Commercial vehicle trends - always one step ahead
A heavy goods vehicle is a made-to-measure product. Due to the complexity of today's commercial vehicle industry, it is no longer enough to concentrate on the development of individual components. With a total of 300 specialist commercial vehicle engineers around the world, we are able to provide the support expected of a full-range supplier. From the megatrends of the industry such as (partial) autonomous driving, driver assistance systems, lightweight design and electric mobility through to complex problems inherent in cab development - we can always come up with the right, efficient solution for you.
We place great emphasis on continual improvement - and that also applies to the heavyweights on the roads. Our lightweight design expertise, for instance, is primarily put to use in commercial vehicle development, because where, if not in these vehicles, does every additional kilo of load capacity count? It is not, however, only the weight that is such a challenge, because the wide range of different designs and uses that commercial vehicle are put to makes every vehicle practically unique. But what is the best way to handle this variety of options? How is it possible to ensure that production is flexible, cost-optimised and at the same time weight-saving?
At the IAA in Hanover, we will be presenting a modular front end which demonstrates our technological foresight and features our bridging technology, consisting of large cast nodes and longitudinal and cross members with rolled profiles. Another highlight of our presentation is our weight and cost-optimised multi-material system for commercial vehicle cabs, with its single-step joining and painting process. Further information on our current exhibition highlights can be found here.
Another solution to these difficult questions lies in the potential of 3D printing, which might make it possible for topologically designed, complex geometries to be manufactured from data sets in series in a wide range of models - with no limitations, no tools, and in one production step. This would pave the way for us to be technically able to economically manufacture customised trucks for all operating requirements. "Complexity for free" and "variants on demand" are attractive advantages of the rapidly advancing technology of additive manufacturing.
With our additively manufactured demonstrator of an HGV cab and the chassis to go with it, we have produced an example of how this trend might be implemented in the future. Not only does the enclosed cage structure make better use of the available space in the direction of the road surface, but its topological design also means that it leads the way in terms of weight-saving. For further information, see our news item "Lightweight, flexible future for heavy commercial vehicles".
Along with additive manufacturing, autonomous driving is another subject that is far from being restricted to passenger car development only. EDAG is expecting the "self-driving commercial vehicle" to become a megatrend in the commercial vehicle industry, and is developing an extra security-sensitive software capable of enabling several commercial vehicles to carry out a wide variety of manoeuvres in formation.
Our EDAG Light Cab is proof of the fact that, apart from our visionary concepts, we also have affordable lightweight design solutions up our sleeve. As variable profiles are used, the cab is scalable, and can be used for vehicles weighing anything from 16 to 40 tonnes. With the Light Cab, we have managed to develop a cab which, at no extra cost and while retaining structural properties, is up to 24% lighter than today's conventional bodies in white.
We are also offering a further thought-provoking impulse, this time along the lines of urban goods traffic, in cooperation with the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. The 4-in-1 truck is a ground-breaking concept designed to provide a cost and time-saving means of avoiding inner city access restrictions. More details of our multi-talent can be found in our story "4-in-1 Truck".
Special vehicles call for special know-how, regardless of whether they are for public transport, construction or emergency vehicles. With their aim to make commercial vehicle development of tomorrow even better, more lightweight and more flexible, our EDAG experts are the right people for you to contact.