Wolfsburg (Germany), 11 October 2022 – At the International Suppliers Fair (IZB), Gestamp, the Spanish multinational Tier1 supplier, specialized in the design, development and manufacturing of metal components for the automotive sector, is showing an array of products and innovations such as Extreme Size Parts, Battery boxes, Cell-to-Pack concepts, Joining Technologies, Chassis innovative Lightweight Solutions, Active Frunks or Power Doors.
The trends and changes in the mobility of tomorrow present automotive manufacturers and their suppliers with a variety of new challenges. The greatly increased weight of electric vehicles due to the integration of battery boxes and the resulting changes in vehicle structure and dynamics are just a few examples that Gestamp has to take into account when developing its products and technologies. Furthermore, aspects such as safety, lightweight construction and a reduction in CO2 emissions continue to play a decisive role. Against this background, the R&D teams will be presenting core innovations and technologies from Gestamp’s three business areas at the IZB: Body, Chassis and Mechanics (Edscha).
In the BiW area, Gestamp will present some innovations and technologies from the EV portfolio. For example, Extreme Size Parts, a new generation of body parts that integrate multiple functions as one-piece solutions in Giga-Stamping.
Ignacio Martin (Global BiW R&D General Director at Gestamp) explains: “This new product family offers a unique combination of increased crash safety, light weight, lower costs and CO2 reduction in a single product. This hot stamped steel solution with different material properties and thickness combinations allows our OEMs to offer a significant reduction in assembly time. Extreme size parts represent an optimal solution for the design of new electric vehicles and make it possible to largely cope with crash safety in the vehicle body and thus reduce the complexity of the battery box”.
Gestamp also develops safer and lighter battery electric vehicle (BEV) solutions specifically designed for urban mobility. Gestamp is showing for the first time a multi-material battery box made of fiber-reinforced plastic FRP (100% reusable and circularly recyclable) and aluminum. This innovative product can thus represent a solution for small electric vehicles and point the way to the future of mobility. With classic battery box developments and now with new cell-to-body concepts, Gestamp uses intelligent ideas to achieve a significant reduction in the overall weight of electric vehicles while ensuring a high level of safety at the same time. This intelligent concept for urban mobility is part of another product family of innovative battery concepts developed by Gestamp R&D.
In combination with the innovative Extreme Size Parts, battery concepts fit seamlessly into the Extreme Size Body concepts, allowing us to offer our customers less complex and more efficient solutions. Gestamp will present some new developments as an extension of its product and technology portfolio to be prepared for the mobility requirements of tomorrow. This includes Engineered Products and related technologies such as Multistep, BKT (Bending Kinematic Technology) laser technology, as well as an insight into its aluminum competencies. The use and combination of different manufacturing and connection technologies from the company’s broad portfolio offer diverse technical solutions.
Ulf Sudowe, Chassis R&D General Director at Gestamp: “Front and rear axles are complex and load-bearing components that are located in the lower part of the vehicle. They carry the engine connection and are subjected to high loads and forces, while at the same time playing an important role in the safety of the vehicle. That is why it is so important to develop different ideas and solutions for modern and future-oriented components that meet current and future emobility requirements in the chassis.” Gestamp delivers fully validated chassis components, from research into advanced technologies, first concepts with design and development, prototyping to complex component testing. The fully integrated production processes in the concept phase include flexible platform solutions for different vehicle powertrains (electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and internal combustion engines), with optimal performance and safety requirements being met with minimum weight and the lowest possible CO2 impact.
The introduction of so-called “HyperTubes” (high-strength complex-phase steel tubes) in the development of rear axle supports has resulted in an improvement, especially in electric vehicles, by increasing crash performance while reducing weight at the same time.
In order to meet the current requirements in terms of performance, CO2 reduction and minimal weight while at the same time being extremely robust, Gestamp Chassis follows an integrated approach to design and manufacturing, which is underpinned by a constant pursuit of continuous improvement and design optimization. To support this approach, Gestamp uses in-house material curves for steel, aluminum and hybrid materials and welds, as well as in-house software for optimizing the welding sequence (Ges-OPTIC) for improved dimensional accuracy, robustness and increased safety for vehicle occupants. So we deliver virtual solutions based on technical experience.
Our third business unit, well known under the brand name Edscha, is presenting the second generation of its Power Door to the public for the first time at the IZB. What is new about it is not only the actuator, which is now located in the door check area. In fact, Edscha offers a comprehensive system around the Power Door, including intelligent sensor technology that detects obstacles in the vicinity of the door and can stop the door in due time before a collision. Edscha also supplies the control unit (ECU). It is used to control the actuator by means of specially developed software and is the link to the vehicle environment monitoring system, which also detects static and dynamic obstacles such as pedestrians and cyclists.
As with the first generation of the Power Door, which Edscha put into series production in 2021, the second generation also has a so-called servo function. This means that even heavy doors can be moved manually with virtually no effort (no matter what position the car is in). The Power Door is also stepless, meaning it has no stop notches but keeps the door firmly in place in any position.
“With the Active Frunk,” Edscha CEO César Pontvianne de la Maza says, “we offer a state– of-the-art solution specially tailored to electric vehicles. Where there is still a combustion engine in most vehicles today, space is freed up in the electric vehicle that can be used as an additional luggage compartment, for example.” The Active Frunk combines an actuator for fully automatic opening and closing of the front lid with a hinge for active pedestrian protection.
In the area of sliding doors, Edscha develops customized solutions for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. In addition to the lower, middle and upper roller, the focusing on the rails developing, among other things, a multi-part rail in which both aluminum and plastic components can be used. The advantages of this new concept are obvious: less weight, lower costs, lower tolerances and faster processes.