InCar®plus is currently the biggest OEM-independent development project of any automotive supplier. It impresses not just with its scope and diversity but also with the high level of validation of its solutions. InCar®plus innovations are tested and validated across the entire value chain, from material forming and processing to toolmaking and prototyping to large-scale assembly. The expected costs have also been analyzed, along with the methods and tools used to manufacture the InCar®plus innovations. The team has ensured that the new solutions can be integrated into production quickly and smoothly.
The InCar®plus reference structure
How can the weight of a vehicle be reduced? Where is there potential for cost savings? The updated InCar®plus reference structure provides comprehensive answers. It offers the opportunity to compare new materials, production processes and component designs with the state of the art and follows the principle that the weight and cost reduction potential of body parts can only be identified effectively when these investigations are carried out in the context of the body as a whole.
For the InCar®plus reference structure, ThyssenKrupp has analyzed bodies from various auto manufacturers over the last five years and on this basis defined current competitive values for an upper mid-range vehicle body. Current performance indicators for the stiffness and weight of the reference structure correspond to a lightweight index of 2.7. ThyssenKrupp has achieved this excellent value mainly by optimizing load paths and using components made from thin, high-strength steels. The reference structure also reflects market trends and makes greater use of hot forming and high-/ultrahigh-strength cold-formable steels.
The reference structure permits the potential advantages of individual components to be identified in terms of weight, costs, performance or improved production-readiness of manufacturing and joining processes. Production costs are also calculated on the basis of current material prices – in a customer-neutral way – to allow relative comparisons.