© Fraunhofer-Projektzentrum Wolfsburg | Torben Seemann
Open Hybrid LabFactory.

Fraunhofer Project Center Wolfsburg

The Fraunhofer Project Center Wolfsburg: Resource-efficient lightweight construction, flexible production and future interior for future mobility carriers

The transportation industry is facing massive challenges. Whether cars, ships, planes or trains, eco-friendly and climate-compatible mobility requires more efficient mobility solutions, resources efficient production technologies as well as holistic mobility concepts for new utilization concepts. There are several possible solutions: alternative drive systems, automated processes, digitization and networking, autonomous driving.

Another approach is to reduce the weight of vehicles and use multimaterial solutions made from renewable and sustainable raw materials. The strategic application of multimaterial solutions and modular smart interiors offers high potential for further developments and extensive use in mobility carriers. At the same time, progress in digitally networked manufacturing processes for hybrid components accelerates the use of these new lightweight materials.

The Fraunhofer Project Center Wolfsburg is specialized on bio based, multifunctional lightweight structures for all transport types and focuses on three major research fields based on the development of new alternate drives for electric or hydrogen propulsion and customization of interior with respect to a resource efficient and smart lightweight design, networked manufacturing processes and functional integration:

  • Flexible production
  • Battery module construction
  • Future Interior
With its research expertise and innovative spirit, the Fraunhofer Project Center Wolfsburg supports manufacturers and suppliers developing sustainable solutions and their introduction into market from raw materials to new forms of flexibility in manufacturing processes and process chains to the recycling of components and materials.

Network of industry and research

Four Fraunhofer institutes combine their expertise as part of the Fraunhofer Project Center Wolfsburg on a shared campus:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials Research IFAM
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST

The common goal is to develop materials, manufacturing and production technologies suitable for large-scale production for the economically and ecologically sustainable manufacture of hybrid lightweight components made of metals, plastics and textile structures.

For the research and development of hybrid components of the future, the Open Hybrid LabFactory e. V. (OHLF), the TU Braunschweig and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft are providing a joint platform for industrial partners and the public institutions involved: This so-called lightweight design campus "OHLF" is considered one of the leading addresses in this field in Germany. Within the framework of a new type of cooperation model - with science and industry at eye level - a unique infrastructure has been created where ideas become innovations.

With the spirit of current’s FutureLabs new technologies and processes are developed and their marketability and economic sustainability practically validated and applied for a serial production in a close collaboration between researchers, experts and developers from Fraunhofer and private partners. A perfect environment for this purpose was created in the Open Hybrid LabFactory e. V. (OHLF), where a consortium of scientific partners, world market leading companies and highly innovative small and medium-sized enterprises was formed.

This public-private partnership was initiated in 2012 under the leadership of the Automotive Research Center Niedersachsen (NFF) at the TU Braunschweig and is funded as part of the "Research Campus" initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

In addition, we also work closely with the Fraunhofer Project Center for Energy Storage and Systems ZESS in Braunschweig. Together, we are developing intelligent solutions for vehicle integration of the next-generation battery. This includes their production as well as the development of corresponding components derived from the use of alternative drives.