International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI) Hyderabad of India and the Fraunhofer Society of Germany has signed a path breaking cooperative R&D agreement in the field of automotive technologies. This partnership is a result of the dialogue between the Indian Core Group on Automotive R&D (CAR) and German Fraunhofer Society (FhG) some time ago.
CAR is a major initiative of the Government of India to promote collaborative R&D among Indian Industry, R&D Institutions and Academia for the benefit of the automotive industry. The CAR programmes were initiated by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. The Department of Science & Technology as the nodal agency has funded the projects developed by DST-TIFAC under the CAR programme. The ministries of Heavy Industry, Electronics and Road Transportation have been the other members of the CAR apex committee and provided funds where necessary. FhG is a leading industrial R&D organization in Europe. With a view to exploring the possibility of collaboration between CAR-FhG workshops were held in India and Germany. Distinguished experts drawn from Indian academia, national laboratories and industry and Fraunhofer institutes participated in the workshops and identified projects under four broad themes: Materials, Manufacturing, Automotive Electronics and Propulsion in short-term, medium-term and long-term categories.
The first of the collaborative projects “MultiJoin” is the basis of the agreement signed today between the German and Indian sides in the presence of Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Dr.V. Krishnamurthy, Chairman, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, and Mr. Cord Meier-Klodt, Charge d’ Affaires of Germany.
A special feature of this project arises from the way R&D projects were identified. “Multijoin” project priority was industry-driven and Government supported. “MultiJoin” project aims at enabling light weighting of automotive body through hybrid designs involving multi-materials. Four Indian institutions, ARCI Hyderabad, IISc Bengaluru, IIT Madras and ARAI Pune; four Fraunhofer institutions IWU, IWS, IFAM and IZFP; with participation of Indian automotive OEMs will work on evaluation of four different joining techniques to join aluminium, steel and plastic in dissimilar combinations leading to development of design guidelines for incorporation of the newly generated knowledge into automotive body designs. Optimal technology concepts including appropriate quality control strategies based on a cost benefit analysis will be implemented in production by interested industries.
The Technology Development Board will fund this project under the CAR-Fraunhofer programme.