Project description

The term vehicle electrical system is basically understood to mean a mechatronic system consisting of electrical/electronic components or assemblies and their connecting elements. Essential components of an on-board electrical system are the cabling and the connecting contacts or plug systems as well as information technology modules such as bus systems and control devices and energy-related assemblies such as actuators, motors/generators, lighting, process equipment and energy storage devices.

Vehicle electrical systems are the nervous system of all modern mechatronic systems: Automobiles, trains and airplanes, machines and plants, telecommunication systems and computers, white goods (household appliances) and brown goods (consumer electronics), wind power and photovoltaic plants as well as control technology and medical devices use complex cable systems to network electrical and optical signals from sensors, actuators and controls. Information has to be transmitted at ever increasing transmission rates (up to 100 Gbit/s), even over long distances (e.g. in aircraft, wind turbines), between ever more network nodes, securely against any interference and reliably for many years.

Since the energy for all electrical consumers, i.e. in particular drives, processes, lighting and information systems, is also provided via cable networks in accordance with performance, on-board networks also provide the blood circulation for all electrical and electronic products. Due to the unbroken decentralisation of power generation, the increasing electrification of mobility and the growing automation in all areas of life (e.g. production/logistics, medicine, household), the electrical power to be supplied in wiring systems is constantly growing. In addition, both cable and connector systems have to be easy to build as well as manufactured in high variance (often in batch size 1) and cost-effectively.

These increased requirements will result in serious challenges in the future, which will not only significantly change the entire sector of assembly and connection technology, but will also have a major impact on all users of wiring systems. SMEs in particular will benefit from the planned E|Connect Center because they normally do not have the necessary skills and capacities to optimize their manufacturing processes holistically and thus increase their competitiveness.

The challenges are to be solved in seven planned research fields:

  1. Intelligence enhancement of vehicle electrical systems
  2. Functional integration into mechanical components
  3. Transmission of signals via bus and wireless systems
  4. Development of new automation solutions
  5. Computer-aided technologies for product and process development
  6. Development of innovative materials
  7. Reliability analysis and life cycle models