The cooperation with the international automotive supplier Faurecia, which has been established more than seven years ago, was successfully continued in 2020. In the Research Center for Industrial Metal Processing (ReCIMP) the IUL cooperates with Faurecia’s divisions Automotive Seating and Clean Mobility in various projects in the field of innovative metal forming processes. The superordinate objective of each project is to improve and deepen the basic knowledge about the processes and process chains under investigation. In addition, there is a focus on the identification and investigation of new scientific directions of research in the field of manufacturing technology. Cooperation with other industrial companies and research institutions to build up a competence network is a welcome side effect.
Structurally, the individual ReCIMP projects are assigned to the following six priority areas:
• Extension of forming limits
• Characterization of advanced steel grades
• Alternative production methods
• Flexible production
• Lightweight structures
• Processing of tubes
The project work is performed by scientists from the various IUL departments on a subject-specific basis. The Advisory Board of ReCIMP regularly discusses the progress of the individual projects as well as the overall strategy of the research center. The following figure gives an overview of the projects carried out in 2020.
The researchers are supported by a large number of student assistants and students preparing project or final theses in the projects. Since the establishment of the research center, far more than 60 students have been involved in ReCIMP projects; for several current scientific employees of the IUL, a thesis in ReCIMP was the first step towards their scientific career. In 2020 alone, six project, bachelor, and master theses were written in the research center.
The cooperation is particularly effective when the research topics initially dealt with within the research center lead to fundamental questions and research fields for externally funded projects – this has already happened several times in the past years.