There are a number of global trends driving technology development across the automotive industry, for example, the low-carbon and fuel efficiency agenda, electrification, urbanisation and shortages of key resources. To meet upcoming CO2 targets OEMs will need to reduce mass as well as develop powertrain solutions. Lightweight materials have to be cost competitive.
GKN Structures is at the forefront of exploring new technologies and is currently leading a cross-industry group that is investigating the cost-effective manufacture of composite materials, particularly for automotive structures. With the opportunity to produce lighter and stronger components, the development group includes original equipment manufacturers, technology companies and academic research organisations – as well as drawing on the extensive experience that exists within GKN’s aerospace business.
We are able to leverage our current business relationships with potential early market entrants. The Innovate UK project brings together a consortium to develop a UK supply chain capability utilising expertise in the areas of advanced lightweight materials, advanced manufacturing, bonding, assembly and NDT.
- Inherent national skill in composites through Aerospace and Motorsport and are investing to develop this through to credible products for high volume automotive production.
- Adoption of new process technology, requiring an efficient supply chain and lean manufacturing processes capable of meeting the customers’ needs for cost, volume and quality.
- The project will help to establish automotive composites as a high value and “sticky” technology in the UK with a high potential for exports.