Fields of technology
Surfaces, functional surfaces
Functional surfaces and layers are one of the important “enabling technologies”. They enable the advantages of photonics to be utilized for numerous applications, both for surfaces and layers with special optical properties and for the realization and functionalization of surfaces and layers using photonic tools.
Back injection moulding of real materials (e.g. of wood, glass, stone, metal)
Back injection moulding of real materials produces components that are used for a wide variety of applications. These materials can be installed in the automotive interior in various ways and can also be used in the cross-section industry.
Printed electronics are conductive plastics or inks that can be printed extensively and cost-effectively on film, paper, glass or textiles. The advantage over conventional electronics are extremely thin, flexible and transparent electronic components for a wide variety of applications. The results are innovative products such as touch sensors, flexible displays or solar cells, luminous foils or smart labels.
Lighting (LEDs, OLEDs, EEL)
The interior of an automobile will undergo significant changes due to major trends such as autonomous driving. Design elements will increase strongly in the future. Designers influence all areas of automotive interiors and therefore play an important role with OEMs and Tier 1-2.
One of the most important trends is digitization. There are countless examples in automotive interiors in which digitization has an influence. Whether screens, language assistants or autonomous networking: digitization will have a strong influence on the automobile interior.
Tool and mould making
Each individual component of a new automobile requires its own tool. For this reason, toolmaking has become very important in the production of automobiles. The market ranges from large series with few variants to small series with numerous models. Tool and mould makers are indispensable, especially for automotive interiors, which have to adapt to major changes due to changing interior requirements.
Modern applications require new material properties which are used, for example, in vehicle construction, aviation, mechanical and plant engineering, electronics, energy storage or medical technology. Classical materials alone can no longer meet these requirements. To ensure that the advantages of all components complement each other or new properties become possible, hybrid materials of different material classes are combined to form a new material system. These create the basis for new technological applications and serve markets that have not yet been exhausted for various reasons (e.g. manufacturing deficits, etc.).
Smart textiles have important functions in the car, such as comfort, safety, acoustics and saving fuel. Among other things, car roofs, body parts, interior parts such as panels, switches and controls are made of technical textiles. Today there is no car without fabric, threads and fleeces. In automotive engineering, high-performance materials based on textiles, including carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), are increasingly being used. Fibre-based materials are also becoming increasingly clever and are supplementing or replacing wood, plastic, metal or glass. So-called Smart Textiles are able to take on new functions to illuminate vehicle interiors.