Ford launches electric motor research project at Cologne-Niehl plant
After shying away from the idea of building its own EV batteries for a while, Ford recently made a sharp about-face and announced its new global battery center – Ford Ion Park – which it says will accelerate research and development. battery and battery cell technology, including future battery manufacturing. Now the automaker is also embarking on electric motor research with a new project designed to uncover new, more efficient and sustainable production processes for electric motors.
The goal of the EV engine research project, dubbed HaPiPro2, is to develop both new processes and future products for use in the mass production of electric vehicle components. Ford will be joined in the 36-month public project by Thyssenkrupp System Engineering, the 3D printing and product engineering departments of RWTH Aachen University, and Engiro, a group of EV engine experts. The consortium will work together in a new joint research center at Ford’s Cologne-Niehl plant in Germany.
“Ford is committed to helping the industry enable the future of vehicle electrification,” said Gunnar Herrmann, executive chairman of Ford in Germany. “We are proud to host and contribute to this historic research center which will be a unique and advanced engineering platform for all companies to research and assess the future of electric motor production processes. “
The name HaPiPro2 refers to the hairpin technology used in winding wires inside electric motor assemblies – a key area of innovation in electric drive systems. The aim of the research project is to understand how to harness the full potential of this technology to ensure the most efficient production of EV motors on a single assembly line.
In addition to developing this technology, Ford will also lead the development of new laser-based methods to join copper hairpin contacts and research the use of artificial intelligence in production, while RWTH Aachen University will provide its expertise in 3D printing to develop the tooling of the production line.
“The main objective of the HaPiPro2 project is not limited to the efficient design of the electric motor itself, but to the development of the flexibility of the variants during its production,” said Professor Achim Kampker, production engineering of components of electric mobility (PEM), RWTH Aachen University. “The PEM at RWTH Aachen University will bring its expertise in application-oriented research to the entire hairpin process chain, as well as to the analysis of cause relations. effect and testing of digital methods in production planning. “
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