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European Car Manufacturers Launch Lightweighting Challenge

ALLIANCE has launched the Open Innovation Lightweight Challenge. The challenge aims to reduce carbon emissions by finding innovative and affordable solutions for lightweighting cars.

Innovators will be able participate in this competition by presenting lightweighting solutions in two categories: Materials and Manufacturing. Participants will have unique access to high level technical support throughout the competition period along with the opportunity to pre-assess the feasibility of their technology in a virtual vehicle model used in the ALLIANCE project.

A jury of industry professionals will judge the solutions on three criteria: technology quality, vehicle applicability, and complementarity with ALLIANCE. The winners will get the chance to share their results in a dedicated presentation at the Aachen Body Engineering Days 2018 on September 20-22th, 2018, and will have the opportunity to bring their technologies to a board formed by the six ALLIANCE OEMs — Daimler, Volvo, Opel, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Centro Ricerche FCA.

Deadline for Entry: January 15, 2018

ALLIANCE is comprised of six European carmakers (previously mentioned), four suppliers (Novelis, Thyssenkrupp, Batz, and Benteler), and eight knowledge partners (Swerea, Inspire, Fraunhofer LBF, RWTH-IKA, KIT-IPEK, University of Florence, Bax & Company, and Ricardo), which have joined forces to commonly deal with the high cost of innovations in vehicle lightweighting. The project aims to reduce energy consumption in vehicles by 10% and GWP by 6% compared to a conventional vehicle.

The main objective of the ALLIANCE project is to develop novel advanced materials — including aluminum, high-strength steels, glass-fibre reinforced plastic composites, and innovative hybrid/sandwich materials — with superior performance, lower cost and low embedded footprint, aiming at market application by 2025. Furthermore, the project is working to develop a mass optimizer software tool and a multi-parameter design optimization methodology, as well as proposing innovative manufacturing technologies, such as a production sequence for tailored extruded aluminum blanks with variable thickness. ALLIANCE plans to develop eight different demonstrators of real vehicle models, six of which will be physically tested, aiming at market application by OEMs within six years from project end (in 2025).

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