of the Consortium. Speaking on behalf of the steel manufacturers, he says: “The intensive cooperation between forging companies and steel manufacturers gives rise to new synergies resulting from cost-efficient high-strength steels with lean, reliable production operations across all processing stages. Such an extensive assessment of these activities is unprecedented.”
Dr.-Ing. Roland Seidel, Management Consultant and Partner at pareto managementpartner GmbH & Co. KG, Braunschweig, is Project Manager. Based on his longstanding experience in precision forging, he emphasizes the following: “The multitude of participants in the consortium allows a comprehensive analysis of the value stream. This enables concrete customer applications to be determined and presented in an optimized way.
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