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Logo: IFW - Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Werkzeugmaschinen
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Logo: IFW - Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Werkzeugmaschinen
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IFW coordinates major new research project "Drive train 2025" (press release 17 October 2018)

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The joint project is being funded by the BMWi with around four million euros.

With around four million euros, the Federal Ministry of Economics is supporting the project to produce car drive trains more efficiently in order to significantly save energy and emissions during production and the use phase. In mid-October 2018, the network partners will meet at the PZH for a kick-off.

Despite all the alternatives to the internal combustion engine, it will still be there for a while. Hence, also from the perspective of climate change, it is necessary to manufacture vehicle drive trains as energy- and resource-efficient as possible. The potential identified by the scientists involved is considerable: "We can reduce the energy required for production by around a fifth," predicts project coordinator Thilo Grove of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools (IFW). "In addition, our drive trains are friction-optimized and lighter than previous ones, so that they emit around seven percent less CO2 later when driving.

To achieve this ambitious goal, engineering scientists from Leibniz University from three different institutes - in addition to IFW, the Institute for Technical Combustion and the Institute of Machine Design and Tribology - are working together with partners from industry. In addition to VW as consortium leader, Bosch, DMG Mori, Ecoroll, Gehring Technologies and Gühring are also involved in this project, ensuring, among other things, that all project steps can be used economically in industrial production right from the start. An online analysis of ecological parameters should enable transparent evaluation of all changes.

Four components with potential

The project partners will focus on four powertrain components that have a particularly high potential for optimization, especially in terms of friction and weight: cylinder liner, profile shaft, cardan shaft and steering system pump. They will develop process chains for these components, which will also incorporate all innovations with regard to process energy and resource efficiency. This makes production more energy- and material-efficient on the one hand and reduces fuel consumption and emissions of climate-damaging gases on the other.  

At 127.1 grams per kilometer, the average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in Germany in 2017 are among the highest in Europe. In order to achieve the EU climate protection target for 2021, namely to reduce the CO2 emissions of the new car fleet to 95 grams and thus by around a quarter of the current value, efficiency increases are an important piece of the puzzle: the seven percent saved by the optimized drive train make a relevant contribution here. In absolute figures: If the approximately six million passenger cars currently produced in Germany each year had been equipped with the new drive train, they would have emitted a total of around 640,000 metric tons less CO2 than with a conventional drive train after an average mileage of 12,000 kilometers per year.

Focus on two-degree climate target

Professor Berend Denkena, head of the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools and the current president of the Scientific Society for Production Engineering (WGP), has moved the two-degree climate target into the focus of production engineering. He considers the "Drive Train 2025" to be an important step along this path: "We are very pleased that with the funding commitment of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy we can now contribute with this project to further reducing the energy demand and thus the climate-damaging emissions in this area as well".

Note to the editorial staff:
For further information, please contact Dr.-Ing. Thilo Grove, Head of Manufacturing Processes at the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools, by phone +49 511 762 2563 or by e-mail at groveifw.uni-hannover.de